Whitney Commences Installation Of “Day’s End,” A Permanent Public Art Project By David Hammons, In Hudson River Park

NEW YORK, September 17, 2019—The Whitney Museum of American Art yesterday celebrated the groundbreaking of Day’s End, a permanent public art project by New York-based artist David Hammons (b. 1943). Slated for completion in the fall of 2020, the project was developed in collaboration with the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT). The sculpture will be located in Hudson River Park along the southern edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, directly across from the Museum, within the footprint of the former Pier 52. Hammons’s Day’s End (2020) derives its inspiration and name from Gordon Matta-Clark‘s 1975 artwork in which he cut openings into the existing, abandoned Pier 52 shed transforming it into monumental sculpture.

Rendering of Day’s End by David Hammons, as seen from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Courtesy Guy Nordenson and Associates

David Hammons was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1943. He moved to Los Angeles in 1963, attending the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts) and the Otis Art Institute. In 1974, he moved to New York, where he still lives and works. Hammons was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991. In 1990 his work was the subject of a career survey, David Hammons: Rousing the Rubble, 1969–1990, at PS1. His work is in numerous collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Britain. His art has profoundly influenced a younger generation of artists.

An open structure—a three-dimensional drawing in space—that precisely follows the outline, dimensions, and location of the original Pier 52 structure, Hammons’s Day’s End, will be a “ghost monument” to the earlier work by Matta-Clark and allude to the history of New York’s waterfront, from the original commercial piers that stood along the Hudson River during the heyday of New York’s shipping industry to the reclaimed piers that became an important gathering place for the gay and artist communities. Open to everyone, Day’s End is designed to coexist with HRPT’s planned park at Gansevoort Peninsula and to bring visitors down to the water’s edge.

The celebration took place at sunset in the Museum’s third floor Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater, overlooking the project site on the Gansevoort Peninsula. Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney, paid tribute to Hammons, an internationally acclaimed artist with longtime ties to the Museum and deep roots in New York, and thanked the project’s funders and collaborators during the evening’s remarks.

The commencement of the installation was heralded by a presentation on the Hudson River by the Fire Department of New York City’s Marine Company 9 and their fireboat the Fire Fighter II. The performance, a “water tango,” featured a display of the boat’s water cannons and served as a prelude to the premiere of a new piece by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer and bandleader Henry Threadgill (b. 1944). A sextet debuted the overture to Threadgill’s 6 to 5, 5 to 6, a two-part work commissioned by the Whitney on the occasion of Hammons’s Day’s End. The composition responds to the architectural structure and engineering schematics of the artwork. Its title is based upon the preponderance of the numbers 5 and 6, and their myriad combinations and subdivisions, found in the project’s design. The commission is overseen by Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney. The second part of the commission will premiere at the unveiling of Day’s End in fall 2020.

Henry Threadgill was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1944, and is one of only three jazz artists to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. Playing a myriad of instruments in his childhood from percussion to clarinet to saxophone, by his late teens he joined the Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band, which later expanded into the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). In 1970, Threadgill moved to New York City, exploring approaches to jazz music with various group acts over the next forty years—from AIR (Artists In Residence), his 1970s trio that reimagined ragtime without the piano, to his current band, Zooid, representing a culmination of decades of his musical process as a composer. In 2016, Threadgill was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for Zooid’s album In for a Penny, In for a Pound (2015). He was also the recipient of the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award, 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award, 2008 United States Artist Fellowship, and 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Weinberg also announced that the Whitney will present an exhibition, drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, related to Matta-Clark’s seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture. Titled Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986, and on view from July through October 2020, the exhibition is organized by Whitney assistant curator Laura Phipps and will include approximately fifteen artists, in addition to Matta-Clark, who worked in the downtown New York milieu of the 1970s and early 1980s. The work of these artists, including Alvin Baltrop, Joan Jonas, and Martin Wong, embodies ideas of artistic intervention into the urban fabric of New York City. A photographic installation by Dawoud Bey, who will also be the subject of a survey exhibition at the Whitney in the fall of 2020, captures Hammons at work on other outdoor pieces in New York.

The Whitney’s collaboration with David Hammons, one of the most influential artists of our time, represents our profound commitment to working with living artists and supporting their visions intimate or grand. The open form of the work—a building without a roof, walls, floor, doors or windows—is a welcoming metaphor that represents our commitment to community and civic good,” said Weinberg. “Just steps away from the Whitney, Day’s End celebrates the history of the Hudson River waterfront and the neighborhood and the City. We are deeply grateful for the support Day’s End has already received from New York City, as well as neighborhood, arts, historic preservation, LGBTQ, commercial and environmental groups, and we look forward to the ribbon-cutting in fall of 2020.”

“This inspiring project will celebrate the historic waterfront and perfectly align with our newly designed park on the peninsula,” said Madelyn Wils, President & CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust. “We’re incredibly appreciative of this collaboration with our neighbors at the Whitney and looking forward to seeing the project take shape at what will certainly be one of the most visually dynamic spots in all of Hudson River Park.”

