Faith Ringgold: Die
Ten adults—men and women, black and white—fight, flee or die over the twelve-foot span of Faith Ringgold's painting American People Series #20: Die, as an interracial pair of children cower unnoticed in their midst.
While Faith Ringgold (born 1930) was painting this brutal vision in a Manhattan studio in the summer of 1967, civil unrest was convulsing black neighborhoods across the US, and protests against the war in Vietnam were escalating.
Art historian Anne Monahan's essay explores the mural's carefully orchestrated chaos and its multiform inspirations, from contemporary anxiety about black revolution, through the writings of James Baldwin and LeRoi Jones (soon to be Amiri Baraka), to iconic canvases by Picasso and Pollock then on view at MoMA.
Each volume in the One on One series is a sustained meditation on a single work from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. A richly illustrated and lively essay illuminates the subject in detail and situates the work within the artist’s life and career as well as within broader historical contexts.
Published by the Museum of Modern Art, 2019
Softcover, 48 pages, 35 color images, 7.25 × 9 inches