David Huffman, Black Universe

David Huffman, Black Universe
  The first time I encountered the art of David Huffman, it was an awakening of sorts, not least because the artist has consistently and remarkably managed to combine a range of contradictory elements: everything from racial consciousness and the aesthetics of science fiction, to the visual idioms of abstraction.  While Huffman’s paintings, sculptures and conceptual projects interrogate the politics of race, it is the dexterity with which he negotiates the slippages between representation and abstraction that defines the extraordinary character of his formal acuity.  Raised in Oakland, California, by a mother who was an artist for the Black Panther Party, Huffman displays a consciousness of the potentialities of visual expression that is evident in his every brushstroke. His early paintings, often populated with minstrel figures set against expressionist …