Installation view of “5+1,” 1969

The "5+1" gallery space is split by a barbed wire curtain.

Photograph by Tina Tranter. © Estate of Tina Tranter. Courtesy Frank Bowling Archive.

Following “X to the Fourth Power,” a four-person exhibition coordinated by William T. Williams at the Studio Museum in Harlem earlier in 1969, “5+1” was a counterproposal to large group exhibitions that showcased artists’ work based on perceived racial identity.

“I felt that there was something that I could do about what appeared to be this overwhelming indifference to what Black artists were doing in this area,” Bowling later commented.