In tandem with the realization of the project, the Whitney Museum is developing rich interpretive materials including the Whitney’s first podcast series, videos, neighborhood walking tours, and a children’s guide. These will take Hammons’s Day’s End (2020) and Matta-Clark’s Day’s End (1975) as jumping-off points for exploring the history of the waterfront and the Meatpacking District, the role of artists in the neighborhood, the diverse cultural and ethnic histories, its LGBTQ history, the commercial history, and the ecology of the estuary. New research, archival materials, and oral history interviews will all be incorporated. The interpretative materials will be accessible on site and online, including for mobile use.

Day’s End is developed in collaboration with HRPT and will be donated by David Hammons and the Whitney Museum to the Park upon completion. The project will rise directly south of the HRPT’s planned Gansevoort Peninsula Park, which will include a sandy beach area with kayak access and a seating area; a salt marsh with habitat enhancements; a large sports field; and on its western side, picnic tables and lounge chairs. That section of the park is slated to start construction next year and open in 2022.

The Whitney, HRPT, and Hammons are committed to ensuring that the artwork becomes an integral part of the local area and waterfront fabric—as were the working piers that preceded it. The Whitney will continue to share its plans and engage in a dialogue with the community over the coming months as the project installation continues.

Attendees at the event included New York State Senator Brad Hoylman; Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development for New York City Vicki Been; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl; Hudson River Park President & CEO Madelyn Wils; Whitney Trustees Jill Bikoff, Neil G. Bluhm, Nancy Carrington Crown, Gaurav Kapadia, Jonathan O. Lee, Brooke Garber Neidich, Julie Ostrover, Nancy Poses, Scott Resnick, Richard D. Segal, Fern Kaye Tessler, Thomas E. Tuft, and Fred Wilson; Whitney curators Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, Adrienne Edwards, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Elisabeth Sussman, and Laura Phipps; and artists Derrick Adams, Jules Allen, Dawoud Bey, Torkwase Dyson, Awol Erizku, Rachel Harrison, Maren Hassinger, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Dave McKenzie, Julie Mehretu, Sarah Michelson, Jason Moran, and Adam Pendleton.

The Whitney To Present Rachel Harrison’s First Full-Scale Survey

Since the early 1990s, Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) has combined pop-cultural, political, and art-historical references in her work, creating a distinctive visual language that is multi-layered and full of mordant wit. Rachel Harrison Life Hack is the first full-scale survey to track the development of Harrison’s career over the past twenty-five years, assembling approximately one hundred works, including sculptures, photographs, drawings, and installations, ranging in date from 1991 to the present.

Harrison’s complex works incorporate everything from consumer goods to cement, with objects both made and found. Cans of olives, remote controls, NASCAR paraphernalia, and a restaurant meal appear in configurations that open up simultaneous and unexpected layers of meaning. In her practice, Harrison brings together the breadth of art history, the impurities of politics, and the artifacts of pop and celebrity culture, conjuring unexpected, wryly humorous combinations and atmospheres that suggest allegories of the contemporary United States. A remarkable cast of characters appear in her work, ranging from Amy Winehouse to Abraham Lincoln, Mel Gibson to Marcel Duchamp, David Bowie to Angela Merkel, Hannah Wilke to Buckethead, and Bo Derek to Al Gore.

The exhibition, organized by Elisabeth Sussman and David Joselit, with Kelly Long, will fill the Museum’s fifth-floor galleries, October 25, 2019–January 12, 2020.

Rachel Harrison’s (b. 1966) first full-scale survey will track the development of her career over the past twenty-five years, incorporating room-size installations, autonomous sculpture, photography, and drawing. 

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked: “Although Life Hack gathers together the most significant examples of Harrison’s art from across her career, she has brilliantly approached the exhibition itself almost as an entirely new work of art. Visitors will be immersed in a sequence of dramatic sculptural environments that unfold across the Whitney’s sprawling clear-span gallery, which was designed to inspire precisely such bold experimentation.”

As Sussman writes in her catalogue essay (entitled “Rachel Harrison: Two or Three Things I Know About Her” after a film by Jean-Luc Godard), “From the beginning, Harrison was omnivorous. Working on the principle that art should include everything, she made things and environments, she found stuff and collected it. Nor did she limit herself to a specific medium.” Sussman further comments: “Harrison’s importance lies in that she has absorbed commodity and media culture into a paradigm of object making. She has consistently kept at the task of making meaning out of modern-day life for thirty years, and her contribution to contemporary art is singular.

Co-curator Joselit noted, “Drawing on past sculptural practice, from a wide and seemingly contradictory range of precedents including Michael Asher, Mike Kelley, Adrian Piper, and Fred Sandback, Harrison de-familiarizes museum space and exhibition practices. By playing with the idea of pedestal and wall and often exploiting the ad hoc qualities of assemblage, she undermines the sense that a work or an installation is ever finished by calling attention to how it is framed.

