Monday, February 23, 2009

Exhibition Now Open - Printed & Manuscript African Americana

Swann Galleries

Printed & Manuscript
African Americana

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 10:30 AM & 2:30 PM

Lot 78 - A Remarkable Collection
(Slavery & Abolition - Reconstruction) Collection of 20 Autograph
Signatures of the African-American politicians elected to Congress

Estimate $30,000-40,000

Gallery Exhibition Hours for this sale:

10 AM - 4 PM - Saturday, February 21
10 AM - 6 PM - Monday, February 23
10 AM - 6 PM - Tuesday, February 24
10 AM - 6 PM - Wednesday, February 25

Swann Galleries Inc. | 104 East 25th St. | New York | NY | 10010 | 212-254-4710


SAVE THE DATE: El Anatsui-Process and Project

OPENING--El Anatsui: Process and Project

March 25, 2009
7pm - 9pm

BRIC Rotunda Gallery, 33 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY

This spring, the Museum for African Art and BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn will present thirty years of never-before-seen drawings and sketches by the acclaimed sculptor El Anatsui.

The exhibition El Anatsui: Process and Project features Anatsui’s drawings for major sculptures in ceramic and wood, archival photographs of the artist at work in his studio in Nigeria, as well as the artist's sketchbooks, many of which show early designs that presage his famous liquor-bottle top “cloth” sculptures and large scale in situ installations. At the center of the exhibition is the monumental installation Peak Project (1999). Originally shown in the windows of Selfridges & Co., the London department store, Peak Project is composed of numerous freestanding “peaks” made from thousands of glittering tin-can lids.

El Anatsui: Process and Project, curated by MfAA Assistant Curator Lisa Binder, is a preview for El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa, a major retrospective of the artist’s career and an inaugural show for the MfAA’s new building on Museum Mile, set to open in 2010.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beyond the Frame: African American Comic Book Artists

January 24, 2009 – April 26, 2009
Beyond the Frame: African American Comic Book Artists
Temporary Exhibition Gallery
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts

Beyond the Frame: African American Comic Book Artists presents the work of African American artists working in commercial, self-published, and web-based comic book and graphic novel genres. The exhibition will reflect a cross-section of artists, some well established, others emerging and active in new areas of publication, such as Internet-based web comic art.

Beyond the Frame explores the styles and subject matter of artists working in the commercial sector, as well as those whose work emphasizes culturally relevant themes of racial identity, family life, hip-hop culture, and African American history. Organized by the FIA with assistance from veteran comic book industry artist Robert Stull, and John Jennings, Professor of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the exhibition will be presented in coordination with educational and art school programming at the Flint Institute of Arts.

Stacey Robinson
American, 1972
digital print, 2008
Courtesy of the Artist


National Black Fine Arts Show- 13 Turns Out To Be A Lucky Number

Last night, the 13th Annual National Black Fine Art Show (NBFAS) held its Gala Preview to benefit The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The show presents exceptional work by African, African-American and Caribbean artists.

On what was a bone chilling evening, I left Harlem not for the show’s usual destination The Puck Building, (where the show had been held for the last several years) but for 7 West 34th Street which faces The Empire State Building near Herald Square and Macy’s. The building is centrally located in midtown Manhattan and easily accessible from all parts of the city.

This year marks the 13th year of this show and proved to be the best thus far. The show offers original artwork by African, African American and Caribbean artists from every genre. Splashes of ethnic color are splattered on canvases for display; think fiery reds, oranges and yellow to cool greens, blues and grays. Forty exhibitors hailing from the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean displayed works from Edward Bannister, Henry Tanner, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett (who was also present on a nationally televised NAACP Image Awards ceremony last night), Dianne Smith, Danny Simmons, Tafa and many others. Original works from various media including paintings, photography, mixed media, sculpture, and limited edition prints are all for sale to the highest bidder.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Your Calendar....EMNA ZGHAL

Please join us for the opening reception of:
Feb. 19th, 2009
5-7pm on the 15th Floor of Ogilvy New York
Worldwide Plaza 309 West 49th Street

Museum for African Art

Swann Galleries - Tuesday 2/17/09 - African-American Fine Art Auction

African-American Fine Art

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 1:30 PM

Gallery Exhibition Hours for this sale continue:

10 AM - 6 PM - Monday, February 16
10 AM - Noon - Tuesday, February 17
(Auction at 1:30 PM)

Swann Galleries Inc. | 104 East 25th St. | New York | NY | 10010 | 212-254-4710

Click here to view the online sale catalogue.

