Organized as a group of autonomous installations, Shift presents work in thematic groupings, series of works by individual artists and focused looks at single works of art. Drawn from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection as well as special loans, the exhibition provides contemporary reflections on ongoing artistic ideas, themes and visions related to our mission.
Shift includes focused presentations of work by Nayland Blake, Jennie C. Jones, Lorraine O’Grady, John Outterbridge and Jacolby Satterwhite, as well as a new iteration of The Bearden Project and Highlights from the Permanent Collection. Though each presentation in Shift is distinct, together they compose an exhibition that explores movement, time and medium:
• Nayland Blake: The Grind depicts variations—alternately cartoonish, childlike, violent and mischievous—on the familiar image of the bunny rabbit to inspire dialogue around loaded topics such as sexuality and race.
• Objects features recent work by Jennie C. Jones, who draws on the history of Minimalism and avant-garde post-war black music, transforming the material culture of musical production into quietly poetic art objects.
• Sisters presents a selection of diptychs, recently acquired by the Museum, from Lorraine O’Grady’s 1994 photo-installation Miscegenated Family Album.
• Country Ball 1989–2012 by Jacolby Satterwhite is a multimedia project that uses drawing, dance and 3D animation software to re-envision notions of black motherhood, queer aesthetics and representations of mental illness.
• The Bearden Project offers a new iteration of an initiative in which artists were asked to create a work of art inspired by Romare Bearden’s life and legacy. Twenty-six contemporary artists join the forty-seven whose artworks composed the project’s first phase in the Fall/Winter 2011–12 season. (See more about this project at thebeardenproject.studiomuseum.org)
• Highlights from the Permanent Collection brings attention to both recent acquisitions and historic landmarks of the permanent collection that support the Museum’s founding mission to preserve, present and interpret works of art by African-American artists and artists of African descent.
Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions was organized by the curatorial team of Lauren Haynes, Assistant Curator; Naima J. Keith, Assistant Curator and Thomas J. Lax, Exhibition Coordinator and Program Associate.