The exhibition includes works by artists, graphic designers, and publishers in formats ranging from little known comic books to covers for historic books and magazines, to etchings, digital prints, drawings, and media-based works by some of today’s leading artists. The exhibition is organized by artists William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, extensive didactics, and free public programming.
The exhibition features contemporary works by an intergenerational group of 21 artists from the Black diaspora: Derrick Adams, Laylah Ali, Firelei Báez, Nayland Blake, Robert Colescott, Renee Cox, William Downs, Ellen Gallagher, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Lucia Hierro, Yashua Klos, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Lamar Peterson, Pope.L, Kenny Rivero, Alexandria Smith, Felandus Thames, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, and Fred Wilson.
Black Pulp! situates these works in the context of rare historical books, comics, newspapers, and related ephemera, from Alain LeRoy Locke’s The New Negro (1925) and Wallace Thurman’s quarterly Fire!!: Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists (1926) to Jackie Ormes’ comic strip Torchy in Heartbeats (1953). Other historical artists and writers on view are Gwendolyn Bennett, E. Simms Campbell, Miguel Covarrubias, Charles Cullen, Countee Cullen, Sadie Iola Daniel, Aaron Douglas, Emory Douglas, W.E.B. Dubois, George J. Evans, Jr., Elton C. Fax, Billy Graham, Oliver W. Harrington, George Herriman, Alvin Hollingsworth, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, Charles S. Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gertrude McBrown, Dwayne McDuffie, Owen Middleton, Richard Bruce Nugent, Laura Wheeler Waring, Charles White and Carter G. Woodson.