Click here to purchase the catalogue for this and other fine Swann Galleries auctions. Catalogues may also be purchased at the galleries or by calling 212-254-4710 ext. 0.

Visit Swann Galleries Home Page for gallery schedule and catalogues online.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

CPS Gallery at Black Fine Art Show 2009

Join Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery at the Black Fine Art Show, Feb 13-15, in Booth C2 at 7 West 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building.

Meet our amazingly talented artists that include Aleathia Brown, Carolyn Cole, Diane Davis, Al Johnson, Betty Blayton-Taylor, Emmett Wigglesworth, and Brian "Strong-Wind" Williams.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kalup Linzy "Comedy, Tragedy, Sketches of Me

Thursday, February 12 thru Friday, February 13, 2009
Time: 8 pm

Admission: $10
Curated by Rashida Bumbray

The Kitchen 512 West 19th Street New York, NY 10011 (Between 10th and 11th Avenues on the southside of the street) 212-255-5793 x 11

Museum of African American Music, Art and Culture names Paula Roberts as Executive Director

The $33 million Museum of African American Music, Art & Culture coming to downtown Nashville has named Paula Roberts as executive director.

Plans for the 55,000-square-foot museum along the historic Jefferson Street corridor were unveiled in April. It will pay tribute to the contributions of African Americans in arts and music nationally and internationally.

Roberts is former director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Tennessee State University. She will be responsible for strategic and operational planning, governance, financial managment and overall advancement of the museum as it prepares to begin construction.

“Paula’s leadership and expertise represents a significant step forward ... as we move toward breaking ground,” chairman Kevin Lavender says. “With the museum, we strive to provide an enriching national resource that further solidifies Nashville as one of America’s top historic and cultural centers. We are delighted that Paula will help to lead us toward this result.”

The museum will serve as the nation’s most significant digital repository of African American music.

“I am honored to join the leadership team of this iconic museum,” Roberts says. “The emphasis of music allows the (museum) to stand as a staple in this city’s rich and diverse heritage.”

Roberts was recently named commissioner on the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and serves on the boards of the Salvation Army, Nashville Opera Association and Young Leaders Council.

SOURCE: BizJournals

NMAAH opens 'The Scurlock Studio' Photography Exhibition: Jan. 30-Nov. 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC -Nearly a century’s worth of photographs from the renowned Scurlock Studio form the backbone of a new exhibition designed to celebrate the legacy of a noted family of photographers and to present a vivid portrait of black Washington, D.C., in all its guises—its challenges and its victories, its dignity and its determination. “The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise,” a collaboration between the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, opens Jan. 30 and will be on view through Nov. 15, 2009. It features more than 100 images created by one of the premiere African American studios in the country and one of the longest-running black businesses in Washington.

Among the portraits’ subjects are luminaries such as Marian Anderson, Duke Ellington, Ralph Bunche, Mary McLeod Bethune and Muhammad Ali. Many of the photographs show Washington as the mecca for leaders in African American business, culture and higher education long before New York City’s Harlem. They depict successful businesses such as the Underdown Delicatessen, prominent churches such as the Lincoln Temple, myriad community and leisure events such as a summer outing at Highland Beach in Maryland and sporting events at Howard University’s Griffith Stadium. The images are drawn from the Scurlock Studio Collection, preserved since 1997 at the Archives Center in the American History Museum and will be displayed with cameras and other photographic equipment from the Scurlock Studio.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, making it the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture.The exhibition is the first to be presented in the National Museum of African American History Culture Gallery, which is located in the newly renovated National Museum of American History. For more information, visit or call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).


