Where We Are
On April 28, 2017, Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960 opened. Organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, with assistant curator Jennie Goldstein and curatorial assistant Margaret Kross, the exhibition takes its title from a line in English-American poet W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939.” Auden’s poem, reproduced across one of the gallery walls, was written when German soldiers invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II. It conveys the belief that even in seemingly bleak times, there remains hope for humanity.
There is no doubt that Kerry James Marshall, a 1985–86 Studio Museum artist in residence, has made a name for himself in the contemporary art world as an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African-American experience via his paintings, drawings, sculptural installations and photography. This season, the largest museum retrospective of his works to date will be the cornerstone of the season at the Met Breuer.
Mastry is a survey of almost eighty of Marshall’s works made over the last thirty-five years, in which he explores conceptions of blackness, and critiques western art history and its exclusion of people of color in canonical painting forms such as historical tableau, landscape and portraiture.
Love, The Sinner
“The violence associated with [public] art is inseparable from its publicness, especially its exploitation of and by the apparatus of publicity, reproduction, and commercial distribution. The […] obtrusive theatricality of these images hold up a mirror to the nature of the commodified image.” —W. J. T. Mitchell, "The Violence of Public Art: Do The Right Thing"
A Freewheeling Exploration of Artistic Practice
On June 19, Making and Unmaking opened at the Camden Arts Centre in London. Curated by Nigerian-born designer Duro Olowu, the exhibition features works by more than seventy artists, including Wangechi Mutu, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Stanley Whitney, Rodney McMillian, Eric Mack, Kehinde Wiley and Lorna Simpson. While the artists in the show create in a wide array of media—including textile, sculpture and photography—Olowu connects their work through thematic and narrative elements. Spanning two centuries and coming from countries around the globe, the works chosen by Olowu represent a diversity of approaches to timeless issues such as identity, self-adornment and the body.
Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now connects the vibrant legacy of jazz and experimental music of the 1960s—particularly within the African-American arts scene on the South Side of Chicago—to its influence on contemporary culture. The Freedom Principle combines historic materials with contemporary artistic responses to the rich heritage of the 1960s black avant-garde, which created a distinctive new language that blurred the boundaries between art, music and design.
50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair
It is always interesting to see the unplanned through lines that appear between exhibitions at different institutions. Just as we at the Studio Museum prepare to close Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum has opened another exhibition centered around the role of the Johnson Publishing Company in defining concepts of beauty, style and empowerment for African Americans.
Gulu Real Art Studio: Martina Bacigalupo
“There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face...” Macbeth, William Shakespeare
What constitutes a portrait when the face of the subject is removed from the composition? A critical mass of 73 photographs, the Gulu Real Art Studio installation, recently on view at The Walther Collection Project Space in Chelsea, presented such portraits for contemplation. The images included in the exhibition were found materials salvaged from the trash behind a studio in Gulu, a town in northern Uganda, each portrait had the face cut out for use on official documents. After gaining permission, Italian photojournalist Martina Bacigalupo, who happened to be at the studio for her own portrait, was compelled to begin collecting the discarded photographs.
Curatorial Intern Margo Cohen Ristorucci checks out Jacolby Satterwhite's latest project, Grey Lines
Over the past two months, Jacolby Satterwhite has transformed Recess Activities’s Soho space into an interactive performance, inviting passersby to act out his mother Patricia Satterwhite’s schematic drawings for Grey Lines—the newest work in his series, The Matriarch’s Rhapsody (2012). Recess’s primary program, Session, grants artists funding and access to its Soho and Red Hook locations to use as studios, exhibition venues or hybridized spaces of artistic experimentation. Over the course of his Session (August 17–October 12, 2013), Satterwhite created a 3D animated video incorporating drawing, CG animation and improvised or mediated performance.
Communications Assistant Kimberly Drew on her visit to Rashaad Newsome’s solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art
I really wish I had heeded everyone's warnings when I embarked on my vacation to New Orleans. Friends said, "You'll love it there" and "Prepare for the best time of your life!" No one said, "Kim, prepare yourself for depression of massive proportions as your board your plane back to JFK..."
A week before my flight, I drafted my itinerary - I knew I'd have to see Rashaad Newsome's King of Arms at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and eat a po' boy. I didn't want to get too ambitious heading to a new city without a plan for transportation. My primary goal was taking it easy in the “Big Easy”.