The installation is loosely chronological, beginning with a gallery devoted to works from the 1990s, then moving into more thematic and atmospheric spaces punctuated by smaller galleries devoted to specific bodies of work (a selection of Harrison’s Amy Winehouse drawings, for example). Two large galleries in the exhibition engage with the idea of civic space and monumentality, providing complex, evocative environments for Harrison’s work that are further activated by the presence of viewers.

Image credit: Rachel Harrison, Alexander the Great, 2007. Wood, chicken wire, polystyrene, cement, acrylic, mannequin, Jeff Gordon waste basket, plastic Abraham Lincoln mask, sunglasses, fabric, necklace, and two unidentified items, 87 x 91 x 40 inches (221 x 231.1 x 101.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds, 2007; courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photograph by Jean Vong

Rachel Harrison lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Prasine, Greene Naftali, New York (2017); Perth Amboy, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Depth Jump to Second Box, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016); Three Young Framers, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2015); Gloria: Rachel Harrison & Robert Rauschenberg, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland (2015); Fake Titel, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2013); Fake Titel: Turquoise-Stained Altars for Burger Turner, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2013); Villeperdue, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna (2013); Consider the Lobster, CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2009); HAYCATION, Portikus, Frankfurt (2009); Conquest of the Useless, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); and Lay of the Land, Le Consortium, Dijon (2008).

Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, among many others. Harrison’s work has appeared in two Whitney Biennials, in 2002 and 2008, and her work was also included in America Is Hard to See, the Whitney’s inaugural exhibition in its downtown home in 2015.

The catalogue contains essays by Sussman and Joselit, as well as by Johanna Burton, Darby English, Maggie Nelson, and Alexander Nemerov. This publication, designed by Rachel Harrison and Joseph Logan, explores twenty-five years of Harrison’s practice and is the first comprehensive monograph on Harrison in nearly a decade. Its centerpiece is an in-depth plate section, which doubles as a chronology of Harrison’s major works, series, and exhibitions. Objects are illustrated with multiple views and details, and accompanied by short texts. This thorough approach elucidates Harrison’s complicated, eclectic oeuvre—in which she integrates found materials with handmade sculptural elements, upends traditions of museum display, and injects quotidian objects with a sense of strangeness. Published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

Major support for Rachel Harrison Life Hack is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Generous support is provided by Candy and Michael Barasch and The Morris A. Hazan Family Foundation, Sueyun and Gene Locks, and Susan and Larry Marx. Significant support is provided by Constance R. Caplan, Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, Krystyna Doerfler, The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund, Ashley Leeds and Christopher Harland, Han Lo, Diane and Adam E. Max, and Chara Schreyer. Additional support is provided by Eleanor Cayre, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg, and Emily Rauh Pulitzer. Generous exhibition production support is provided by Greene Naftali, New York, with additional support from Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

“In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury” at The Art institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago presents an examination of midcentury art and design with In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury, on view now through January 12, 2020. The exhibition, which opened on September 6, 2019, brings together the work of Clara Porset (b.1895), Lola Álvarez Bravo (b.1903), Anni Albers (b.1899), Ruth Asawa (b.1926), Cynthia Sargent (b.1922), and Sheila Hicks (b.1934), reflecting the unique experiences of these designers and artists in Mexico between the 1940s and 1970s. Despite their singularities, they created work that reflected on artistic traditions, while at the same time opened up new readings of daily life at a time of great social and political change.

The work of Clara Porset, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Cynthia Sargent, and Sheila Hicks has never been shown together before. While some of these artists and designers knew one another and collaborated together, they are from different generations, and their individual work encompasses a range of media varying from furniture and interior design to sculpture, textiles, photography, and prints. They all, however, share one defining aspect: Mexico, a country in which they all lived or worked between the 1940s and 1970s. During this period they all realized projects that breached disciplinary boundaries and national divides.

This exhibition takes its title from a quote by Clara Porset who, encouraging makers to seek inspiration widely, wrote: “There is design in everything…in a cloud…in a wall…in a chair…in the sea…in the sand…in a pot. Natural or man-made.” A political exile from Cuba, Porset became one of Mexico’s most prominent modern furniture and interior designers. Influenced by Bauhaus ideas, she believed that design and art could reshape cities, elevate the quality of life, and solve large-scale social problems. She shared these values with the other artists and designers in this exhibition, who were also committed to forging relationships across cultures; bringing different voices into dialogue; and responding productively to a moment of profound cultural and economic transformation. While some knew one another and worked together, this constellation of practitioners was from different generations, and their individual work encompasses a range of media varying from furniture and interior design to sculpture, textiles, photography, and printmaking.

