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New York, NY, October 23, 2019 – Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, announced today that the institution’s temporary programming space Studio Museum 127 will present the exhibition Dozie Kanu: Function, from November 15, 2019, through March 15, 2020. The first solo museum exhibition devoted to the work of this rapidly rising artist, Function maps the arc of Kanu’s practice over the last three years through nine works that explore tensions between form and function, African and African-American craft traditions, and art and design. The exhibition presents a selection of works made of found, recycled, and industrial materials. Kanu’s practice challenges us to reexamine perceptions of ‘fine art’ while we reconsider what an art object is and how it can function.
Born in Houston in 1993 to Nigerian immigrant parents, Dozie Kanu studied film production design at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He participated in his first group exhibitions in 2017, received a Miami Design District holiday commission in 2018, and was awarded the Hublot Design Prize the same year. His first solo exhibitions were held in London and Detroit in 2018. He currently lives and works in Azoia de Cima, Portugal.
Thelma Golden said, “While our building project moves forward, the Studio Museum is being nimble in its off-site exhibitions and programming—and nimbleness is exactly what we’ve needed to catch up with the astonishing Dozie Kanu. We’re thrilled to be giving him his first solo museum exhibition when he’s at the cusp of a change in his practice, pushing boundaries in how we think about what artwork can do, and how its use can be challenged.”
Legacy Russell, Associate Curator, Exhibitions, said, “Dozie Kanu’s sculptures challenge viewers to question opinions and institutional definitions of design and art. We are thrilled to present the work of a sculptor who has pushed these boundaries, and look forward to sharing this exceptional artist’s work with the community.”
Dozie Kanu: Function is organized by Legacy Russell, Associate Curator, Exhibitions, with Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions. Studio Museum 127, located at 429 West 127th Street between Amsterdam and Convent Avenues, is the Museum’s temporary programming space while it constructs its new building, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson.
Additional Fall 2019 Highlights
Lea K. Green Artist Talk: Dawoud Bey & Thelma Golden
December 12, 2019, 6:30–8:30 pm
The Forum at Columbia University
601 West 126th Street
Honoring the legacy and commitment to the arts and public programming of Lea K. Green, former Director of Special Projects at the Studio Museum who passed away in 2014, the Lea K. Green Memorial Fund was established to support public programs at the Studio Museum, including the Lea K. Green Artist Talk.
The Lea K. Green Artist Talk brings together exceptional artists and cultural luminaries annually for critical dialogues on art and society. Previous honorees for the Lea K. Green Artist Talk include Carrie Mae Weems (2016), Jordan Casteel (2017), and Amy Sherald (2018).
This year, the Lea K. Green Memorial Fund will honor photographer and 2017 MacArthur Fellow Dawoud Bey at the fourth annual Lea K. Green Artist Talk on December 12, 2019, at The Forum at Columbia University. The evening's program will feature a conversation between Bey and Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum.
The Lea K. Green Artist Talk is free thanks to the support of donors to the Lea K. Green Memorial Fund. Studio Museum members enjoy early access to tickets. General admission tickets will be available in November 2019.
Harlem Postcards Fall 2019
Through January 19, 2020
Studio Museum 127
429 West 127th Street
On view at Studio Museum 127, Harlem Postcards is an ongoing project that invites contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds to reflect on Harlem as a site of cultural activity, political vitality, visual stimuli, artistic contemplation, and creative production. Representing intimate and dynamic perspectives of Harlem, the images reflect the idiosyncratic visions of contemporary artists from a wide range of backgrounds and locations. Each photograph has been reproduced as a limited-edition Postcard available free to visitors. This season, the featured artists include Alex Harsley, Maia Ruth Lee, Joshua Woods, and Lachell Workman. Harlem Postcards Fall 2019 is organized by Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions.
Projects 110: Michael Armitage
Through January 20, 2020
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
Projects 110: Michael Armitage, the first U.S. solo museum exhibition by Michael Armitage, presents eight paintings that, in the artist’s words, explore “parallel cultural histories.” Armitage puts contemporary visual culture in dialogue with art history and the legacy of modernism as it veers toward— and breaks from—the West. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1984, Armitage travels between that city and London, citing each as core to his creative practice. Alongside a Modernist influence, Armitage draws inspiration from East African artists such as Meek Gichugu, Chelenge, and Jak Katarikawe. The artist celebrates a living lineage of narrative, abstraction, and color, and looks toward the future and past in homage to the rich and complicated history of painting.
Projects 110: Michael Armitage is organized by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, with Legacy Russell, Associate Curator, Exhibitions, as part of a multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1. Building on the institutions’ existing affiliations and shared values, this wide-ranging collaboration encompasses exhibitions and programming at both The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and takes place during the construction of the Studio Museum’s new facility.
Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem
Through December 8, 2019
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan
314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
The Studio Museum in Harlem is partnering with the American Federation of Arts (AFA) to present Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, a major traveling exhibition comprised of more
than one hundred works by nearly eighty artists from the 1920s to the present. The exhibition is now on view at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan after highly regarded installations at the Museum of the African
Diaspora in San Francisco, and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication, of the same title, copublished by the American Federation of Arts and Rizzoli Electa. The richly illustrated volume includes essays by Connie H. Choi and Kellie Jones; entries by a range of writers, curators, and scholars (among them Lauren Haynes, Ashley James, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Larry Ossei-Mensah, and Hallie Ringle) who contextualize the works and provide detailed commentary; and a conversation among Choi, Jones, and Thelma Golden that draws out themes and the challenges of collecting and exhibiting modern and contemporary art by artists of African descent.
About The Studio Museum in Harlem
Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. The first building created expressly for the institution’s program, it will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.
While the Studio Museum is currently closed for construction, the Museum has opened Studio Museum 127, a temporary programming space at 429 West 127th Street, and is working to deepen its roots in its neighborhood through inHarlem, a dynamic set of collaborative initiatives. The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions thought-provoking conversations and engaging art-making workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem and beyond.
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Supporters inHarlem is made possible thanks to Citi; the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust; and The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Citi is the exclusive sponsor of Harlem Postcards. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Council; and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.