This issue includes covers by artists Kianja Strobert and David Hartt; a conversation between David Hartt, Thelma Golden and Thomas J. Lax about his upcoming Spring 2013 exhibition at Studio Museum; an introduction to our 2012-13 Artists in Residence; a report from dOCUMENTA (13); and commentaries on inspiration from the artists featured in Fore.
Visit the Museum Store now through December 31, 2012 to view the culmination of the 2011 Kwanzaa Community Quilt Project. Members and visitors to the Studio Museum began constructing the quilt December 2011 during Target Free Sunday workshops to celebrate the core Kwanzaa values of Culture, Creativity, and Unity. Interest grew and the project continued until August 2012 under the volunteer leadership of Ife Felix, founding member of the Harlem Girls Quilt Circle. We hope all will enjoy this labor of love and community.
An Antebellum African-American Artist
There are only two weeks left to see a fantastic exhibition here in New York City: Robert S. Duncanson: An Antebellum African-American Artist, on view at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery through December 8.
This past month London was bustling with art openings, projects, and performances, all a part of a phenomenon known as “Frieze.” From October 11–14, Regent’s Park played host to the Frieze art fair, presenting over 170 international contemporary galleries as well as a prestigious program of artist commissions and talks. Now in its tenth edition, Frieze London continues to be one of the art highlights of the year, generating a week filled with not only lucrative transactions, but also creative expression and critical awareness.
Notably, works by many Studio Museum in Harlem artists were prominently featured throughout the fair grounds. Here are some highlights of pieces by artists involved at the Museum, either through being represented in our Permanent Collection or having participated in our acclaimed Artist-in-Residence program. Enjoy!
Due to the recent weather conditions, The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fall/Winter 2012–13 Exhibitions and Projects, including Fore and Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967, will now open on November 11, 2012, instead of November 8, as previously announced. We look forward to updating you soon with more news.
The Museum staff and board send best wishes for the safety and well-being of all our friends, neighbors and colleagues.
For Kura Shomali, an artist living and working in Kinshasa, Congo, L’art est une camisole et je ne sais comment la porte; une peur intérieure de ne pas pouvoir répondre aux peurs collectives. Seul l’art pourra l’apaiser.
"Art is a straight jacket and I do not know how to wear it; an inner fear of not being able to meet the collective fears. Only art can soothe."
Will Rawls in Conversation with Thomas J. Lax
Dancer and choreographer Will Rawls (b. 1978) recently finished performing in British-German artist Tino Sehgal’s (b. 1976) This Variation, in dOCUMENTA (13). Founded in 1955 in the wake of World War II, documenta is an exhibition of international contemporary art occurring every five years in Kassel, Germany. In This Variation, audience-members enter a darkened room in Hugenottenhaus, a disused building in Kassel constructed by migrant workers in the early nineteenth century. A group of contemporary dancers, singers, musicians, physical theater actors and a mime respond with sounds, speech fragments and movement phrases, what Rawls calls a “dramaturgy of events”. The work is made live, as the order, volume, and direction of the dramaturgy are decided by and communicated amongst the dancers in direct response to the audience.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
Harlem is the center of African-American culture. Being a Harlem native, I know this is a neighborhood built on a rich and remarkable history that spans decades. One recent afternoon, I took some time to reflect on this neighborhood's tradition and beauty (all through the lens of my smart phone)! As I stepped outside I was immediately enveloped by the hustle and bustle of 125th Street.
I made my way up to 145th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. and commenced my mini photo tour through Harlem. As I was taking photos, the memories of the Harlem I used to know came flooding back to mind. It finally dawned on me how much Harlem has physically changed!
I realize now more than ever that I should appreciate the things that are familiar all the while accepting changes that are for the better. Feel free to check out some photos from my day in Harlem!
Gordon Parks: 100 Years at the International Center of Photography
In June, I visited the International Center of Photography to view Gordon Parks: 100 Years, an ambitious hundred-year retrospective of Gordon Parks’s photography. The exhibition celebrates the centennial birth of the multitalented photographer and filmmaker. I arrived from the museum’s south side. After a few minutes of searching, I was guided to the gallery’s north side to a massive window display. Behind the display was a 20-by 13-foot mural of Parks’s Emerging Man. Three monitors were placed in front of the image, each shifting through various Parks photographs.
Interview with Benjamin Barson
On Friday, June 22nd, Katrina De Wees, Education Assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem, sat down with Benjamin Barson, Production Manager at Ginny’s Supper Club Red Rooster Harlem, to discuss his most recent project, in collaboration with Arturo O’Farrill’s Grammy Award Winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and El Museo Del Barrio.
Katrina De Wees: Can you start with an introduction of yourself?