Shift Projects | Perspectives | Directions
Mar 29, 2012 - May 27, 2012
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  • Jennie C. Jones
    Song Containers, 2011
    Hand brushed aluminum to scale
    Two LP record sleeves; two cassette liner notes; two 45 LP sleeves; two 8-track sleeves
    Courtesy the artist

  • Nayland Blake
    Bunny Group, The Grind, 1996-97
    Graphite and colored pencil on paper
    Seven sheets, each: 12 x 9 inches
    Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery


  • Lorraine O’Grady
    Sisters I (from Miscegenated Family Album), 1994
    Cibachrome diptych, 20 x 16 each
    Gift of the Peg Alston Collection  10.19a 

  • John Outterbridge
    Untitled (installation view), 2012
    Photo: Adam Reich

  • Jacolby Satterwhite
    Country Ball 1989—2012 (still), 2012
    HD digital video and 3-D animation
    Courtesy the artist

  • Nina Chanel Abney
    First & Last, 2012
    Gouache on paper
    Courtesy the artist
    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • John Bankston
    The Fabulists Garden #2, 2004
    Watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil on paper, 29 x 41 inches
    Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Washington and a gift from E.T. and Audlyn Higgins Williams

Organized as a group of autonomous installations, Shift presents work in thematic groupings, series of works by individual artists and focused looks at single works of art. Drawn from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection as well as special loans, the exhibition provides contemporary reflections on ongoing artistic ideas, themes and visions related to our mission.

Shift includes focused presentations of work by Nayland Blake, Jennie C. Jones, Lorraine O’Grady, John Outterbridge and Jacolby Satterwhite, as well as a new iteration of The Bearden Project and Highlights from the Permanent Collection. Though each presentation in Shift is distinct, together they compose an exhibition that explores movement, time and medium:

Nayland Blake: The Grind depicts variations—alternately cartoonish, childlike, violent and mischievous—on the familiar image of the bunny rabbit to inspire dialogue around loaded topics such as sexuality and race.

Objects features recent work by Jennie C. Jones, who draws on the history of Minimalism and avant-garde post-war black music, transforming the material culture of musical production into quietly poetic art objects.

Sisters presents a selection of diptychs, recently acquired by the Museum, from Lorraine O’Grady’s 1994 photo-installation Miscegenated Family Album.

The Rag Factory brings to the Museum a new version of John Outterbridge’s installation first seen at LAXART as part of the city-wide initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980.

Country Ball 1989–2012 by Jacolby Satterwhite is a multimedia project that uses drawing, dance and 3D animation software to re-envision notions of black motherhood, queer aesthetics and representations of mental illness.

The Bearden Project offers a new iteration of an initiative in which artists were asked to create a work of art inspired by Romare Bearden’s life and legacy. Twenty-six contemporary artists join the forty-seven whose artworks composed the project’s first phase in the Fall/Winter 2011–12 season. (See more about this project at

Highlights from the Permanent Collection brings attention to both recent acquisitions and historic landmarks of the permanent collection that support the Museum’s founding mission to preserve, present and interpret works of art by African-American artists and artists of African descent.

Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions was organized by the curatorial team of Lauren Haynes, Assistant Curator; Naima J. Keith, Assistant Curator and Thomas J. Lax, Exhibition Coordinator and Program Associate.