The Frist Art Museum and Fisk University Galleries present Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar, concurrent presentations of sculptures, prints, installations, and video by the multidisciplinary and multimedia artist and musician, on view in the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from February 20 through May 31, 2020, and the Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University from February 20 through September 12, 2020. Presented forty-five years after Adkins’s graduation from Fisk, the exhibition pays special attention to the influence that his time in Nashville had on the late internationally acclaimed artist.
“This is the first exhibition of Terry Adkins’s work in Middle Tennessee, and we are excited to partner with the Frist Art Museum to co-present it,” says Director and Curator of Fisk University Galleries Jamaal Sheats. “A Fisk University alum, Adkins was a member of the jazz orchestra and a disc jockey for WFSK Jazzy 88 radio station. However, the Fisk Art Department was his home. He studied under the then chairman of the art department and director of galleries, historian, and artist David Driskell. Adkins has credited Aaron Douglas, who founded the art department 75 years ago, as igniting his interest in art. Today, I see Adkins’s work and career as a beacon for the arts tradition at Fisk.”
Fisk and the Frist will collaborate with the soon-to-open National Museum of African American Music to produce a multidisciplinary performance, featuring local talent inspired by Terry Adkins and his performance collective, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps.
Terry Adkins (1953–2014) was principally interested in the intersection of visual art, music, and African American history. First trained as a musician on guitar, saxophone, and other woodwinds, he approached his visual art practice from the perspective of a composer, often arranging series of works to create what he called “recitals,” many of which feature modified musical instruments or other salvaged materials. “One of his primary aims was to forge a link between music and art, reversing each discipline in order to make sculpture more ethereal and music more concrete,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Katie Delmez.
Throughout his career, Adkins also questioned the processes by which historical figures’ pasts become or do not become a part of the historical canon. “He mined African and African American histories for marginalized narratives and organized series of works devoted to either underrecognized figures or highlighted underrepresented aspects of well-known figures’ lives,” says Delmez. The works in Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar pay tribute to the legacies of several influential and enigmatic figures, such as Jimi Hendrix, Bessie Smith, Dr. George Washington Carver, and Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois.
On View At The Frist Art Museum The “recital” Principalities is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and his service as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A centerpiece of the series, Cloud, is a work comprising a white parachute hung above a rack of kimonos. Referencing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, it underscores the tragic history of war. Flumen Orationus, a video pairing Hendrix’s 1970 anti-war protest song “Machine Gun” with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam,” will also be featured.
It looks as if it will be another banner year of thought-provoking and wide-ranging exhibitions during the coming year at The Whitney Museum of American Art. (And one should not expect any less.) Announcing the schedule for 2020 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: “In 2020 the Whitney will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary and fifth year downtown, so we’ve created a program that truly honors the spirit of artistic innovation both past and present. We remain focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, while finding fresh relevance in historical surveys from across the twentieth century. Also turning ninety, Jasper Johns closes out the year with an unprecedented retrospective that will reveal this American legend as never before to a new generation of audiences.”
February 17 the Museum opens Vida Americana: Mexican
Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, a major
historical look at the transformative impact of Mexican artists on
the direction of American art from the mid-1920s until the end of
World War II. On October 28, in collaboration with thePhiladelphia Museum of Art,
a landmark retrospective of the work of Jasper Johns goes on
view simultaneously at both museums, paying tribute to the foremost
living American artist. In addition, the Whitney will devote
exhibitions to Julie Mehretu and Dawoud Bey, prominent
midcareer artists. The Mehretu exhibition, co-organized by the
Whitney with theLos Angeles
County Museum of Art, encompasses over two decades of the
artist’s work, presenting the most comprehensive overview of her
practice to date. In November, Dawoud Bey, one of the leading
photographers of his generation, will receive his first full-scale
retrospective, co-organized by the Whitney and the San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
Museum will also present Agnes Pelton: Desert
Transcendentalist—organized by the Phoenix
Art Museum—the first exhibition of work by the visionary
symbolist in nearly a quarter century; and Working Together:
The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, an unprecedented
exhibition organized by the Virginia
Museum of Fine Arts, which chronicles the formative years of
this collective of Black photographers who lived and worked in New
York City. The year will also bring a range of focused exhibitions
dedicated to emerging and midcareer artists, including Darren
Bader, Jill Mulleady, Cauleen Smith, and Salman Toor, as
well as Dave McKenzie and My Barbarian, who continue
the Whitney’s commitment to performance and its many forms.
