Blackstraction turns 20 this year... It was introduced as a way of working in my talk for a solo exhibition at Parish Gallery/Georgetown in Washington, DC on October 25, 2000. In 2011 I made clarifying changes to the theory and finalized the definition with the primary citation "the objectification of painting."
blackstraction (blak-strak'sh-n) n.
1. the objectification of painting 2. an emotive non-representational work of art stressing formal internal relationships using African/American/Asian art practices at times employing craft techniques and three dimensional presentation blackstractionist n. an artist engaging therein
blackstraction (blak-strak'sh-n) v.t.
to make markings with color on diverse surfaces that relate to each other and their environment in two and three dimensions blackstractioned, blackstractioning
Blackstractionism (blak-strak'sh-niz-m) n. Fine Arts
1. a style of non-representational painting which appeared in the United States in the late 20th century employing craft techniques and three dimensional presentation 2. theory and practice of blackstraction
I define blackstraction as a way of working. What differentiates it from other ways of working is that it was not a movement developed simultaneously by artists that were friends or colleagues working in the same time period but by individuals over a period of roughly 40 years, just after WW2 - 1990 or so. Lots of experimenting happened during this time in artists' studios, particularly during the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movement...
The art world isms that we know follow the trajectory of the western art market. Artists like Sam Gilliam, Jack Whitten and Elizabeth Murray that are coming to the attention of the market now objectified painting making it three dimensional. This is BLACKSTRACTION: if art history does repeat and Modernism is a model, its Asian and African aesthetics will be obscured as these ways of working become foundation of what will be called new (western) art styles.
Put the word out: it's called Blackstraction.