Clara Porset. Butaque, about 1955–56. Gálvez Guzzy Family/Casa Gálvez Collection. Photo by Rodrigo Chapa, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Clara Porset conceived designs informed by modernism with clean lines and forms, while also inspired by Mexican lifestyles. Mexican photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo created dynamic photomontages by cutting and pasting together parts of different photographs to produce images that emphasized the intense urban development. She also photographed Porset’s work. Following Porset’s invitation to visit Mexico, German émigré Anni Albers saw the country’s landscape and architecture as a vital source of inspiration, informing the abstract visual language of her designs. Japanese American Ruth Asawa, who took a class on craft and housing with Porset in Mexico City, was drawn to the artistry in utilitarian looped-wire baskets that she encountered in Toluca and her sculptures made with this wire technique became her primary practice. Cynthia Sargent and her husband Wendell Riggs moved to Mexico City from New York in 1951, where they produced several popular lines of textiles and rugs in their weaving workshop, collaborated with Porset for her exhibition Art in Daily Life (1952), and encouraged an appreciation of crafts by founding the weekly market Bazaar Sábado. Sheila Hicks, who moved in the same artistic circles as Porset, set up a workshop in Taxco el Viejo where she collaborated with and learned from local weavers, while producing pieces that were resolutely her own.

In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, which ended around 1920, Mexico was rapidly modernizing, and the art scene of its capital was as cosmopolitan and vibrant as it is today. Government projects promoted the country’s artisanal traditions in an attempt to build a cohesive national identity. This open climate attracted intellectuals and artists, such as the six celebrated here. They were transformed by what they learned, drawing inspiration from Mexican lifestyles and artistic practices, including the patterns of ancient indigenous sculptures, the geometries of archaeological sites, and the complex technical qualities found in thousands of years of textile traditions.

Anarquía arquitectónica en la ciudad de México (Architectural Anarchy in Mexico City), about 1953
Lola Álvarez Bravo. Familia González Rendón. © Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation

Mexican artist Lola Álvarez Bravo, a close friend and collaborator of Porset, was one of few women photographers working in the country during this period. Her photographs are essential to understanding Porset’s no longer extant projects, and her dynamic photomontages, created by cutting and pasting together parts of different photographs to create new images, provide insights into Mexico’s richly layered social, political, and geographical landscape during the 1940s and 1950s.

Study for Camino Real, 1967
Anni Albers. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, 1994. © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2019. Photo by Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art

Porset was also friends with German émigré Anni Albers. Encouraged to visit Mexico by Porset, she first traveled to the country in 1935 and made 13 subsequent trips. Mexico’s landscape and architecture became a vital source of inspiration and remained so throughout her career, providing an abstract visual language for her designs. The triangle motif, for instance, that she used repeatedly in textiles and screenprints was drawn from archaeological Zapotec sites such as Monte Albán.

Untitled (S.535, Hanging Five-Lobed Continuous Form within a Form with Two Interior Spheres and One Teardrop Form), 1951
Ruth Asawa. Courtesy of Charles and Kathy Harper Collection. © Estate of Ruth Asawa, Courtesy David Zwirner. Photo by Dan Bradica

Mexico also left a deep impression on Japanese American Ruth Asawa. In 1947, two years after taking a class with Porset at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, she returned to the country and was drawn to the artistry in utilitarian looped-wire baskets that she encountered in Toluca. From then on, sculptures made with this wire technique became her primary practice.

Scarlatti, designed in 1958, produced about 1968–1969
Cynthia Sargent. Riggs-Platas Family Collection. Photo by Wendy McEahern

American Cynthia Sargent moved to Mexico City from New York with her husband Wendell Riggs in 1951 and produced several popular lines of rugs in their weaving workshop. Porset championed Sargent’s work and included her fabric designs in her pivotal exhibition Art in Daily Life. Sargent and Riggs went on to co-found the Bazaar Sábado, an influential market for Mexican and expatriate art and craft that continues to this day.

Learning to Weave in Taxco, Mexico, about 1960
Sheila Hicks. Gift of Martha Bennett King in memory of her brother, Dr. Wendell Clark Bennett. © Sheila Hicks

While American artist Sheila Hicks never met Porset, she was aware of Porset’s designs through her close friendship with architect Luis Barragán, who worked with both artists. After studying Latin American weaving traditions and traveling to South America, Hicks relocated to Mexico in the late 1950s and set up a workshop in Taxco el Viejo, where she collaborated with and learned from local weavers, while producing pieces that are resolutely her own.

As a story, In a Cloud… reminds us that, for many, transnational migration is both a fact of life and a provocation of creativity; it also challenges easy assumptions about the directions that migration can take. Current political discourse in the United States often frames Mexico as a place that people either leave or move through and not as a country that attracts immigrants of its own. As this exhibition makes clear, it was this country’s openness to artistic practice that drew a host of ambitious modern artists and designers from around the world.

The work of these independent-minded designers and artists provides six distinct yet aligned models of creative practices that followed alternative routes and opened up new possibilities. Displayed together, their work makes the case for a continued evaluation of Mexico’s creative landscape and contributes to burgeoning discussions aimed at a more inclusive history of modern art and design,” said Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Department of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago.

