Experience a dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.
Founded in 1968, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in championing the works of artists of African descent. In a unique institutional collaboration, CMOA [Carnegie Museum of Art] and the Studio Museum present a group exhibition with works by 40 artists, 20 from each of the collections. Responding to a tumultuous and deeply divided moment in our nation’s history, the curators have mined these collections to offer a metaphoric picture of America today. Spanning nearly 100 years—from 1920s photographs by James VanDerZee to recent works by Kerry James Marshall, Ellen Gallagher, and Collier Schorr—20/20 provides a critical opportunity to prompt conversations about the necessity of art during times of social and political transformation.
20/20 draws together works from these important collections in dialogue. The exhibition unfolds through a thematic exploration of the foundations of our national condition, ultimately championing the critical role of art in political and individual expression. The first section of the exhibition, titled “A More Perfect Union,” presents a group of works that consider the formation of our democracy and shifting notions of national identity.
The following two sections of the exhibition—“Working Thought” and “American Landscape”—expand on this by mapping contemporary American experience as a product of historical inheritances. “Working Thought” considers the basis of the national economy and the labor needed to sustain it, with works by Melvin Edwards, David Hammons, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, and others.
In turn, “American Landscape” considers the effects of our national economy on lived experience through artworks that document or express the built environment, past and present. The photographs of LaToya Ruby Frazier and Zoe Strauss record the effects of industry and dispossession on marginalized communities, while more abstract works by Mark Bradford, Abigail DeVille, and Kori Newkirk make use of everyday and found materials to reclaim and reinvent our perspective on natural and urban landscapes.
20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art
Jul 22–Dec 31, 2017
Carnegie Museum of Art
Courtesy of: Carnegie Museum of Art