Abloh’s interest in music and design, largely inspired by Chicago’s urban culture, has gained him wide recognition in the past decade. The exhibition “Figures of Speech” highlights Abloh’s interdisciplinary practice and is set in an immersive space designed by Samir Bantal, where visitors will experience highlights of Abloh’s career and his influence on today’s fashion, music, architecture, and design. Programming for “Figures of Speech” will feature cross-disciplinary offerings mirroring the artist’s genre-bending work.
Fahamu Pecou, DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance
May 25–August 25, 2019
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Fahamu Pecou’s DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance explores the intersections of African-based spiritual traditions and the political and societal violence against black males in the United States. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of the black community’s healing and restoration through paintings, drawings, and video that reckon with life and death. Pecou thus turns to Yoruba/Ifa diasporic religion, hip-hop, and Négritude to guide the spirit’s journey toward hope and healing.
La Biennale di Venezia
May 11–November 24, 2019
Martin Puryear will represent the United States in the 58th Venice Biennale. The pavilion, commissioned and curated with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, will feature the sculptor’s new, monumental works, as well as an outdoor installation in the site’s forecourt. Sir David Adjaye OBE designed the inaugural Ghanaian pavilion, Ghana Freedom, curated by writer, filmmaker, and art historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim. The Ghanaian pavilion’s lineup includes John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The Biennale’s main exhibition, May You Live In Interesting Times, also presents Artist-in-Residence alumnae Julie Mehretu and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, as well as Alex Da Corte, Stan Douglas, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Zanele Muholi, Otobong Nkanga, Tavares Strachan, Henry Taylor, and more!
Plumb Line places contemporary artists in conversation with Charles White’s influential portrayals of black subjects, life, and history.
Plumb Line places contemporary artists in conversation with Charles White’s influential portrayals of black subjects, life, and history. The exhibition invites consideration of White’s legacy as an artistic plumb line building black artistic opportunity toward new possibilities, and positions artists as architects of change. Studio Museum artist in residence (2014–15) Sadie Barnette, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Diedrick Brackens, Greg Breda, and more will expand upon White’s studies of blackness in individual and collective ways.
Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze
February 2–August 18, 2019
Denver Art Museum
Returning the Gaze is Jordan Casteel’s first solo museum show. Denver-born and a Studio Museum artist in residence (2015–16), Casteel presents nearly thirty larger-than-life paintings made in the last five years, depicting her immediate community. An accompanying 150-page catalogue features a lead essay by Denver Art Museum curator Rebecca R. Hart and new scholarship addressing portraiture, brotherhood, visibility, and place by scholars Isolde Brielmaier and Greg Tate.
Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection
January 29–May 19, 2019
Smart Museum of Art
Solidary & Solitary explores the political significance of abstraction from the 1940s to the present. The exhibition recognizes black artists who have historically pushed abstraction beyond the status of a stylistic preference to question socially dictated representation, as well as artists who have resisted the pressure to create positive imagery. Drawn from the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, Solidary & Solitary includes Kevin Beasley, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Sam Gilliam. From the Smart Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Nina Chanel Abney
January 17, 2019–March 15, 2020
Institute of Contemporary Art
Chicago-born Nina Chanel Abney’s mural is on view at the ICA Boston’s Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall. Abney’s colorful, animated work grapples with tensions of racial and social inequality in the digital sphere. Inspired by hip-hop and celebrity culture, as well as magazines, Abney’s satirical commentary on race, consumerism, and politics foregrounds profound social issues.
In his first New York solo exhibition, Studio Museum artist in residence (2014–15) Eric N. Mack creates dynamic, movement-oriented work using multi-textured and handstained textiles, pegboard, photographs, and magazine clippings. Mack drapes, elevates, and fastens his paintings, constructing an intimate space that reflects the rich visual experience of the everyday. Viewers move between and under the work, thereby connecting their bodies with the artwork. Tying in fashion and music, Mack cultivates a multisensory environment for visitors to explore.