The pieces in this exhibition resulted from a complex dynamic of cultural learning and exchange. Each artist went beyond replication and applied their newfound knowledge and practices to create their own unique output while crediting the sources of their inspiration. These works highlight the importance of these still-influential contributions to art and design.

Major funding for In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury is provided by the Gordon and Carole Segal Exhibition Fund; the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; Margot Levin Schiff and the Harold Schiff Foundation; and Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul.

Additional support is provided by Maria and William D. Smithburg; Kimberly M. Snyder; the George Lill Foundation Endowment; Nada Andric and James Goettsch; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Thomas E. Keim and Noelle C. Brock; the Butler-VanderLinden Family Fund; the Terra Foundation for American Art; The Danielson Foundation; The Robey Chicago; and CNA.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Announces Fall Programming Schedule

Fall Programming Launches With Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch’s Book Event on Third Anniversary of National Museum of African American History and Culture

Two Book Discussions, Screening of the New Film “Harriet” and the 25th Anniversary Event of Furious Flower Poetry Center With Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez Are Featured

Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, will host a book talk Tuesday, Sept. 24, to kick off fall programming at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch will join Scott Pelley of CBS 60 Minutes to discuss his new book A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump. The Washington, D.C., leg of Bunch’s national book tour celebrates the third anniversary of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened Sept. 24, 2016. A Fool’s Errand provides an inside account on how Bunch planned and managed the challenges of choosing a construction site, commissioning a team of architects, raising more than $400 million, designing exhibitions and building a collection of nearly 40,000 objects. The Washington event is sold out; however, the discussion will be streamed live. More information about the national book tour is available on the museum’s website.

Scheduled fall programming features two book discussions, a LGBTQ speakeasy event with comedian Sampson McCormick and a screening of the new film Harriet. All programs held in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater will stream live on the museum’s Ustream channel at ustream.tv. All programs are free.

September and October Programming

Lectures & Discussion: A Fool’s Errand by Lonnie Bunch

Tuesday, Sept. 24; 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Heritage Hall)

On the museum’s third anniversary, newly appointed Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch and Scott Pelley will delve deeply into Bunch’s latest book, A Fool’s Errand, which chronicles the strategies, support systems and coalitions he put in place to build the Smithsonian’s 19th museum, one that would attract more than 4 million visitors during its first two years. The book goes on sale the same day, Sept. 24. The event is sold out; however, the discussion will stream live on the museum’s Facebook Live channel.


NMAAHC LIVE: Furious Flower 25

Saturday, Sept. 28; 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater, Heritage Hall)

To celebrate African American poets and poetry, the museum will host James Madison University’s Furious Flower Poetry Center’s 25th anniversary with eight hours of poetry-focused programming open to the public. Founded in 1994 the Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation’s first academic center of black poetry for creative writers, scholars and poetry lovers. The festivities commence with discussions, workshops and a performance by the Swazi Poets of South Africa, beginning at 3:45 p.m. The day concludes with two hours of readings and performances by 25 of the nation’s most storied American poets, including Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Gregory Pardlo, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa and Terrance Hayes. Books by participating poets will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

A Speakeasy Evening: LGBTQ Celebration

Tuesday, Oct. 15; 7 p.m. (Museum Concourse and Oprah Winfrey Theater)

Inspired by the prohibition-era clubs of the Harlem Renaissance where speakeasies like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom thrived, the museum invites visitors to attend a LBGTQ speakeasy for allies of all gender identities and orientations to experience camaraderie, comedy and art. The evening starts with a reception on Concourse Level with light refreshments. Following the reception, the museum will screen the short film Happy Birthday, Marsha! The fictional film reimagines transgender rights pioneers, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, in the hours leading to the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The program will conclude with social commentary by noted comedian Sampson McCormick. Registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Historically Speaking: A DNA Story: An Adoptee Traces Her Biological Roots With Dena Chasten, Saturday, Oct. 19; noon

Special guest Dena Chasten will share her journey as a 12-year-old adoptee to find her family roots. Through public records’ search and interviews, Chasten was able to locate her birth parents and later used DNA testing to discover her identity and ancestry. Chasten will explore how a class assignment led her on a life-changing journey of self-discovery and identity affirmation. To register for the event, email familyhistorycenter@si.edu.

Historically Speaking: The Bold World by Jodie Patterson

Wednesday, Oct. 23; 7 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater)

Based on her memoir The Bold World, social activist and author Jodie Patterson will reveal how she reshaped her attitudes and beliefs, as well as those of her community, to meet the needs of her trans-gender son, Penelope. Patterson has been lauded for her activist work and sits on the board of a number of gender/family/human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign. The discussion will be moderated by Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Following the discussion, Patterson’s book will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Books. Registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Cinema + Conversation: Harriet

Thursday, Oct. 31; 7 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater, Heritage Hall)

Harriet, “Be free or die“. directed by: Kasi Lemmons, starring: Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles

Join the museum for a special screening and discussion of the new film Harriet, based on the life of iconic abolitionist and Underground Railroad-conductor Harriet Tubman. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the biopic Harriet follows Tubman’s escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of enslaved men and women through the Underground Railroad. Details of the screening will be made available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 5 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu.

