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Maker(s):Johnson, Rashid
Culture:American (1977-)
Title:Thurgood in the Hour of Chaos from the Exit Art portfolio America America
Date Made:2009
Materials:Photo lithograph
Measurements:Sheet/Image: 21 15/16 x 29 5/8 in; 55.7 x 75.2 cm
Narrative Inscription:  EDITION/SIGNATURE/DATE: verso, lwr. r. (graphite): 39/50 R[ill.] J[ill.] 09
Accession Number:  UM 2012.6.6.5
Credit Line:Gift of Exit Art
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

The black and white image of an young black man dressed in a suit and tie with a white spray-painted symbol of a oval and an cross over his face.

Label Text:
Exhibtion label text from Faint/Hidden/Shrouded: Contemplating Obscurity (March 27-May 10, 2024):
In this work, Rashid Johnson uses an image of himself to assume the persona of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Cloaked in layered symbolism, Thurgood in the Hour of Chaos (2009) raises questions about the progression of judicial and social equity for contemporary Black Americans since the pivotal Civil Rights-era decisions presided over by Marshall.

Johnson, obscured by graffiti-style shooter's crosshairs, prompts viewers to contemplate the challenges and advancements in present-day America, particularly within the context of racial and judicial progress. Through intentional layering, abstraction, and fragmentation, Thurgood in the Hour of Chaos becomes a visual exploration of the act of obscuration, inviting contemplation on the visibility and perception of progress in the ongoing narrative of social and judicial evolution. - Graduate curators: Ruthie Baker, MFA Studio Arts; Simone Cambridge, MA History of Art & Architecture; and Olivia Haynes PhD in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, UMASS

Making Their Mark label text:
The work by Rashid Johnson, which uses archival footage and historical icons to comment on African American culture, is often grouped together with the Post-Black movement. This image of an anonymous young black man is made even more striking by the gash of white around the man's head, which looks as though it has been spray-painted onto the canvs. - Pauline Miller, ICP Intern, Summer 2014

men; political events; politicians; portraits; religion; race; African American; symbolism; black and white

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