Invative and lavishly illustrated, Painting the Gospel offers an indispensable contribution to conversations about African American art, theology, politics, and identity in Chicago. Kymberly N. Pinder escorts readers on an eye-opening odyssey to the murals, stained glass, and sculptures dotting the city's African American churches and neighborhoods. Moving from Chicago's oldest black Christ figure to contemporary religious street art, Pinder explores ideas like blackness in public, art for black communities, and the relationship of Afrocentric art to Black Liberation Theology. She also focuses attention on art excluded from scholarship due to racial or religious particularity. Throughout, she reflects on the myriad ways private black identities assert public and political goals through imagery. Painting the Gospel includes maps and tour itineraries that allow readers to make conceptual, historical, and geographical connections among the works.
Kymberly N. Pinder is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico and editor of Race-ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History.