High Museum Of Art To Reunite Romare Bearden’s “Profile” Series For 2019-20 Touring Exhibition

More Than 30 Of Bearden’s Iconic Autobiographical Works Will Be Shown Together For The First Time In Nearly 40 Years

n fall 2019, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, will premiere “Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series,” the first exhibition to bring dozens of works from the eminent series together since its debut nearly 40 years ago. Having opened on Sept. 14, 2019 and then scheduled to run through Feb. 2, 2020, the exhibition will then travel to the Cincinnati Art Museum (Feb. 28–May 24, 2020). “Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series” will be presented in the special exhibition gallery on the second level of the High’s Stent Family Wing.

Profile/Part 1, The Twenties: Mecklenberg County, Miss Bertha & Mr. Seth They rented a house from my grandfather. Collages & Montages Romare Bearden, American, 1911–1988 1978 American Collage on board Profile, Part 1: The Twenties Series Support/Overall: 25 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches Collection of Susan Merker

In November 1977, The New Yorker magazine published a feature-length biography of Bearden (American, 1911–1988) by Calvin Tomkins as part of its “Profiles” series. The article brought national focus to the artist, whose rise had been virtually meteoric since the late 1960s. The experience of the interview prompted Bearden to launch an autobiographical collection he called “Profile.” He sequenced the project in two parts: “Part I, The Twenties,” featuring memories from his youth in Charlotte, N.C., and in Pittsburgh, and “Part II, The Thirties,” about his early adult life in New York. For the series’ exhibitions in New York in 1978 and 1981, Bearden collaborated with friend and writer Albert Murray on short statements for the pieces, which were scripted onto the walls to lead visitors on a visual and poetic journey through the works.

Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting & Model, 1981, collage on fiberboard. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, Margaret and Terry Stent Endowment for the Acquisition of American Art, David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Fund, Anonymous Donors, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, The Spray Foundation, Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell, Charlotte Garson, The Morgens West Foundation, Lauren Amos, Margaret and Scotty Greene, Harriet and Edus Warren, The European Fine Art Foundation, Billye and Hank Aaron, Veronica and Franklin Biggins, Helen and Howard Elkins, Drs. Sivan and Jeff Hines, Brenda and Larry Thompson, and a gift to honor Howard Elkins from the Docents of the High Museum of Art, 2014.66. © 2019 Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Inspired by the High’s recent acquisition of a key work from the series, “Something Over Something Else” will be the first exhibition to reassemble more than 30 collages from the series. The exhibition design will reference the experience of the series’ original gallery presentations by incorporating their handwritten captions into the accompanying wall texts. The project is co-curated by Stephanie Heydt, the High’s Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, and Bearden scholar Robert G. O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.

We are privileged to organize ‘Something Over Something Else,’ which honors Bearden’s legacy as one of the 20th century’s most influential artists and brings important recognition to this beautiful and powerful series,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High.

We are very excited to reassemble Bearden’s original ‘Profile’ project—and to experience these works along with their captions, presented in the original sequence,” said Heydt. “Bearden was a wonderful storyteller, and ‘Profile’ shows Bearden at his best, using words and images to evoke deeply personal memories. But Bearden also invites us all to find something to relate to along the way. There is a poetry in the arrangement of the exhibition that feels unique for Bearden’s work and this show, which assembles nearly two-thirds of the original group and may be the only opportunity to see those works together again.

Bearden presented the “Profile” series as a shared history—his reflection on a life path that follows the journey of migration and transition in black communities across the mid-20th century. The series is an origin story that tracks Bearden’s transition from rural South to urban North, weaving his personal history into a communal one. Beyond providing the opportunity to explore an understudied body of work, the exhibition will investigate the roles of narrative and self-presentation for an artist who made a career of creating works based on memory and experience. It will also reveal some of Bearden’s broader inspirations, which lend insight into American life in the first decades of the 20th century.

Heydt was inspired to develop the exhibition in 2014 when the High acquired “Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting & Model” (1981), the culminating work in the series and one of Bearden’s only known self-portraits. The collage, which will feature prominently in the exhibition, is a retrospective work in which Bearden brings together important memories and spiritual influences from his youth in the South with broader art-historical themes that guided his career for more than four decades.

The exhibition will be arranged roughly chronologically according to the original presentations, moving from collages featuring Bearden’s early memories to works exploring his development as an artist in New York. Thematically, the subjects range from neighbors, friends, music and church to work, play, love and loss. The works also vary greatly in size. Though some are large, many are diminutive, a deliberate choice by Bearden to convey his experience of revisiting childhood memories. In addition to the wall texts by Bearden and Murray, the galleries will feature an original copy of The New Yorker article and the catalogues from the 1978 and 1981 gallery exhibitions. The High will also show clips from the 1980 documentary “Bearden Plays Bearden,” directed by Nelson E. Breen.