Ruud van Empel solos at STUX Gallery, Chelsea (NYC)

New York City - STUX Gallery is pleased to present Dutch artist Ruud van Empel’s third solo exhibition at STUX Gallery. Presented alongside the artist’s thoroughly unique photographs, for the first time, Ruud van Empel will further push the reality of his illusions by including cast bronze sculptural renditions of some of his iconic characters, allowing viewers a voyeuristic glimpse into a fully realized 3-dimensional world of new and seemingly improbable settings filled with evocatively harmless childlike characters. On exhibiton through March 7th. 2009.

For further information please contact the gallery at : or visit


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Too Black for B.E.T.-Jayson Scott Musson

Here it is! Episodes I and II of Jayson Scott Musson of Plastic Little’s Too Black for B.E.T. finally collected into a single volume. 36 black and white posters that teem with art magic! It’s as if Musson made a pact with Satan, and Satan, taking a liking to Mr. Musson, gave the artist dark powers which no mortal should possess. Gasp in terror as you descend into a world of perversion, dereliction, depression, apathy of the highest order, chemical addiction, Harry Potter, racism, sexism, whatever it is when you hate the shit out of children, shoegaze music, and the general moral relativism Mr. Musson has used throughout his life to justify acting however the fuck he wants to act because he’s a grown ass man. Somehow art is born out of this combination of self-obsession and an ego so great that it borders on the realm of Tolkien-esque fantasy.

Too Black for B.E.T.: Episodes I and II sports an elegant matte finish that’s so elegant that you’ll need Mr. Belvedere, Jeffery from the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, and Batman’s butler Alfred to each give you a high class hand job (or satisfactory fingerlingus) in order to feel worthy of touching the book. Oh, the book is really funny too. And there’s also stuff about politics in it too. But mostly, Too Black for B.E.T. is just some crazy donkey sex type shit. The best toilet reading passing as art since the Bible! Too Black for B.E.T. can also be purchased at

SOURCE: Jayson Musson


January 23-March 8, 2009

Forging a personal identity gives rise to a unique voice that transcends stereotypical barriers. The works of 20 diverse artists challenge cultural and ethnic prejudices and question issues of religion, sexuality, race, and gender. Ultimately, Decoding Identity heals the dynamic tension between individual and collective identities.

Includes works by: Lorraine Bonner, Ed and Linda Calhoun, Christopher Carter, Lalla Essaydi, John Yoyogi Fortes, Chaz Guest, David Huffman, Clint Imboden, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Annette Lawrence, Kelly Marshall, Wardell Milan, Ramekon O'Arwisters, Adrienne Pao, Jefferson Pinder, Dario Posada, Danny Ramirez, Manuel Rios, Blue Wade, and David Yun.

Museum of the African Diaspora
685 Mission Street (at Third)
San Francisco, California 94105
phone: 415.358.7200
fax: 415.358.7252

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"The Brand New Heavies" minus N'Dea Davenport plus Mickalene Thomas

Collette Blanchard Gallery is pleased to present "The Brand New Heavies", curated by Mickalene Thomas. The exhibition will be on view from January 23 - March 8, 2009 and will include three dynamic contemporary artists innovatively working in fundamental mediums. Lauren Kelley, Deana Lawson, and Jessica Ann Peavy present recent work conveying salient sentiments through means that are at once, sensual, opulent, and psychological.

The works of all three artists offer staged scenes, referencing theater and performance, while incorporating embellished caricatures through collaboration with and/or commentary on their varied subjects. Lauren Kelley's videos present meticulous, comprehensive, fictitious narratives in overwhelming detail. In "Get Bones from 88 Jones", Barbie dolls, an array of plastic sweets, sculpted elements and malleable, inconstant clay form an accelerated narrative satiated with the metaphorical implementation of materials and imagery. Kelley's whimsy informs the happenings in the love life of a librarian with detail similar in degree to the sculpture crafted by Liza Lou. The environments in Kelley's work also resonate with the staged frames in the work of photographer, Deana Lawson. In "Anna" the everyday patterned couch blending with the drapes in the background is disrupted by the sequins adorning and condition of the thin, staid figure. The minimalist palette and compositions of Lawson's work bring to mind paintings by Barkley Hendricks and the videos of Jessica Ann Peavy. Peavy's "A Conversation Piece" also references intimate relationships as "Get Bones from 88 Jones", though in this case the sensual narratives are articulated through tales of food-making and consumption as two videos play simultaneously and transverse from each other. Similar to some work of Chantal Akerman, Peavy's piece incorporates pauses and static frames, giving the viewer an opportunity to contemplate the different ways in which women communicate which each other. One character speaks candidly about food likes and dislikes, while the other vivaciously recalls an anecdote of food preparation, nourishment, intimacy and rejection.

