Regarding the Figure
Apr 20, 2017 - Aug 6, 2017
1 of
  • Eldzier Cortor

    The Room, 1949

    Oil on Masonite, 8 1/16 × 10 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Katrina McCormick Barnes  1971.1

    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • Zanele Muholi

    Bona, Charlottesville, 2015

    Gelatin silver print, 35 1/4 × 24 in.

    Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee  2015.26

    Photo: Zalika Azim

  • Barkley L. Hendricks

    Lawdy Mama, 1969

    Oil and gold leaf on canvas, 53 3/4 × 36 1/4 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman  1983.25

    ©Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

  • Geoffrey Holder

    Portrait of a Woman; Essence of Dignity, c. 1980

    Colored pencil on paper, 24 × 30 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Maurice C. and Patricia L. Thompson, Connecticut  2003.12.4

    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • Lorraine O'Grady
    Sisters III (from the “Miscegenated Family Album”), 1980/1994
    Silver dye bleach photographs (Cibachrome), 26 × 37 in.
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Peg Alston  2010.19.3a–b
    Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York ©2017 Lorraine O'Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Regarding the Figure presents works from The Studio Museum in Harlem’s permanent collection that explore the practice of portraiture and figuration as a means of celebrating personal and collective histories, ideas and identities. Ranging in date from the late nineteenth century to the present, and representing some forty artists from Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) to Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983), the works present diverse and at times unexpected methods of figuration, from the traditional (the portrait bust) to the experimental, and show subjects who come from the realms of both the celebrated and the anonymous. More than fifty paintings, drawings, photographs, works on paper and sculptures attest to the power that can come from representing the black body and the responsibilities that may attend these representations.

Regarding the Figure is organized by the curatorial team of Eric Booker, Connie H. Choi, Hallie Ringle and Doris Zhao.