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Studio Visit

Ayana V. Jackson

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  • Does the Brown Paper Bag Test ... ... Really Exist?/ Will my Father be Proud? (from the "Archival Impulse" series), 2013

     

    Courtesy the artist and Gallery MOMO

  • Don't Hide the Blade/ How do you think their women dress? (from the "Archival Impulse" series), 2013

     

    Courtesy the artist and Gallery MOMO

  • Death (from the "Poverty Pornography" series), 2011

     

    Courtesy the artist and Gallery MOMO

  • Dis Ease (from the "Poverty Pornography" series), 2011

     

    Courtesy the artist and Gallery MOMO

  • Dictatorship (from the "Poverty Pornography" series), 2012

     

    Courtesy the artist and Gallery MOMO

  • On Fire (video still), 2014

     

    Courtesy Dean Hutton in collaboration with Dorky Park

  • The Dorky Park On Fire Cast, 2014

     

    Courtesy Dean Hutton in collaboration with Dorky Park

  • The Dorky Park On Fire Cast, 2014

     

    Courtesy Dean Hutton in collaboration with Dorky Park

Per the gracious introduction of Thomas Lax, I had the opportunity to meet and visit with Ayana V. Jackson some time ago. We first met in Berlin, where Ayana graciously guided me around the city. Jackson, a US American and graduate of Spelman College, splits her time between Johannesburg, New York and Paris, where we followed up a few weeks later to discuss her work and artistic practice. Her photography and filmmaking, while simultaneously alluring and shocking, serve a higher conceptual function: a bitingly intelligent elucidation of the power of the image, the scars of history and the internalized architectures of difference built thereof.  Confronting what she terms the “original sin of images,” Jackson manipulates her own body as subject, creating a running critique of socialized perceptions of race, gender and class and their intersections. 

Studio Visit

Alexis Peskine

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  • Inside Alexis Peskine's studio
    Photo: Martha Scott Burton

  • Inside Alexis Peskine's studio
    Photo: Martha Scott Burton

  • Alexis Peskine
    Désintégration, 2011
    Courtesy the artist

  • Alexis Peskine
    Liberty Leading, Equality Leaving, 2011
    Courtesy the artist

Artist Alexis Peskine (b. 1979) focuses on questions of national and racial identity, the black body experience, and universal emotions. Peskine moved to the United States to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2003 and a Master’s degree in Digital Art in 2004.  He then enrolled in Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) on a Fulbright Scholarship (the first foreign student to be awarded this honor), where he completed his MFA. His influences are wide-ranging, including Kara Walker, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Banksy, as is his approach to art-making and his chosen materials.

Breath and Body

Questions for performance artist Dave McKenzie

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  • Dave McKenzie
    Dave, 2010
    Image courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

  • Dave McKenzie
    Dave, 2010
    Image courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

  • Thomas Lax, Studio Museum Assistant Curator and organizer of Darker than the Moon, Smaller than the Sun, diagrams highlights of McKenzie's history as a performance artist

  • Dave McKenzie
    We Shall Overcome (video still), 2004
    Courtesy the artist

On February 20 and 21, 2014, Dave McKenzie performs his retrospective Darker than the Moon, Smaller than the Sun. The performance is part of the live programs series organized on the occasion of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently on view through March 9, 2014 at the Studio Museum.

Terry Adkins

1953–2014

  • Terry Adkins performing at the Studio Museum
    November 13, 2013
    Photo: Will Ragozzino

The staff and trustees of The Studio Museum in Harlem mourn the tragic loss of a great artist, musician, teacher and performer. Terry Adkins was one of the most innovative artists of his generation, combining a musical and lyrical approach to visual art with a deep investment in the individuals who shaped American history and a fascination with material culture. The Studio Museum is proud to have had a long association with him dating back to his participation in the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program in 1982–83. His legacy will live on not only through his incredible body of work, but also through the lives and work of the many students he mentored during his tenure as a beloved Fine Arts professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marvelous Dandies

Allison Janae Hamilton presents her foppish subjects in lush landscapes

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  • In “Kingdom of the Marvelous,” Hamilton references thematic elements of traditional fashion portraiture to challenge how contemporary fashion photography has characterized the black male body as a symbol of the urban street.

