Concealed: Selections from the Permanent Collection includes works by modern and contemporary artists that address masking as art and performance. “Masking” is broadly defined in art history as the presence of one or more fully costumed spirits, ancestors or other characters, and includes the key elements of disguise, concealment and embodiment or transformation. Masking and masquerades are practiced globally and are particularly associated with African cultures. Although the works differ in size, media and approach to masking, each incorporates concealment and evokes masking practices to access African-American or African identity. Artists in this exhibition reference extant rituals, create new practices or incorporate traditional rituals, such as embodiment, into their work.
Concealed: Selections from the Permanent Collection provides an opportunity to reflect on the art for which the Museum is proud to care and prompts discussions about the relationships between ideas made in the current moment and in the past. The collection contains almost two thousand works of art, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance. It traces the evolution of the Museum from its inception in 1968 through the growth of the collection, as well as the expansion of the exhibition and Artist-in-Residence programs, from which many works in the collection originate. Today, the Studio Museum continues to build the collection through gifts and the stewardship of its Acquisition Committee.
Concealed: Selections from the Permanent Collection is organized by Hallie Ringle, Senior Curatorial Assistant.