NEW YORK, NY, November 9, 2017—As The Studio Museum in Harlem approaches its 50th anniversary and the start of construction on its new home, it is proud to announce that Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self, and Sable Elyse Smith will be its 2018 artists in residence. At this historic turning point for the institution, these three become the most recent participants in the signature program that put the “Studio” in the Museum’s name, and take their place in a stellar legacy that includes David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
Works by Hamilton and Smith can currently be seen at the Studio Museum in Fictions, a major exhibition that explores the use of narrative by emerging artists of African descent. Self’s work was recently shown at the Studio Museum in A Constellation (2015–16), an exhibition that traced connections among an intergenerational group of twenty-six artists of African descent.
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum, said, “Our Artist-in-Residence program has been at the heart of this institution’s mission since our founding in 1968. It is the embodiment of our commitment to supporting emerging artists of African descent, and is at the center of our work to bring artists together with the Harlem community. I am thrilled that Allison, Tschabalala, and Sable—three outstanding artists, each of whom has already developed her own distinctive practice—will be with us during our anniversary year, at the beginning of an exciting transition.”
Connections between the artists in residence and the community will be more vital than ever during 2018, when the Studio Museum will close its existing building to begin constructing its new home, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. The Studio Museum will maintain its presence through its inHarlem initiatives, which have already begun to present a variety of exhibitions and programs with partner institutions. During the inHarlem period, the artist-in-residence studios will be located in a street-level space at 429 West 127th Street, which will also serve as the temporary home for the Museum’s curatorial offices. The 2018 residency will begin in early April 2018.
To give the public a better opportunity to enjoy its current exhibition season—the last that will be presented in its existing home—the Studio Museum has extended the closing date to January 15, 2018. Exhibitions on view through January 15 include Fictions, We Go as They, featuring works created at the Studio Museum by 2016–17 artists in residence Autumn Knight, Julia Phillips, and Andy Robert, and Their Own Harlems, organized in honor of the centennial of the birth of Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), with works by some twenty artists who have reflected on Harlem as both actual site and symbolic place. The three-day closing weekend, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, will include special Monday hours, celebratory activities, and performances.
About the 2018 Artists in Residence
Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984, Lexington, Kentucky) is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, photography, video, and taxidermy. Using plant matter, layered imagery, sounds, and animal remains, Hamilton creates immersive spaces that consider the role of the American landscape in concepts of “Americana” and social constructions of space, particularly within the rural South. Hamilton’s work has been shown at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, The Jewish Museum, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Fundación Botín, Santander, and the Istanbul Design Biennial. Hamilton was a 2013–14 fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program and has been awarded residencies at Recess, New York; Fundación Botín, Cantabria, Spain; and the Rush Arts Foundation, New York. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University and her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. She lives and works in New York.
Tschabalala Self (b. 1990, Harlem) makes syncretic use of painting, printmaking, and assemblage to explore ideas surrounding the Black female body. Constructed with a combination of sewn, printed, and painted materials, Self’s exaggerated depictions of bodies traverse a variety of artistic and craft traditions. The physiological and psychological characteristics of her figures also reflect Self’s personal desire to articulate cultural attitudes and realities as they relate to race and gender. She writes, “The fantasies and attitudes surrounding the Black female body are both accepted and rejected within my practice, and through this disorientation, new possibilities arise.” Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Tramway in Glasgow, the New Museum, and Art + Practice, among others. Self received her BA from Bard College and her MFA from Yale University. A 2017 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, she lives and works in New York and New Haven.
Sable Elyse Smith (b. 1986, Los Angeles) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator whose practice considers memory and trauma, working from the archive of her own body to mark the difference between witnessing and watching. “To see,” she writes, “is unbearable.” Her work has been presented at institutions including MoMA PS1, the New Museum, and Recess Assembly. It has also been seen through Artist Television Access in San Francisco and at Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries. Sable Elyse Smith: Ordinary Violence is on view at the Queens Museum through February 18, 2018. Her writing has been published in Radical Teacher, Selfish Magazine, Studio, and Affidavit, and she is currently working on her first book. Smith has received awards from Creative Capital, Fine Arts Work Center, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters. She recently served as a visiting critic at Columbia University and is currently a visiting artist in at Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.