Assistant Curator Naima Keith Attends "Made in L.A." Opening
Last week, I swapped coasts to attend the opening of “Made in L.A. 2012,” Los Angeles’s first biennial. “Made in L.A. 2012”—collaboratively organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART—is an exciting survey of contemporary artistic production in L.A., exhibiting new work from sixty emerging and under-recognized artists produced for the biennial. Although many of the participating artists share the same zip code, their work is incredibly diverse spanning all imaginable themes and mediums—imbuing this LA-based exhibition with international relevance. Matching the immensity of the L.A. landmass, the large-scale exhibition is installed in three different locations throughout the city: The Hammer Museum in Westwood, LAXART in Culver City, and the Department of Cultural Affairs Gallery in Barnsdall Park.
at Lumen Gallery, NYC
April 23, 2012 marked Arts & Minds’ first-ever exhibition opening at Lumen Gallery in New York City, celebrating the artwork created by the program’s participants at The Studio Museum in Harlem over the course of the year.
In the Fall of 2011, program participants dove deep into collage, inspired by the Studio Museum's Fall exhibition, The Bearden Project. Watercolors, newspaper, and even natural materials such as eucalyptus and twigs were used to interpret the participant’s own creative responses to various works from The Bearden Project. The evolution of the participants' technique and ability was clearly visible that night, and the framed artworks were proof of how powerful art can be as a therapeutic tool. Meanwhile, the artists behind the artwork glowed with pride.
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last seen in the spring of 2010, Romare Bearden’s The Block (1971) is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in celebration of the centennial of his birthday. On the eve of his first museum retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971, Bearden was seated in writer and close friend Albert Murray’s apartment, as he recorded the view of Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd streets in a series of sketches, which informed the process for the six paneled, 18 foot wide triumph, The Block.
Kehinde Wiley Preview | The Wind Up at The Jewish Museum
One amazing truth about Hip-Hop music is that it has the power to embed itself anywhere in the world and become part of a global urban culture. Drop a beat, enter your language here, and it becomes a vessel, a mirror of whatever you want it to be. Last night at The Jewish Museum, Hip-Hop reflected a beautiful mix of language, religion, art and culture in The Wind Up. Israel and Hip-Hop were all wrapped up in one beautiful package inspired by Kehinde Wiley’s newest exhibition, The World Stage: Israel, at The Jewish Museum.
Beginning Thursday, March 8, Piers 92 and 94 will house the Armory Show, a leading international modern and contemporary art fair. Now in its fourteenth year, the Armory Show 2012 offers a more diverse and comprehensive representation of the global art world than ever before. Unique to this year, the fair will feature 2012 Commission Artist Theaster Gates, while the Amory Focus will highlight contemporary art from the Nordic countries. Gates is an artist and cultural planner whose practice ranges from sculpture to installation and performance to urban intervention. Through the re-purposing of historical objects and contemporary sites, Gates activates the memories and ephemera of our past to generate a provoking yet poetic understanding of cultural moments and spaces today.
It’s Tuesday at The Studio Museum in Harlem. A bustling and vibrant group meets in the Atrium Café, the usual meeting place, filling the air and the moment with smiles. Familiar faces mingle, discuss, and observe before the start of yet another exciting Arts & Minds program. Twice a month, this diverse group of people come together to join in on a conversation—an experience—around a selected piece of artwork in the Museum.
I should also mention that this diverse group is composed of adults suffering with memory disorders and their caregivers—add in a couple of volunteers, staff and a teaching artist and you get Arts & Minds! Arts & Minds is an organization that brings adults with memory disorders and their caregivers together in new experiences of art. Through gallery discussions and hands-on art activities, Arts & Minds opens a window to creativity and well-being.
In Conversation at the Brooklyn Museum
On Thursday, February 16th, I attended an installment of the In Conversation Series hosted by MAD Free at the Brooklyn Museum. It featured an in-depth discussion and forum with Melissa Harris-Perry, professor and MSNBC commentator, and with writer and activist Michaela Angela Davis. The dialogue took cues from Harris-Perry’s new book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, which comments on the persistence of stereotypes and misrecognition that afflict black women. Furthermore, these images aid in creating very material consequences that affect black women’s political and social standing in America.
The following is an excerpt from Ishmael Houston-Jones’s curatorial statement, which appears in the catalogue for PLATFORM 2012: Parallels. Join us on February 2 for our public program The Artist's Voice: Ishmael Houston-Jones in Conversation with Wangechi Mutu and Thomas J. Lax, where you can purchase a copy of the catalogue. More info about Parallels programming, here.