Entering Trafalgar Square in London, it was nearly impossible to miss the curious installation of an impressive ship in a bottle. Placed atop the Fourth Plinth in front of the National Gallery from May 24th 2010 to last week, was the whimsically oversized model Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010) by British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Shonibare, celebrated for his potent, yet playful, post-colonial perspective and symbolic use of West African textiles, last exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in a 2002 solo show. His recent site-specific sculpture across the pond was commissioned by the Mayor of London and Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group as part of a contemporary public art initiative.
The Museum Store is always full of an incredible assortment of art books, stunning hand crafted jewelry, clothing, and an array of gifts, but my favorite items at the moment are the glass tumblers featuring Odili Donald Odita’s Refuge & Flight, 2002 and Third Text, 2000. Choose your favorite or buy both to create a set—just make sure to act quickly because they are in limited supply and they are only available at the Studio Museum! The tumblers are sold separately for $10, but Museum members will receive a 20% discount. Visit the Museum Store website here to browse our other fantastic items.
Jennie C. Jones at The Kitchen
Fans of the Studio Museum's Studio Sound series will love Absorb/Diffuse, Jennie C. Jones's solo exhibition at The Kitchen that explores the mechanics of sound and how it is experienced. Curated by Matthew Lyons, the exhibition's focus is From the Low, an original score commissed by The Kitchen that Jones meticulously composed using samples culled from appropriated sources. Absorb/Diffuse also features Jones's Acoustic Paintings, mixed media works that combine soundproofing foam and other materials. The exhibition is currently on view but it ends October 29th so make sure to catch it before it closes!
An Art-Filled L.A. Weekend
It was with great excitement that I traveled to Los Angeles two weekends ago to participate in the kick-start of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a six-month initiative highlighting the rich and evolving art scene of this vibrant city. Having been born and raised in New York City, I have come to cherish its unique cultural history—claiming “Museum Mile” as my own backyard and its prestigious museums as my playground. Yet while inherently proud of New York-centric cultural movements such as the Harlem Renaissance and abstract expressionist painting, arts of the West Coast have always held a strong element of intrigue for me as well: pop, performance, conceptual art, collaboration! It was thus with keen anticipation that I embarked upon finally experiencing this Western cultural locus in person.
RoseLee Goldberg in conversation with Shirin Neshat and Wangechi Mutu
Celebrating the newest publication by Performa Founding Director and Curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa 09: Back To Futurism surveys the New York visual art performance landscape as it was during the last Performa biennial in 2009. Though it might seem a bit belated for the release of such a book, Goldberg’s intent is not just for the present, but for the “art historians of the future,” thirty years from now, who will use documents like this and the two previously published volumes to get a snapshot of what was going on with live performance art in 2009.
A healthy contingency of Studio Museum representatives flew to Los Angeles this weekend to check out Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a region-wide initiative to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Funded by The J. Paul Getty Trust, 60+ cultural institutions in Southern California are simultaneously showcasing exhibitions that highlight major L.A. art movements from 1945-1980.
Three Trips Around the Block
Rico Gatson opens his mid-career retrospective entitled Three Trips Around the Block tonight at Exit Art. A frequent exhibitor at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Gatson participated in the groundbreaking group show Freestyle (2001), curated by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Gatson's work - videos, performances, sculptures and paintings oftentimes dominated by kaleidoscopic imagery and high-contrast patterns - conceptually mines the process of mourning and liberating tragic African American histories.
The Studio Museum is thrilled to announce our participation in the 2011 Smithsonian magazine Museum Day, September 24, 2011! Along with hundreds of other participating institutions across the nation, we will provide free admission to visitors who present a Museum Day Admission Ticket, available for download free of charge on the Museum Day website. Download your ticket now and join us on Saturday!
Congratulations to former Studio Museum artist in residence Sanford Biggers on his first solo museum exhibition in New York, opening today at the Brooklyn Museum. Sweet Funk - An Introspective is a focused selection of thirteen pieces that includes Blossom (2007): a large gnarled tree bisecting a jauntily placed piano, whose keys move to an eerie carnival tune from some unseen actor. Meant as a glimpse of his past work, this show touches on themes that pervade Biggers’ oeuvre: pianos, performance art, trees, painted quilts, whiteface, Buddhism and the circus. Organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art. Open to the public Septempber 23, 2011–January 8, 2012.