Lauren Kelley received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently participating in the Core Residency Program in Houston. Deana Lawson, who has been included in several exhibitions over the past year, was recently interviewed by Tova Carlin for Time Out New York, and received a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Jessica Ann Peavy graduated with an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Recent recipient of NYSCA, Peavy's work is currently on view at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and will be included in an upcoming show at the Bronx River Arts Center.

This exhibition is Mickalene Thomas's curatorial debut. She graduated with an MFA from Yale University and currently shows with Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, and Susanne Vielmetter Projects in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in various catalogues and reviewed in Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Post, NY Arts, Modern Painters, Essence, Whitewall, Frieze, and Artforum.


Kalup Linzy/The Kitchen-Forthcoming Documentary "Comedy, Tragedy, Sketches of Me"

Kalup Linzy is known for his absurdly humorous drag-performance-based videos in which he repurposes the narrative style of daytime television soaps in order to explore complicated relationships between race, class, gender, sexuality, and popular culture. For these evenings, he debuts a new solo, theatrical work exploring related themes, in which he plays piano, sings, and is accompanied by video projections that feature his ever-expanding cast of riotous characters.

This event, curated by Rashida Bumbray, runs Thursday, February 12 thru Friday, February 13 at 8pm.

Tickets are $10.

For more information, visit The Kitchen and filled your plate up with succulent delights!

SOURCE: The Kitchen

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black Fine Art Show: February 13-15, 2009

The 13th Annual National Black Fine Art Show (NBFAS) will take place February 13-15, with a Gala Preview on the evening of Thursday, February 12 to benefit The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The NBFAS will present exceptional work by African, African-American and Caribbean artists.

This international art fair features a broad array of artwork by black artists. NBFAS offers an opportunity to view and choose from a huge range of work in this undervalued field. Josh Wainwright, founder and producer/manager of the National Black Fine Art Show, commented “The show presents visitors an exceptional opportunity to purchase phenomenal original art from a genre which is experiencing great growth in monetary value, even in this difficult economic time.” From masters such as Edward Bannister, Robert Duncanson, and Henry Tanner to contemporary artists like Carrie Mae Weems, Cheryl Warrick and Danny Simmons, attendees will find a diverse selection for every taste. All artwork will be for sale. (For out of town visitors, check the website for a special rate on hotel accommodations.)

40 exhibitors from around the world will participate, including: Peg Alston Fine Arts, Sragow Gallery, and G.R. N’Namdi Gallery. Harlem’s Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery will also be participating. (For a full list of participating galleries, click here.)

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the preview benefit’s recipient, is a national research library in Harlem devoted to collecting, preserving and providing access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world. From its founding in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance, the Schomburg has amassed vast collections of over 21 million items. It was designated one of The Research Libraries of the New York Public Library in 1972.

Thursday, February 12
Patron Reception & Preview, $150, 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Preview Party, $100, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
To order Preview tickets, click here.

Dates & Hours:
Friday, February 13, noon - 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 14, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 15, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

7 West 34th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York City

Daily Admission $15 (includes show catalog), Students $10 (with valid ID), 2-day pass $25.

February First Target Saturday: Get On The Black List!

