Proposal For A Monument To Huey Newton

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This article is from our associated project, CreativeResistance.org

– Oakland Museum of CA website –
2004
bronze
58 in HIGH x 48 in WIDE x 48 in DEEP (147.32 cm HIGH x 121.92 cm WIDE x 121.92 cm DEEP)

This is a bronze sculpture of a wicker fan back chair that rests on a square steel base with a mirrored surface.

The chair refers to a famous portrait of Huey Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party. This picture shows Newton seated in a rattan chair that Sam Durant’s sculpture replicates. The title, “Monument for the Alameda County Courthouse” directly relates to the Oakland Museum’s proximity to this building across 12th Street where many of the Black Panther trials were conducted in the late 1960s. With this sculpture, the artist is proposing that there be a tangible recognition of the legacy of the Black power movement. This work is also interactive since it is intended to be used by the public. Viewers are encouraged to sit in the chair to metaphorically set themselves in and consider the history that the work alludes to. Visitors are allowed to sit in the chair.