  • “Kingdom” dislocates bodies from predetermined landscapes, relocating them in worlds where anything is possible and characters delight in spaces that are often inaccessible to them in real life.

  • Hamilton draws from her own childhood memories—some tangible, others fantastical—as a basis for her whimsical backdrops and thematic elements. Signifiers such as taxidermy, lace, flowers, veils, tambourines, church fans and other ornaments animate these memories.

When I look at the new work of Harlem-based photographer Allison Hamilton, a series entitled "Kingdom of the Marvelous," counterintuitively I think about the folkloric tale of John Henry, the legendary steel driver who tried to prove his worth by successfully outpacing an industrial machine. Perhaps not the work itself makes me think of the story, but something she said to me during a recent studio visit: “I wanted to place black men in a setting other than the usual urban landscape where they always seem to be at odds, even struggling against it.” Like the themes in the story, Hamilton is working with the tension between masculinity and its relationship to the land the black body versus its environs.

Draped Down

Curatorial Fellow Monique Long on Fashion in Harlem and Art

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  • Curatorial Fellow Monique Long

  • Elan Ferguson, Studio Museum Family Programs Coordinator, at our Summer 2013 opening
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Style conscious visitors reflecting on the work featured in Robert Pruitt: Women.
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Colorful prints were ubiquitous at our Summer 2013 opening.
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Menswear is in the midst of a renaissance at the moment. Three gentlemen enjoy the work of Robert Pruitt in the main galleries.
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Artist Jacolby Satterwhite
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Singer Solange Knowles snaps a photo in VideoStudio: Long Takes
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • White is a summer staple.
    Photo: Scott Rudd

  • Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of Cool (installation view)
    The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2008–09
    Photo: Adam Reich

In the glossary that accompanied Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Story in Harlem Slang,” (1942) there are five different terms listed for someone fashionable. Invariably, iconic photographs of Harlemites include those dressed in blindingly fashionable clothes. There’s a rich history and tradition in Harlem that defines the neighborhood not only as the cornerstone of African-American culture but style as well. Visitors and residents alike assimilate to the expectation that you must express yourself fashionably here, demonstrated beautifully by the attendees at our summer opening in July and the monumental drawings by Rob Pruitt of fashionable women that hang in the main gallery.

Points of Inspiration

A Day with Lorna Simpson

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  • ETW students experimenting with the mirrored set built by Simpson Photo: Wesley Coram

  • ETW students experimenting with the mirrored set built by Simpson Photo: Gerald Leavell

  • ETW students experimenting with the mirrored set built by Simpson
    Photo: Kelvin Hady

  • Lorna Simpson (center) with ETW students
    Photo: Gerald Leavell

  • Lorna Simpson with ETW students
    Photo: Gerald Leavell

  • The ETW group with program leader Gerald Leavell and Lorna Simpson

On March 30th, artist Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) welcomed the Expanding the Walls (ETW) artists to her Fort Greene, Brooklyn studio for a day of experimentation. As we’re halfway through the 2013 program, the young artists have encountered many points of inspiration generated from countless sources. This particular interaction provided fascinating results that reflected the diverse perspectives of this ETW group.

“…it’s more about [my] experience and the process of making things.”—Lorna Simpson

Teaching and Learning with Valerie Piraino

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  • Valerie Piraino
    By Proxy, 2012
    Courtesy the artist
    Photo: Adam Reich

  • Artist Valerie Piraino

On February 12, 2009-2010 artist-in-residence Valerie Piraino, whose work is currently on view in Fore, discussed her artistic practice and led a hands-on demonstration as part of our Teaching and Learning Workshop series. They are are exhibition-specific workshops and seminars designed for teachers in core curriculum areas that focus on creative methods for using and integrating art in the classroom. Educators left with an experimental technique that connected to Common Core standards in English and Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies as well as a lesson plan and model for their classrooms.

Jennie C. Jones on Soundcheck

Joyce Alexander Wein Prize winner in conversation with John Schaefer

  • Jennie C. Jones
    Soft Gray Tone with Reverberation, 2013
    Acoustic sound absorbing panel and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
    Courtesy the artist

Fore

Caitlin Cherry

Videography and Score by Kevin Brisco