A Constellation
Nov 12, 2015 - Mar 6, 2016
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  • Jack Whitten

    Psychic Intersection, 1979–80

    Acrylic on canvas

    42 × 42 × 1 1/2 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem, Gift of Ruth Bocour in memorium of Leonard Bocour

    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • Tony Lewis

    Make His Mouth Bigger, Angrier, 2015

    Graphite powder and correction tape on paper

    2 3/4 × 2 3/8 in.

    Courtesy Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • Elizabeth Catlett

    Mother and Child, 1993


    67 1/2 × 16 1/2 × 15 1/2 in.

    Museum Purchase

  • Billie Zangewa
    Mother and Child, 2015
    Silk tapestry
    Approximately 51 × 54 in.
    Courtesy Afronova, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Photo: Courtesy the artist

  • Betye Saar

    Window of Ancient Sirens, 1979

    Assemblage 14 3/4 × 24 3/4 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem, Gift of Wynn and Sally Kramarsky, New York

    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • Tschabalala Self
    Bodega Run, 2015
    Oil, pigment and flasche on canvas
    44 × 30 in.
    Courtesy the artist and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York

A Constellation traces connections among twenty-six artists of African descent: eight who emerged in the mid- to late twentieth century, and who are represented in the exhibition by works from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection, and eighteen younger artists whose works are being shown at the Studio Museum for the first time. The works in the Museum’s collection serve as material and conceptual anchors exploring themes of the figure, formal abstraction, economy, African diasporic history and materiality. The newer works expand on these themes and prompt an intergenerational dialogue in visual space. The artists in the exhibition embrace a broad range of conceptual approaches. Some employ making as a form of politics, others explore how race and cultural production affect aesthetics, while still others combine these methods or create their own. Together the works function as a “constellation,” both as a metaphor for stars that form a pattern, and as a representation of a gathering of dynamic, kindred artists. As suggested by the title, the connections drawn here present just one possible combination among an infinite variety of configurations.

Artists in A Constellation:
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Elizabeth Catlett
Torkwase Dyson
Melvin Edwards
Nona Faustine
Aaron Fowler
David Hammons
Ayana V. Jackson
Tony Lewis
Al Loving
Hugo McCloud
Troy Michie
Sondra Perry
Julia Phillips
Adrian Piper
Faith Ringgold
Andy Robert
Andrew Ross
Cameron Rowland
Betye Saar
Tschabalala Self
Torey Thornton
Jack Whitten
Kandis Williams
Billie Zangewa

A Constellation is organized by Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator.

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