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The Studio Museum in Harlem Presents Excerpt

An exhibition of text-based works organized by Adeze Wilford, inaugural Studio Museum / MoMA Curatorial Fellow

NEW YORK, NY, January 11, 2017 — Exploring how artists challenge conventional histories by manipulating the principal medium through which received ideas are conveyed—printed texts—The Studio Museum in Harlem will present the exhibition Excerpt, opening January 26, 2017. Including artists’ books, photographs, prints, works on paper and multimedia pieces by fifteen artists, selected primarily from the Studio Museum’s unparalleled collection, Excerpt is organized by Adeze Wilford, one of four participants in the inaugural fellowship collaboration of The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art.

“By physically breaking down the medium of the published text and blurring the lines between written word and visual landscape, the artists in Excerpt confront dominant discourses, make spaces for alternative voices and create fuller narratives,” said Wilford, inaugural Studio Museum / MoMA Curatorial Fellow. “As an emerging curator, the opportunity to add to the art historical discourse in this way is especially meaningful.”

Excerpt includes work by Sadie Barnette, Bethany Collins, Lalla Essaydi, Krista Franklin, Charles Gaines, Ellen Gallagher, Juliana Huxtable, Samuel Levi Jones, Glenn Ligon, Meleko Mokgosi, Martin Puryear, Robert Rauschenberg, Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons and Kara Walker. Many of the artists have deep ties to the Studio Museum, whether as alumni of the Artist-in-Residence program (Barnette, Collins, Mokgosi and Xaviera Simmons), winners of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (Jones, Ligon and Gary Simmons), or past participants in exhibitions, programs and publications.

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, said, “As the first exhibition organized at the Studio Museum by a participant in this groundbreaking fellowship program, Excerpt both highlights artists who have dared to rewrite their stories for themselves and brings to light the unique perspective of a member of the next generation of museum professionals—a diverse group who will add to and rewrite our intuitional stories in the years to come.”

The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art initiated their collaboration in 2015 to develop a talent pipeline for the two institutions—and the field at large—offering diverse emerging professionals insight into the daily workings of museums through hands-on work experience under the direction of seasoned museum professionals coupled with workshops, public programs, professional development and contributions to academic discourse. Fellows are selected through a competitive process from among candidates who have earned a baccalaureate or graduate-level degree in an appropriate field, are of culturally diverse backgrounds and have a demonstrated knowledge of the contemporary art world. Fellows make a two-year commitment to the program, spending one year at each of the museums in either a Curatorial or Public Programs capacity.

During 2016, Adeze Wilford and Alex Gonzalez worked, respectively, in the Studio Museum’s Curatorial and Public Programs & Community Engagement departments. Wilford, in addition to organizing Excerpt, curated Harlem Postcards Fall/Winter 2016–17; co-curated Color in Shadow: Expanding the Walls 2016; worked on the highly-regarded Alma Thomas exhibition and publication, as well as research and writing for Ebony G. Patterson: ...when they grow up.... and Richard Hunt: Framed and Extended. Gonzalez, meanwhile, contributed to a number of public programs, collaborating with Visual AIDS, Triple Canopy and BOMB magazine; facilitated lectures, site visits, and thematic residencies in conjunction with the Museum’s inaugural Harlem Semester with Barnard College; and worked on the second annual Artist-in-Residence collaboration with WNYC.

At the same time, Dessane Cassell spent her fellowship year in the Department of Film and Henry Murphy in the Education Department at The Museum of Modern Art. Cassell’s work included contributing to preparations for the exhibition Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983, opening October 2017; and co-organizing Making Faces: Images of Exploitation and Empowerment in Cinema; working on publications including a Bert Williams book and blu-ray project; and organizing a Modern Monday event with Filmmaker Haile Gerima. Murphy’s contributions include organizing two artist-led workshops and four seminars with the Adult and Academic Programs groups, including the data visualization workshop Draw Your Visit with Data with information designer Giorgia Lupi; poetry workshops in conjunction with the Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective exhibition; and the summer 2016 Agora conversation series on the topic “The Future.” Together, Cassell and Murphy participated in the Museum’s Africa Initiative meetings and children’s book publishing meetings with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The four Fellows have participated in a number of professional development opportunities inside and out of the museums, including meetings and conversations with art world leaders Donna De Salvo, Thelma Golden, Kathy Halbreich, Glenn Lowry, Frances Morris, Anne Pasternak and Darren Walker, as well as artist Adam Pendleton. In January 2017, Wilford and Gonzalez rotate to The Museum of Modern Art, where they will work in the Department of Film and the Department of Education in the Adult and Academic Programs group while Cassell and Murphy take up new roles in the Studio Museum’s Curatorial and Public Programs & Community Engagement departments.

About The Studio Museum in Harlem

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 outstanding artists of African descent. Now approaching its 50th anniversary, the Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home at its current location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street, designed by internationally renowned architect David Adjaye as the first building created expressly for the institution’s program. The new building 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.

The Artist-in-Residence program was one of the institution’s founding initiatives and is the reason why “Studio” is in the Museum’s name. The program has supported more than one hundred emerging artists of African or Latino descent, many of whom who have gone on to highly regarded careers. Alumni include Chakaia Booker, David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley.

The collection includes more than two thousand paintings, sculptures, works on paper, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations dating from the nineteenth century to the present. Artists represented include Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Chris Ofili, Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker and Hale Woodruff, as well as many former artists-in-residence. The Studio Museum is the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the renowned chronicler of the Harlem community from 1906 to 1983.

The Studio Museum’s exhibitions expand the personal, public and academic understanding of modern and contemporary work by artists of African descent. A wide variety of on- and off-site programs brings art alive for audiences of all ages—from toddlers to seniors—while serving as a bridge between artists of African descent and a broad and diverse public. A leader in scholarship about artists of African descent, the Studio Museum publishes Studio magazine twice a year and creates award-winning books, exhibition catalogues and brochures.


Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem are made possible thanks to support from the following government agencies: The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Council.

Additional exhibition support is generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Hours and Admission

The Studio Museum is open Thursday and Friday, noon–9pm; Saturday, 10am–6pm; and Sunday, noon–6pm. The museum is closed to the public but available for school and group tours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Museum admission is by suggested donation: $7 for adults, $3 for students (with valid ID) and seniors. Free for children 12 and under. Sundays are free at the Studio Museum, thanks to generous support from Target. For more information visit

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