Featured works will include:

Part I, The Twenties:

  • School Bell Time” (1978): this collage is the first work in the exhibition and recalls one of Bearden’s earliest memories.
  • Pittsburgh Memories, Mill Hand’s Lunch Bucket” (1978): Based on Bearden’s memories of the interior of his grandmother’s boardinghouse in Pittsburgh, this work inspired playwright August Wilson to write the play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” Wilson’s stage set description reflects the composition of the collage, and the two main characters in the play were inspired by another painting in the series, “Mecklenberg County, Miss Bertha & Mr. Seth” (1978).
  • Pittsburgh Memories, Farewell Eugene” (1978): this work features a scene from the funeral of childhood friend who had introduced Bearden to drawing.
Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part I, The Twenties, Mecklenberg County, School Bell Time, 1978, collage on board. Kingsborough Community College, The City University of New York. © Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Paul Takeuchi.

Part II, The Thirties:

  • Pepper Jelly Lady” (1981): in this work, Bearden returns to his memories of the South and Mecklenburg County.
  • Artist with Painting & Model” (1981): from the High’s collection, this collage is one of Bearden’s only known self-portraits and a reminiscence on his studio above the Apollo Theater in Harlem in the 1940s.
  • Johnny Hudgins Comes On” (1981): This work features the famous vaudeville performer. According to Bearden, Hudgins’ act inspired Bearden’s own approach to “making worlds” with his art.
Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part I, The Twenties, Mecklenberg County, Daybreak Express, 1978, collage on board. Courtesy of the McConnell Family Trust. © Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Exhibition Catalogue
The High, in collaboration with University of Washington Press, will publish a full-color, illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Texts will include an introduction by former National Gallery of Art curator Ruth Fine and essays by Heydt, O’Meally, Rachael DeLue (Christopher Binyon Sarofim ’86 professor in American art at Princeton University) and Paul Devlin (assistant professor of English at the United States Merchant Marine Academy).


Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series” is organized and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Andrew Wyeth Foundation for American Art. This exhibition is made possible by Exhibition Series Sponsors Delta Air Lines, Inc., and Turner; Premier Exhibition Series Supporters the Antinori Foundation, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, and wish foundation; Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter Anne Cox Chambers Foundation; Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters Tom and Susan Wardell, and Rod Westmoreland; and Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters the Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, Corporate Environments, Marcia and John Donnell, W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole, Peggy Foreman, Robin and Hilton Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones, and Margot and Danny McCaul. Generous support is also provided by the Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Marjorie and Carter Crittenden, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Dr. Diane L. Wisebram.


Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from pre-history through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org.

Tiona Nekkia Mcclodden Receives The Whitney’s 2019 Bucksbaum Award

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, announced that Tiona Nekkia McClodden is the recipient of the 2019 Bucksbaum Award. McClodden was chosen from among the seventy-five artists whose works are being presented in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, currently on view at the Museum through September 22. In her interdisciplinary practice, McClodden utilizes documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installation to explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.

Image credit: Tiona Nekkia McClodden (1981-), I prayed to the wrong god for you., 2019. Multichannel video installation, color, sound; and six handcarved tools in vitrine. Image courtesy the artist and Company Gallery, New York

Weinberg commented, “McClodden’s work is bold and original and her contribution to the Biennial is extraordinarily rich with cultural, historical, and spiritual resonances. I’m delighted that she is receiving the Bucksbaum Award, which was initiated by our longtime trustee Melva Bucksbaum and her family to encourage living artists and to highlight American artists of particular promise.”

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, who served on the jury, commented, “Beyond the strength of McClodden’s contribution to the Biennial, the jury was moved by the innovative scope of her broader artistic project. As a writer, curator, event organizer, and speaker, she has generously shone a light on under-recognized histories and championed members of her community in a way that expands how we think about the work of an artist today.”

In addition to Rothkopf, this year’s seven-member Bucksbaum jury was comprised of three other jurors from within the Museum: David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives; Jane Panetta, Co-Curator of the 2019 Whitney Biennial and Director of the Collection; and Rujeko Hockley, Co-Curator of the 2019 Whitney Biennial and Assistant Curator; as well as three jurors from outside of the Museum: Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Art Programs Director, Project Row Houses (Houston, TX); René Morales, Curator, Pérez Art Museum (Miami, FL); and Lumi Tan, Curator, The Kitchen (New York, NY).

Melva Bucksbaum (1933–2015), a patron of the arts, collector, and Whitney trustee from 1996 until her death, launched the Bucksbaum Award in 2000. Her daughter, Mary E. Bucksbaum Scanlan, now herself a member of the Whitney’s Board, remarked: “The Bucksbaum Award recognizes artists whose works are inventive, urgent, and promise to be enduring. I am proud to continue this tradition, which was so important to my mother, and I am thrilled that Tiona Nekkia McClodden is joining the illustrious group of artists whom we have honored.”

