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MOOD: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2018–19

New York, NY, May 22, 2019—As part of a multi-year partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1, the Studio Museum’s annual Artist-in-Residence exhibition, MOOD, will be on view at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City from June 9–September 8, 2019. MOOD is the inaugural exhibition of this partnership, featuring the work of the Studio Museum’s 2018-19 residents Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984, Lexington, KY), Tschabalala Self (b. 1990, New York, NY) , and Sable Elyse Smith (b. 1986, Los Angeles, CA). The exhibition is presented within the three museums’ wide-ranging collaboration while The Studio Museum in Harlem constructs a new building on the site of their longtime home on West 125th Street.

An immersive four-room exhibition, MOOD explores site, place, and time as it relates to American identity and popular culture by resituating the often trending social media hashtag (#mood), which describes moments both profound and banal. MOOD maps out each artist’s psychic landscape, presenting distinct snapshots that travel through and beyond the fabric of digital culture and represent a manifestation of each artist’s perception of the present moment in the United States.

Layering video, haunting sculptural forms, found objects, and photography, Allison Janae Hamilton’s immersive installation explores spirituality and mysticism as tied to the American South. A native Floridian, Hamilton calls on the South’s coastal landscape to navigate the fault lines of wildness and civility. Hamilton’s installation disorients with its sinister undertone, speaking to the enduring traumas of racial violence and economic exploitation of the South.

Tschabalala Self’s new series, Street Scenes, pays homage to the energy of the city, from the frenetic visual culture of bodegas to the communal experience of waiting at a bus stop. These large-scale printed, painted, and collage works create a cityscape that brings the vibrancy and energy of Harlem into focus. Growing up nearby and inspired by her return to Harlem through this residency, Self creates fictional figures rooted in daily rhythms and routines in and around the neighborhood.

Sable Elyse Smith’s conceptual sculptures and two-dimensional works interrogate the instability of economy, language, power, and the construct of social history. Smith’s work underscores the banality of violence at an institutional scale, and explores how trauma embeds itself in the everyday. Smith roots this collection of work in the visual vernacular of the prison industrial complex—visitor tables, coloring books made available in correctional facilities, and commissary ramen noodles used as a form of commerce. Smith’s treatment of these ordinary objects raises issues of labor, class, and memory, evoking new associations within the seemingly familiar.

MOOD is organized by Legacy Russell, Associate Curator, Exhibitions, the Studio Museum, and Hallie Ringle, former Assistant Curator at the Studio Museum (now Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art) with Josephine Graf, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.

The exhibition at MoMA PS1 is made possible by generous support from John L. Thomson.

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artist-in-Residence program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Robert Lehman Foundation; the Jerome Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and by endowments established by the Andrea Frank Foundation; the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Trust and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. The first building created expressly for the institution’s program will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.

While the Studio Museum is currently closed for construction, the Museum has opened Studio Museum 127, a temporary programming space located at 429 West 127th Street, and is working to deepen its roots in its neighborhood through inHarlem, a dynamic set of collaborative programs. The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging art-making workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem and beyond.


Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a permanent collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity, and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit. Central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences it serves.


MoMA PS1 is devoted to today’s most experimental, thought-provoking contemporary art. Founded in 1976 as the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, it was the first nonprofit arts center in the United States devoted solely to contemporary art and is recognized as a defining force in the alternative space movement. In 2000 The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center merged, creating the largest platform for contemporary art in the country and one of the largest in the world. Functioning as a living, active meeting place for the general public, MoMA PS1 is a catalyst for ideas, discourses, and new trends in contemporary art.

Press Contacts

The Studio Museum in Harlem: Elizabeth Gwinn, (646) 214-2142 or e[email protected]

MoMA PS1: Molly Kurzius, (718) 392 6447 or m[email protected]

Full Press Release

MOOD | Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2018–19