fbpx Jacolby Satterwhite in Conversation | The Studio Museum in Harlem

Jacolby Satterwhite
in Conversation | with Derrick Adams and Tavia Nyong’o

L to R: Derrick Adams, Jacolby Satterwhite,
and Tavia Nyong’o. Courtesy Adams, Satterwhite, and Nyong'o

Feb 3, 2022


Artist-in-Residence, Conversations & Screenings, Watch & Listen 2022

Join 2020–21 artist in residence Jacolby Satterwhite for a roundtable conversation with artist Derrick Adams and scholar/curator Tavia Nyong’o. Satterwhite reconnects with Adams and Nyong’o almost a decade after their first encounters. Adams was Satterwhite’s undergraduate professor at Maryland Institute College of Art and Nyong’o interviewed Satterwhite on the occasion of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2013). The discussion will include topics such as the journey from emerging artist to mid-career artist; “looking back to look forward”; the symbiosis between painting and performance; collaboration; catharsis; archives; material meditations; gaming; and virtual reality.   

This program will be streamed on Zoom and will feature live CART captioning and ASL interpretation.   

Jacolby Satterwhite in Conversation with Derrick Adams and Tavia Nyong’o is presented on the occasion of (Never) As I Was: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2020–21, held at MoMA PS1 while the Studio Museum constructs a new building on the site of its longtime home on West 125th Street.   

Participant Bios:

Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, Columbia, SC) is celebrated for a conceptual practice addressing crucial themes of labor, consumption, carnality, and fantasy through immersive installation, virtual reality, and digital media. He uses a range of software to produce intricately detailed animations and live-action film of real and imagined worlds populated by the avatars of artists and friends. These animations serve as the stage on which the artist synthesizes the multiple disciplines that encompass his practice, namely illustration, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, and writing. Satterwhite draws from an extensive set of references, guided by queer theory, modernism, and video game language to challenge conventions of Western art through a personal and political lens. An equally significant influence is that of his late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, whose ethereal vocals and diagrams for visionary household products serve as the source material within a decidedly complex structure of memory and mythology. 

Derrick Adams (b. 1970, Baltimore, MD) is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance, video, and sound. Adams obtained his BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Columbia University. He is also an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Among other honors, the artist received a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship, and a Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. With his oeuvre, Adams probes how identity and personal narrative intersect with American iconography, art history, urban culture, and the Black experience. The artist explores how individuals are shaped by their physical, societal, and historical environs. With sophisticated formal techniques, Adams investigates the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface—a method that links him to pioneers such as Henri Matisse, Hannah Höch, and Romare Bearden. His current solo exhibition, LOOKS, is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through May 29, 2022. 

Tavia Nyong’o is an author, speaker, and curator. He works at the intersection of critical theory, performance studies, and social justice. The author of two books, The Amalgamation Waltz (2009) and Afro-Fabulations (2018), he is Chair and William Lampson Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Yale University, and Curator of Public Programs at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. 

(Never) As I Was:
Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2020–21

(Never) As I Was marks the third year of the multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1, and features new work by the 2020–21 Artist-in

Jacolby Satterwhite Harmonizes (with the) Material

When one is immersed in Jacolby Satterwhite’s films and installations, a dissolution occurs. The experience stretches one’s memory and prompts a longing for spaces we've been, want to revisit, and

A video roundtable with artists Simone Leigh, Kalup Linzy and Jacolby Satterwhite moderated by Tavia Nyong'o. 


A Family Portrait. Jacolby Satterwhite on rendering his mother's drawings into worlds of their own.

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artist-in-Residence program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Joy of Giving Something; Robert Lehman Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and by endowments established by the Andrea Frank Foundation; the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Trust; and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Digital programming is made possible thanks to support provided by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Frankenthaler Digital Initiative.

Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.