11 Gallery and Museum Shows Across the Country to See in Honor of Black History Month
Several shows open this month featuring work by well-known African American artists.
February 1st marked the start of Black History month, which honors the innumerable contributions that African-Americans have made to American history, society, and culture. In that spirit, check out these 11 shows, in New York City and around the country, featuring the work of prominent African-American artists.
1. “Lorna Simpson: Hypothetical?” at the Fisher Landau Center for Art, Queens
“Hypothetical?”, one of Lorna Simpson’s first forays into sound installation, was first shown at the 1993 Whitney Biennial, and hasn’t been exhibited since Simpson’s 2006–07 traveling retrospective. Consisting of mouthpieces from wind-instruments and recordings of belabored breathing, the piece deals with the limitations of language. The work will be shown with several of Simpson’s “phototext” pieces that question the role of photography in observation and participation.
Location: Fisher Landau Center for Art, 38-27 30th Street, Long Island City, Queens
Date and time: Through August 7. Thursday–Monday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
2. “Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star” at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane, New Orleans
“Waiting on a Prime-Time Star” brings together Mickalene Thomas’s paintings, sculptures, film, and collages, as well as a site-specific installation. Her work continues to challenge simple notions of beauty in the representation of women. She plays with the border between abstraction and representation, and simultaneously creates a new, complex way of defining femininity.
Location: Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane, Woldenberg Art Center Newcomb Circle, New Orleans
Date and time: Through April 9. Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
3. “Deana Lawson, Judy Linn, Paul Mpagi Sepuya” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
This group show brings together work that explores different kinds of human relationships. The work of Deana Lawson takes from traditional portraiture and focuses on people of color. Lawson will be showing works that document her cousin Jasmine, her partner Eric, and their children during the three years that Eric was incarcerated at Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate new York.
Location: Sikkema Jenkins & Co., 530 West 22nd Street, New York, New York
Date and time: Through February 18. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m
4. “Artist Residency: Laboratory For Freedoms” at MoMA PS1, Queens
Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman created the first artist-run PAC (political action committee) in January 2016, called For Freedoms. Through this PAC they’ve used art to claim political space, inviting other artists to collaborate with them on posters, shows, and public meetings across America. Their goal is to create discussions about core democratic values instead of advocating for any specific political party. MoMa PS1 will host them for an artist residency during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
Location: MoMa PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, New York
Price: $10 adult tickets, $5 student and senior tickets, NYC residents and children under 16 are free
Date and time: Through April 29. Thursday–Monday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
5. “Wangechi Mutu: Ndoro Na Miti” at Gladstone Gallery, New York
Wangechi Mutu’s latest body of work re-imagines how we see nature, society, and the body through the recontextualizing of Western and Eastern traditions. “Ndoro Na Miti“ are Gikuyu words for mud and trees, and it’s from the natural environment around her studio that Mutu draws from for these recent works. She sees the earth as a continuation of her own artistic queries into identity and psychic and social struggle.
Location: Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street, New York
Date and time: Through March 25. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
6. “Rashid Johnson: Hail We Now Sing Joy” at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
After the success of his show “Fly Away“ at Hauser & Wirth last year in New York City, Rashid Johnson takes his show to Missouri. His work speaks to identity, African American experience, and Afro-futurism in our current state of political tension and uncertainty.
Location: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri
Date and time: Through May 21. Tuesday–Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday–Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
7. “Circa: 1970” at the Studio Museum Harlem, New York
The Studio Museum Harlem has brought out work from its collection that reflects the socio-political, cultural, and historical situation in America between 1970 and 1979. The 1970s was a pivotal decade in black culture and history, and the show features artists such as Romare Bearden, Benny Andrews, David Hammons, Ed Clark, and many more.
Location: Studio Museum Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, New York, New York
Price: $7 adult tickets, $3 student and senior tickets, members and children under 12 are free
Date and time: Through March 5. Thursday–Friday, 12 p.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
8. “Collection Spotlight: Morton Broffman” at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum has brought out four works by Morton Broffman in honor of Black History month. Broffman was one of many photojournalists that followed the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights in the spring of 1965. The Selma to Montgomery march was the largest civil rights demonstration in Alabama, and Broffman photographed the community to tell their story with sensitivity and insight.
Location: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York
Date and time: Ongoing. Wednesday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
9. “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” at the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
Following the show’s opening at the Brooklyn Museum in spring of 2015, Kehinde Wiley’s survey exhibition continues to tour the country. Wiley’s work draws attention to the absence of African Americans in historical and cultural legacies. The artist takes the portraits of the old masters and replaces the usual members of the European nobility with contemporary black subjects.
Location: Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe Street, Toledo, Ohio
Date and time: Through May 14. Tuesday–Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday–Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
10. “Nick Cave: Until” at MASS MoCA
Nick Cave has created his largest immersive installation yet, using beads, crystals, chandeliers, and other found objects. Cave addresses gun violence, race relations, and gender politics in his sparkling space, full of chandeliers, lawn jockeys, and images of guns, bullets, and targets. Cave has also invited dancers, musicians, poets, and composers to participate in programming that includes panel discussions and other modes of public engagement.
Location: MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Massachusetts
Price: $18 adults, $16 seniors and veterans, $12 students, $8 children 6–16, and free for children 5 and under
Date and time: Through August. Wednesday–Monday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
11. “Yinka Shonibare MBE: Prejudice at Home – A Parlour, a Library, and a Room” at James Cohan Gallery
Yinka Shonibare’s sixth exhibition at James Cohan, investigating collective and individual identity throughout history, will feature photographs and three installations. Most notably, the installation The British Library focuses on the contributions that immigrants have had on British society and culture. The show is an ever-urgent examination of power, prejudice, and otherness.
Location: James Cohan Gallery, 533 W 26th Street, New York, New York
Date and time: February 17–March 18. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
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