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Echoes of the DeLuxe Art Show: The 5th Ward, Black Invention, and Modernism

This film program explores some of the legacy of the 1971 DeLuxe Art Show. The DeLuxe Art show, curated by abstract artist Peter Bradley, and underwritten by Dominique and John de Menil, took place onsite at the historic DeLuxe Theater, currently having its 80th anniversary. The show featured both Black and white artists, apparently for the first time in US history. The style was abstract, modernist, with a heavy focus on color-field painting, not necessarily obvious choices. 

The community the show took place in, and engaged, was the 5th Ward, with its own Black modernist legacy as a key engine of Black creativity and art making, ingenuity and politics. These themes are explored in films in the series including Flash Gordon Parks’ Archie Bell and Isaac Yowman’s Memory Builds the Monument on the 5th Ward’s Club Matinee. A key part of the legacy of the Deluxe Art Show is the continued practice and expansion of Black modernism –  breaking from forms, inventing new ones – represented in Garrett Bradley’s Time, daughter of DeLuxe Art show curator Peter Bradley, and Stefani Saintonge’s F*cked Like A Star.


HCAS presents a free drive-in program at Moonstruck Drive-In on Thursday, September 23rd at 7:30pm of the Oscar-nominated Time, directed by Garrett Bradley, daughter of the DeLuxe Art Show curator Peter Bradley. Time arguably embodies a passing of the Black modernist torch in its radical departure from traditionalist documentary tropes and grammar toward a completely new non-fiction form, faintly echoing the modernism, and breaking from convention, of the DeLuxe Art Show. 

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Three Short Films on 5th Ward, Black Invention, and Modernism

In tribute to the themes of the DeLuxe Art Show, HCAS presents a free virtual program comprised of three short films representing 5th Ward, Black Invention, and Modernism with Stefani Saintonge’s F*cked Like a Star, Flash Gordon Parks’ Archie Bell, and Isaac Yowman’s Memory Builds the Monument. The program will close out with a pre-recorded Q&A with each director, moderated by HCAS’s Artistic Director Jessica Green. This program is available for a week starting Friday, September 24th at 7:30pm CST.

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