Saturday, February 7:
Get On the Black List
FREE admission from 5 to 11 p.m.

at The Brooklyn Museum

5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Music
The Rubin Pavillion, 1st Floor

Listen to San Juan Hill’s “Afro Latin Soul”, a cross Atlantic blend of funk, soul, Latino CaribeƱo, jazz, Brazilian, hip-hop, and house served with sultry lyrics in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Film and Discussion
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor

Aisha Cousins screens and discusses the documentary about her public art project, Diva Dutch, then demonstrates the art of braiding. Afterwards, watch a demonstration of Diva Dutch double dutch. The project explores how culture connects Black women across time and space. Free tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art
Education Division, 1st Floor

Visitors are invited to describe themselves and their loved ones through portraiture and writing. Free timed tickets (300) available at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Dance Conversation
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Acclaimed choreographer and director Bill T. Jones speaks with noted film critic Elvis Mitchell, interviewer of The Black List Project, about his artistic journey as his company celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. The free-flowing conversation will touch on what it’s like to create two works simultaneously: Fela! A New Musical about Nigerian firebrand musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti, creator of Afrobeat, and a multidisciplinary work for his dance company to mark this year’s bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Young Voices Gallery Talk
Meet at the entrance to the Contemporary Art Galleries, 4th Floor

Student Guides give a talk highlighting the works of Black artists in the Museum’s contemporary art collection.

8:00 p.m. African Art Gallery Talk
Meet at the entrance to the Arts of Africa, 1st Floor

Kevin Dumouchelle, Interim Assistant Curator, Africa/Pacific Islands, gives a talk in the Arts of Africa galleries. Free tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m. Talk will also be Sign-Language interpreted.

8:30 p.m. Film
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

See the award-winning film Lackawanna Blues (George Wolfe, 2005, 95 min., PG-13), starring S. Epatha Merkerson and Mos Def, that sets the coming-of-age stories of a woman, a family, and a community to the Blues of the 1960s. Free tickets are available at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

9:00 p.m. Target First Saturdays Book Club
1st Floor

Pamela Newkirk, a professor of journalism at New York University and a co-recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1992, discusses her newly published book, Letters from Black America.

9:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Dance Party
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor

DJs Spinna and Rich Medina make the selections for a James Brown vs. Fela Kuti tribute to two giants of funk music.

Be sure to check the Brooklyn Museums website for more events that evening by clicking here.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End-MET MUSEUM, NYC

Dazzling textile traditions have constituted an important form of aesthetic expression throughout Africa’s history and cultural landscape. Textiles have long been a focal point of the vast continental trading networks that carried material culture and technological innovations across regional centers and linked Africa to the outside world. Leading contemporary artists reflecting on Africa’s distinctive cultural heritage and its relationship to the world at large have drawn upon the imagery of textiles in sculpture, painting, photography, installation art, video, and other media.

This exhibition illustrates the stunningly diverse classical textile genres created by artists in West Africa through some of their earliest documented and finest works. Highlights of the Metropolitan’s own holdings will be presented along with some twenty works that entered The British Museum’s collection by the early twentieth century. Selected works will represent inventive variations on major themes of the influential classical genres. The exhibition will relate these genres to contemporary art forms by affording an appreciation of the cultural context and visual language of these traditions and exploring their synergy and resonance in works by eight living artists.

The publication The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press will accompany this exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fred and Rita Richman, and The Ceil & Michael E. Pulitzer Foundation, Inc.

It was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the British Museum, London.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, New York 10028-0198
Information: 212-535-7710

Deliverance: The Art of Ben Jones 1970-2008

Main Galleries September 18, 2008 – February 21, 2009

This major retrospective of the work of Ben Jones features a complete survey of the artist's work, dating from the mid 1970s through his most recent paintings. "Deliverance" explores various aspects of the artist's body of work, and delves further into its close relationship to religions of the African diaspora. Many of the artist's key works are in the exhibition, including the iconic Black Face and Arm Unit, from 1971 (State Museum, Trenton). Organized by independent curator Ed Spriggs, whose relationship with Mr. Jones dates back to the early 1970s, when he was director at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Ben Jones was exhibiting his work there, this survey is an unprecedented examination of this important American artist's work.

With essays by Edward Spriggs, Kellie Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor of African American, African Diaspora, and Latin American art at Columbia University; and a dialogue with the artist by Alejandro Anreus, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History and Latin American Studies at William Paterson University, this publication promises to be a substantial and scholarly catalogue that will serve as a document of, and create access to, Ben Jones's significant body of work. "Deliverance" is made possible by a lead grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding provided by The Joan Mitchell Foundation, Inc., the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, The Puffin Foundation, Ltd., and other generous individual donors. This program was selected by the New Jersey Council on the Arts as part of the American Masterpieces Series in New Jersey. American Masterpieces is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ben Jones
Black Face & Arm Unit, 1971
Acrylic on life-size plaster casts, 30 pieces, life size (arms/masks)
Collection of the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey

SOURCE: Jersey City Museum

Odili Donald Odita: THIRD SPACE at Institute of Contemporary Art, UPenn

September 5, 2008 - December 6, 2009

Odili Donald Odita's large-scale, abstract wall paintings operate at the intersection of Western modernism and African culture. Borrowing strategies of destabilized perception from Op art—a tradition condemned by formalist criticism—and adding narrative and multicultural inflection, Odita both embraces and critiques the modernist tradition. His vast, animated expanses of fractured, rhythmic planes, equally informed by television test band patterns, African textiles, post-colonial discourse, sensory overload, and digital technology, speak to a contemporary experience of dislocation and decenteredness. This is the 16th commission in ICA's Ramp Project Series.

Third Space, a symphony of irregularly shaped, fractured planes in 115 shades of housepaint, takes full advantage of the Ramp’s soaring, sloping architecture.

Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria; lives Philadelphia and New York) has been developing his rhythmic abstract paintings since 1999, when he was engaged, with critic Olu Oguibe and curator Okwui Enwezor, in bringing African and diasporic art practices to critical attention through the journal NKA.

Born in Nigeria and raised in Ohio, Odili Donald Odita (b. 1966, Enugu, Nigeria; lives Philadelphia and New York) has been developing this body of work for 10 years, at which time he was engaged, along with critic Olu Oguibe and curator Okwui Enwezor, in bringing African and diasporic art practices to critical attention through the publication NKA, Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Odita has had numerous exhibitions around the world, and was included in the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Jack Shaiman Gallery, New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. His work will also be on view this fall at The Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town and this spring at the Center for Contemporary Art in Turin. He is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

This exhibition is organized by Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Stamatina Gregory, and will be accompanied by a brochure publication.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Provocative Visions: Race and Identity—Selections from the Permanent Collection-MET MUSEUM, NYC

"Provocative Visions" features thirteen works by seven contemporary African-American artists: Chakaia Booker, Willie Cole, Glenn Ligon, Whitfield Lovell, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker. The exhibition examines the ways these artists challenge accepted perceptions and assumptions about race, gender, and identity, and interject their own cultural heritage and personal histories into their imagery. It presents them at mid-career with signature images. All of the pieces were acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art within a year or two of their creation, and most are being displayed for the first time in this installation.

The seven artists in this exhibition were born in the 1950s or 1960s and were directly affected by the Civil Rights Movement, Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution. When they emerged on the art scene in the 1970s and 1980s these issues were strongly in the forefront of their art. Although they have chosen subjects that are primarily figurative, their meanings go beyond traditional likeness. Rather the figures and faces in these sculptures, drawings, and prints are emblems of societal concerns and metaphors for human experience and collective memory.

Of particular note are the artists' innovative use of materials and techniques, including photography. Chakaia Booker�s tire sculpture is one of a number of pieces that utilizes found objects; others include Willie Cole�s bicycle and shoe constructions, and Whitfield Lovell�s wall tableau with metal implements. Multi-panel prints by Lorna Simpson are based on old photographs and printed on felt boards, while Glenn Ligon�s compositions feature written texts, almost exclusively. The female protagonists in Alison Saar�s and Kara Walker�s works comment on the role of women in society. Questions about the past and the present, particularly as they relate to African Americans, resonate in these exhilarating, but disturbing works.

The ART of K'Naan-"Dreamer

Somali-born poet, rapper and musican. Ladies and Gentleman, I present K'naan. For more information on this artist, go to: