Groovin’ at CAAM

Detail from Faith Ringgold’s Groovin’

Detail from Faith Ringgold’s “Groovin’”

The opening of the Expo Line from Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles has opened up a whole new world for me. Once or twice a week, I take the train downtown and explore the ethnic richness of the city center. Today, I went to the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Exposition Park.

I have always felt that African Americans have made an outsize contribution to our culture, especially in music, entertainment, and literature. CAAM gave me the opportunity to see a number of highly original artworks that are not “normally” seen by white people.

There are four galleries at CAAM, two large ones for the permanent collection and two smaller ones for rotating exhibits.

Dancers by Overton Loyd

Dancers by Overton Loyd

The rotating exhibits on view at present in the two smaller galleries are a retrospective of the works of Overton Loyd and an exhibition of hip hop photography by various artists.

Why did I choose two works showing dancers? It’s not that the exhibit was slanted toward them, but that I was drawn to them. Both paintings are intense, with the Ringgold’s slow rhythms and the abstract dynamism of the Loyd.

Although I profess not to live most modern art, there is something about the black artists who have struggled in obscurity to create beauty and meaning that appeals to me. I hope to check in at CAAM every once in a while to see what’s on exhibit.