McClodden, who lives and works in Philadelphia, combines video and sculptural elements in her 2019 Biennial work, I prayed to the wrong god for you, which merges the spiritual and the artistic to confront the relationship between Christianity and colonialism. The multichannel video installation includes three projection screens and three monitors, as well as vitrines with talismanic objects that are seen in the videos. The work depicts a highly personal ritual dedicated to Shango, a deity within the Afro-Cuban religion Santería/Lucumí, whose origins can be traced to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. To begin the project, McClodden cut down a cedar fir tree and carved six tools from the wood of the tree. Traveling with these wooden objects across the United States, Cuba, and Nigeria, the artist engaged in ritual with Shango. The videos, which chart the labor and time of this undertaking, offer an account of diasporic devotion and the significance of objects as storytellers.

McClodden was born in 1981 in Blytheville, AR. She has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Art Toronto’s VERGE Video program; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; MoMA PS1; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Kansai Queer Film Festival, Osaka and Kyoto, Japan; and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among others. She has been awarded the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, the 2018–19 Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College, and the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

The Bucksbaum Award is given in each Biennial year in recognition of an artist, chosen from those included in the Biennial, whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and imagination. The selected artist is considered by the jurors to have the potential to make a lasting impact on the history of American art, based on the excellence of their past work, as well as of their present work in the Biennial. The award is accompanied by a check for $100,000. McClodden is the tenth Bucksbaum laureate to be named since the Award was introduced.

The nine previous Bucksbaum recipients are Paul Pfeiffer (2000), Irit Batsry (2002), Raymond Pettibon (2004), Mark Bradford (2006), Omer Fast (2008), Michael Asher (2010), Sarah Michelson (2012), Zoe Leonard (2014), and Pope.L (2017).

McClodden will participate in a public program at the Museum that will take place in the coming months. Further details will be forthcoming.

Funding for the Bucksbaum Award is provided by an endowment from the Martin Bucksbaum Family Foundation.

The Museum Of Modern Art Presents First US Retrospective In 30 Years Dedicated To Donald Judd, Opening In March 2020

The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Donald Judd, to go on view in The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building from March 1 through July 11, 2020, will be the first major US retrospective dedicated to Donald Judd (1928–1994) in over three decades. Presented solely at MoMA, the exhibition will explore the remarkable vision of an artist who revolutionized the history of sculpture, highlighting the full scope of Judd’s career through some 60 works in sculpture, painting, and drawing, from public and private collections in the US and abroad. Donald Judd is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator, with Tamar Margalit, Curatorial Assistant, and Erica Cooke, Research Fellow, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.

Donald Judd. Untitled. 1967. Lacquer on galvanized iron; 12 units, each 9 × 40 × 31″ (22.8 × 101.6 × 78.7 cm), installed vertically with 9″ (22.8 cm) intervals. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Helen Acheson Bequest (by exchange) and gift of Joseph Helman. © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: John Wronn

Donald Judd was among a generation of artists in the 1960s who sought to entirely do away with illusion, narrative, and metaphorical content. He turned to three dimensions as well as industrial working methods and materials in order to investigate “real space,” by his definition. Donald Judd will survey the evolution of Judd’s work, beginning with his paintings, reliefs, and handmade objects from the early 1960s; through the years in which he built an iconic vocabulary of works in three dimensions, including hollow boxes, stacks, and progressions made with metals and plastics by commercial fabricators; and continuing through his extensive engagement with color during the last decade of his life.

Half a century after Judd established himself as a leading figure of his time, there remains a great deal to discover,” said Temkin. “MoMA’s presentation will emphasize the radicality of his approach to art-making and the visual complexity of his work.”

Donald Judd. Untitled. 1991. Enameled aluminum, 59″ × 24′ 7 1/4″ × 65″ (150 × 750 × 165 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Bequest of Richard S. Zeisler and gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (both by exchange) and gift of Kathy Fuld, Agnes Gund, Patricia Cisneros, Doris Fisher, Mimi Haas, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Emily Spiegel. © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: John Wronn

We want to commend the leadership of MoMA, Ann Temkin, and her team for their in-depth research and their substantial commitment towards this significant exhibition. Don’s work remains as vital today as it was when he created it. We appreciate MoMA providing the opportunity for a new generation to engage with his work in New York,” said Rainer Judd, President, Judd Foundation.

Donald Judd. Untitled. 1966/68. Stainless steel and Plexiglas in six parts, 34 × 34 × 34″ (86.36 × 86.36 × 86.36 cm). Layton Art Collection Inc., Purchase, at the Milwaukee Art Museum. © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: John R. Glembin

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The essays included in the catalogue will examine subjects fundamental to Judd’s work and thinking, including methods of fabrication, his early paintings and sketchbooks, his relationship with museums, his interest in site-specific work, and his activities in the realms of design and architecture.

The exhibition is made possible by Hyundai Card.

Leadership support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.