Blind Singer, c., 1942
William H. Johnson
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
William H. Johnson captured the bustling energy of two street musicians in this rhythmic, angular composition. Upon returning to the United States from Europe in 1938, Johnson embraced a direct, modern visual language that dazzled viewers with bold colors, flat shapes, and vernacular subject matter—in particular the African American community of Harlem, New York, and its vibrant cultural scene. His prints, such as Blind Singer, provide some of the most dynamic examples of his simplified style.