September the Museum will also unveil David Hammons’s
monumental public art installation Day’s End on Gansevoort
Peninsula, across the street from the Whitney. The debut of
this public artwork will be preceded by an exhibition entitled Around
Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986, which will
present a selection of works from the Museum’s collection related
to the seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture: Gordon
Matta-Clark’s Day’s End (1975).
EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945”,
February 17–May 17, 2020
cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of
that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in
Mexico but also in the United States. With approximately 200 works by
sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients
art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of
Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, David
Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera—on the style, subject
matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925
and 1945. By presenting the art of the Mexican muralists alongside
that of their American contemporaries, the exhibition reveals the
seismic impact of Mexican art, particularly on those looking for
inspiration and models beyond European modernism and the School of
by both well-known and underrecognized American artists will be
exhibited, including Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron
Douglas, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob
Lawrence, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson
Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. In addition to
Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, other key Mexican artists in the
exhibition include Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida
Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino
Organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant. (See previously-posted article here.)
Mehretu, June 26–September 20, 2020
This mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), co-organized by The Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), covers over two decades of the artist’s career and presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. Featuring approximately forty works on paper and more than thirty paintings dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition includes works ranging from her early focus on drawing and mapping to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, saturated color, and figuration. The exhibition will showcase her commitment to interrogating the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations alongside themes of migration, revolution, climate change, and global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Julie Mehretu is on view at LACMA November 3, 2019–March 22, 2020, and following its presentation at the Whitney from June 26 through September 20, 2020, the exhibition will travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (March 13–July 11, 2021).
Mehretu is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator
in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant
curator at the Whitney.
Johns, Opens October 28, 2020
Johns (b. 1930) is arguably the most influential living American
artist. Over the past sixty-five years, he has produced a radical and
varied body of work marked by constant reinvention. In an
unprecedented collaboration, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the
Whitney will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career simultaneously
across the two museums, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings,
and prints, many shown publicly for the first time. Inspired by the
artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the
two halves of the exhibition will act as reflections of one another,
spotlighting themes, methods, and images that echo across the two
venues. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid
chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and
immersive exploration of the many phases, facets, and masterworks of
Johns’s still-evolving career.
cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of
that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in
Mexico but also in the United States. Vida Americana: Mexican
Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will explore the
profound influence Mexican artists had on the direction American art
would take. With approximately 200 works by sixty American and
Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients art history,
acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of Mexico’s
three leading muralists—José Clemente
Rivera, and David Alfaro
Siqueiros—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of
art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945.
Whitney Museum’s own connection to the Mexican muralists dates back
to 1924 when the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
presented an exhibition of the work of three Mexican artists—José
Clemente Orozco, Luis Hidalgo,
and Miguel Covarrubias—at the
Whitney Studio Club, organized by artist Alexander Brook.
It was Orozco’s first exhibition in the United States. A few years
later, in 1926, Orozco also showed watercolors from his House of
Tears series at the Studio Club; and the following year Juliana
Force, Mrs. Whitney’s executive assistant and future director
of the Whitney Museum, provided critical support for Orozco at
a time when he desperately needed it by acquiring ten of his
drawings. The Mexican muralists had a profound influence on many
artists who were mainstays of the Studio Club, and eventually the
Whitney Museum, including several American artists featured in Vida
Americana, such as Thomas Hart
Benton, William Gropper, Isamu Noguchi, and
Curated by Barbara Haskell, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from February 17 through May 17, 2020 and will travel to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, where it will be on display from June 25 through October 4, 2020. At the McNay Art Museum, the installation will be overseen by René Paul Barrilleaux.
Americana is an enormously important undertaking for the Whitney and
could not be more timely given its entwined aesthetic and political
concerns,” said Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy
Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “It
not only represents the culmination of nearly a decade of scholarly
research and generous international collaboration but also
demonstrates our commitment to presenting a more comprehensive and
inclusive view of twentieth-century and contemporary art in the
of paintings, portable frescoes, films, sculptures, prints,
photographs, and drawings, as well as reproductions of in-situ
murals, Vida Americana will be divided into nine thematic
sections and will occupy the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor
Neil Bluhm Family Galleries. This unprecedented installation, and
the catalogue that accompanies it, will provide the first opportunity
to reconsider this cultural history, revealing the immense influence
of Mexican artists on their American counterparts between 1925 and
The Exhibition Explores The Creative Responses Of American Artists To The Rapid Pace Of Change During The Early Twentieth Century And The New Visual Language That Emerged.
From the Lake No. 3, 1924, by Georgia O’Keeffe, American, 1887 – 1986. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe for the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1987-70-2.
This spring, the Philadelphia Museum of Artwill present an exhibition exploring the creative responses of American artists to the rapid pace of change that occurred in this country during the early decades of the twentieth century. Modern Times: American Art 1910–1950 (April 18—September 3, 2018, Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor) examines the new and dynamic visual language that emerged during this period and had a dramatic impact on painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, architecture and the decorative arts.
These developments were shaped by the dizzying transformations then occurring in every aspect of life, from the advent of the automobile and moving pictures to the rapid growth of American cities and the wrenching economic change brought on by the advent of the Great Depression after a decade of unprecedented prosperity. The exhibition will feature important works by those artists—Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and John Marin, among them—championed by the great photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, as well as many other notable figures of this period. Modern Times will be drawn almost entirely from the Museum’s renowned collection, especially the gift from the Stieglitz Collection that it received in the late 1940s, and will contain some 160 works, several of which will be on view for the first time.
Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Street, 1907, by John Sloan, American, 1871 – 1951. Oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 32 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Meyer P. Potamkin and Vivian O. Potamkin, 2000. 1964-116-5. The White Way, c. 1926, by John Sloan, American, 1871 – 1951. Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 32 1/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Mrs. Cyrus McCormick, 1946-10-2.
A.D. 1914, 1914, by May Ray, American, 1890 – 1976. Oil on canvas, 36 7/8 x 69 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1944-90-1.
Timothy Rub, the Museum’s George D. Widener Director, and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “America’s embrace of modern life—its perils as well as its promise—in the early twentieth century was expressed most clearly in the arts. The work of this period still feels fresh and of the moment. This exhibition provides us with a welcome opportunity to reassess the Museum’s exceptionally rich holdings of modern American art and how we may display them to full advantage in the future when the Museum completes its expansion under its Master Plan. It also holds the promise of many surprises and discoveries for our visitors.”
Chinese Music, 1923, by Arthur Dove, American, 1880 -1946. Oil and metallic paint on panel, 21 11/16 x 18 1/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949-18-2.
Painting No. 4 (A Black Horse), 1915, by Marsden Hartley, American, 1877 -1943. Oil on canvas, 39 1/4 x 31 5/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949-18-8
Pertaining to Yachts and Yachting, 1922, by Charles Sheeler, American, 1883 – 1965. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 1/16 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Bequest of Margaretta S. Hinchman, 1955-96-9.
While the Museum has presented a number of exhibitions devoted to this subject over the years, Modern Timesis the largest and most comprehensive since it presented the collection of Alfred Stieglitz in 1944. The exhibition opens with the achievements of some of the leading figures of “The Eight,” including John Sloan and George Bellows, who recorded the changing urban scene with a gritty realism as horse carts gave way to motor vehicles on city streets.
Portrait of James Baldwin, 1945, by Beauford Delaney, American (active Paris), 1901 – 1979. Oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by The Daniel W. Dietrich Foundation in memory of Joseph C. Bailey and with a grant from The Judith Rothschild Foundation, 1998-3-1
Portrait of John with Hat, 1935, by Alice Neel, American, 1900 – 1984. Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of the estate of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1993-119-2.
PSFS Building, Philadelphia, c.1932 – 1933, by Lloyd Ullberg, American, 1904-1996. Gelatin silver print, image and sheet:10 x 7 3/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund, 1999-121-3.
The exhibition emphasizes those artists—among them Charles Demuth, Morton Schamberg, Charles Sheeler, Benton Spruance, and Paul Strand—who responded to the Armory Show of 1913 and the influence of the European avant-garde by seeking to give modernism an authentic American voice. Offering a broader perspective on American art of this period, the exhibition explores the achievements of important African American figures, such as Aaron Douglas, William Edmondson, Horace Pippin and Dox Thrash. It also looks at cross-currents within the arts, including contemporary fashion and design, and work by female artists such as O’Keeffe, Florine Stettheimer, Frances Simpson Stevens, Kay Sage, and Dorothea Tanning.Continue reading →