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More than just beautiful art from Yale School of Art graduates between 2000 and 2010, new coffee table book Lux et Veritas: Pushing a White Wall highlights the challenges of BIPOC artists navigating the predominantly white institution of Yale University and more specifically Yale School of Arts.
The book documents the exhibition Lux et Veritas, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, a historian, curator, and museum director in 2022 for NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, that addresses Yale School of Art’s historical lack of diversity. During students’ time there, they formed affiliations across the painting, graphic design, sculpture, photography, and art history departments. This includes the formation of BASE Collective in 2005, whose goal is to activate public spaces to address the wider public, and coffee cup collective in 2006, an organization that mentors and supports incoming students of color at Yale and other institutions.
The exhibition and book explores a transformative period in contemporary art with works from 21 artists of color who attended Yale School of Art for graduate studies between 2000 and 2010. Among these accomplished artists are Torkwase Dyson, who recently had a solo show at Pace Gallery; Wangechi Mutu, who had a six-month exhibition at Storm King; Kehinde Wiley, who painted the portrait of former president Barack Obama for the National Portrait Gallery; and Abigail DeVille, who currently has a solo show at Bronx Museum; among many others.
The 208-page book is written and edited by Clearwater and text from William Cordova (Yale MFA Sculpture 2004). Lux et Veritas, which translates to Light and Truth, is Yale’s motto. It includes photographs, color plates of the artists’ works, and more. The goal is to shed light on this generation of spectacular artists, including their individual achievements, all while highlighting the uphill task of challenging the lack of diversity during their time at Yale.
The work showcased in the book, including Kehinde Wiley’s beautiful oil paintings; Luis Gispert’s live-action animated film “Stereomongrel;” and Wardell Milan’s Dadaist collages of magazine images, among many others. It includes artists who work in a variety of mediums, including painting, graphic design, sculpture, and photography.
Check out more photos from the book below: