Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Select Art Exhibitions: Highlights for Spring 2012

This highlight features a few exhibitions that open this spring (second quarter of 2012). Presenting the exhibitions as they approach their opening dates assures a freshness and currency of information for the visual art enthusiasts. For a more comprehensive coverage of ongoing exhibitions in 2012, look to the right sidebar of the blog. This sidebar is updated on a weekly basis by either adding newly discovered exhibitions or removing those that are closely approaching their expiration date. Because a number of important traveling exhibitions from previous months are still on tour in 2012, they are not featured in these highlights; however, they are accessible from the sidebar.

Black Art Project (BAP) welcomes any information or leads that you might have relating to Black art exhibitions, particularly regional exhibitions that are not traditionally marketed on a national scale. BAP will verify the accuracy of any information submitted. Thank you for any assistance that you provide.

Brooklyn, New York
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art

The Box That Rocks: 30 Years of Video Music Box and the Rise of Hip Hop Music and Culture is an exhibition of contemporary art that celebrates the global influence of Video Music Box, and the show’s historic contribution to urban music and culture. The exhibition features photography, painting, mixed-media, video installation, and interactive digital art. 

The Box That Rocks will be on view at MoCADA through May 28, 2012.  

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston University, Sherman Gallery

Tony Gray
 Tony Gray: The Panther Series is on view at the Sherman Gallery, School of Visual Arts at Boston University. "This solo exhibition presents recent work and continuations of ongoing series in which Gray explores representations of African American men and women in popular culture and mass media. Through painting and mixed-media works on paper, Gray presents an Afro-centric worldview through which to address social and racial issues."

 The Panther Series will be on view through May 20, 2012.

Chicago, Illinois

Rashid Johnson, Death by Black Hole: The Crisis,
2010, Steel, black soap, wax, books,
shea butter, plant, space rocks,
mirror, gold paint, stained wood,
96 1/2 x 76 1/4 x 30 in.,
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery,
Image courtesy of the artist
and David Kordansky Gallery,
Los Angeles, CA

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Rashid Johnson’s first major solo museum exhibition, Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks, which will survey the first ten years of his career. This exhibition of the Chicago-born artist "opens up a dialogue with historically important figures ranging from W. E. B. DuBois and Sun Ra to Miles Davis and Public Enemy. The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1969 album by avant-garde musicians Art Ensemble of Chicago, who performed with a variety of percussive found objects, spanning musical styles to radically redefine the rules of jazz. Inspired by their message, Johnson pays homage to these creative pioneers of his hometown and channels their nonconformist vision for his generation of artists."

Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks will be on view April 14 - August 5, 2012. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. 

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

The Soul of a City: Memphis Collects African American Art will be on view at Brooks Museum of Art from June 9 - September 2, 2012. This exhibition puts its hand on the pulse of collecting in Memphis, highlighting the variety of paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and mixed media works from the 20th and 21st centuries in both private and public collections.

Santa Monica, California

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe is the first major solo museum exhibition for the artist. It opens at the Santa Monica Museum of Art on April 14 and will be on view through August 19, 2012.

Mikalene Thomas, Qusuquzah, Une Très
 Belle Négresse #3, 2012, Rhinestones, acrylic,
oil, and enamel on wood panel, 96" x 80",
Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin Gallery,
New York, and Susanne Vielmetter,
Los Angeles
 In Origin of the Universe, Thomas "introduces a new model of trans-generational female empowerment as she explores interior and exterior environments in relation to the female figure. The exhibition consists of 15 works in a variety of sizes and media that examine art historical constructs of feminine identity, sexuality, beauty, and power.

Origin of the Universe will travel to the Brooklyn Museum from September 28, 2012 to January 20, 2013. A full-color, illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.   

Washington, DC

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond consists of 100 artworks by forty-three Black artists that are from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s rich collection of African American art.
The artists, working in various styles, address a diverse array of subjects. Their artworks present a vision of America from an African American perspective.

Some of the artists included in African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond are as follows: Benny Andrews, Richmond Barthé, Romare Bearden, Roy DeCarava, Thornton Dial, Sr., Melvin Edwards, Roland Freeman, Sargent Johnson, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Robert McNeill, Marilyn Nance, Gordon Parks, James Porter, Alma Thomas, and others. This exhibition is a part of the Smithsonian's Traveling Exhibition Program, and will be on tour at other museums through the coming years. "More than half of the featured works...are being exhibited and circulated by the museum for the first time, and ten works are recent acquisitions." 

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond will be on view, 1st floor West, American Art Museum, from April 27 - September 3, 2012. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.

NOTE: For a more comprehensive coverage of ongoing exhibitions in 2012, look to the right sidebar of this blog. Remember, this sidebar is updated on a weekly basis.

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