'30 Americans' and the Meaning of Black Art

The artists whose works are displayed in the "30 Americans" exhibit prove that our art can mean anything.

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Then there's Ligon's gorgeously abstract painting, Stranger, a vertical stretch of canvas covered in glittery black coal dust, gesso and oil. Look closely, and you'll see that the coal sparkles are made up of letters, but it's impossible to read the words. It's haunting, beautiful and just beyond comprehension, a moving meditation on blackness.

"30 Americans" opens Oct. 1, 2011, and runs through Feb. 12, 2012. Check out The Root's '30 Americans' Exhibit Sneak Peek.

Teresa Wiltz is The Root's senior editor. Follow her on Twitter.

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