MoMA Announces The 2022 Exhibition Just Above Midtown: 1974 To The Present, Highlighting Artists And Artworks Championed By The New York City Gallery

The Museum of Modern Art announces Just Above Midtown: 1974 to the Present, for fall 2022. It will be the first museum exhibition to focus exclusively on Just Above Midtown (JAM), an art gallery and self-described laboratory for African American artists and artists of color that was led by Linda Goode Bryant from 1974 until 1986.

Initially located in the heart of New York’s major commercial gallery district, JAM was founded by Linda Goode Bryant with the explicit purpose of “being in but not of the art world.” By the time JAM closed its doors, it had established itself as one of the most vibrant and influential alternative art spaces in New York, embracing work by abstract, self-taught artists, organizing groundbreaking exhibitions that thematized the idea of mixture in art and society, and fostering critiques of the commercialization of art.

JAM’s legacy continues today through the work of artists it supported early on in their careers, such as David Hammons, Butch Morris, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady and Howardena Pindell. The MoMA exhibition will present works previously shown at JAM, in a wide range of mediums. Archival material and artist interventions will contextualize the experimental ethos that defined the gallery. In addition to the expansive exhibition, the project will include performances, screenings, and public programs.

Senga Nengudi performing Air Propo at JAM, 1981. Courtesy Senga Nengudi and Lévy Gorvy.

JAM’s founder worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem before founding Just Above Midtown at age 23. After closing the gallery, Goode Bryant dedicated herself to filmmaking, directing the critically acclaimed documentary Flag Wars (2003) with Laura Poitras. In 2009, Goode Bryant started Project Eats, an urban farming initiative for black and brown communities in New York City that, like JAM, uses existing resources to provide cultural sustenance.

Thomas J. Lax, Curator, Department of Media and Performance and organizer of the exhibition explains, “This exhibition acknowledges Just Above Midtown as the efflorescent space where many of the artists who now are recognized as the most important figures of the second half of the 20th century were first supported. This ambitious project not only historicizes JAM’s importance, but also brings its relevance to the present.”

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Work To Be Featured In Outdoor Art Series

The Whitney Museum of American Art will unveil the latest work in a series of public art installations by key American artists across from the Museum’s new building and the southern entrance to the High Line, on the facade of 95 Horatio Street (the work is located on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets). Before Now After (Mama, Mummy and Mamma) (2015) by Njideka Akunyili Crosby is the third work to be featured as part of the series, which was initiated by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art. The first installation, in 2014, presented a work by Alex Katz and the second displayed a Michele Abeles work. The installation is organized by Whitney associate curator Jane Panetta.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983; Enugu, Nigeria) is a Los Angeles–based artist who makes large-scale, representational work that combines collage, drawing, painting, and printmaking. Her work routinely fuses both Nigerian and American influences and source material, reflecting on contemporary African life (often her family) along with her transcultural experience as an expatriate living in the United States, and the inherent difficulty of navigating these two realms. The works simultaneously become intimate while more broadly exploring the cultural complications of the dual worlds that she inhabits.

Akunyili Crosby’s new work for the billboard continues her ongoing exploration of her relationship to her family, specifically her sister, mother, and grandmother. The image is based on her painting, Mama, Mummy and Mamma (2014), now expanded for this site. Like much of her work, the composition fuses both a portrait (in this case of her sister), photographs of both her mother and grandmother, and an elaborate array of objects arranged carefully on a table, suggesting a still life composition. Additionally, the work’s placement at the foot of the High Line allows the viewer to peer into Akunyili Crosby’s carefully composed and invented world, reflective of her complex personal history. This is the artist’s first solo display presented by an institution in New York.

In late October of this year, The Studio Museum in Harlem announced that it was bestowing its Wein Prize – a $50,000 award won in the past by esteemed artists like Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon and Trenton Doyle Hancock – to Akunyili Crosby. The prize – established by George Wein, a founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, in honor of his wife, Joyce Alexander Wein, a trustee of the museum who died in 2005 – has been given every year since 2006 to established or emerging African-American artists.

She received her BA from Swarthmore College, a post baccalaureate certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and an MFA from Yale University. Akunyili Crosby was the 2014 recipient of the Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize and her artwork has been exhibited at venues including the Hammer Museum, Art + Practice, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the New Museum, the Bronx Museum, the Museum of African Diaspora in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria Miro, London.

Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art presents a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art, and produced by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, history, and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

TF Cornerstone was an early pioneer in the residential development of Greenwich Village’s Meat Market and converted the Manhattan Refrigerating Company building, now 95 Horatio Street, to apartments in 1986. The High Line originally ran through the building at the point where the Whitney installations will hang. TF Cornerstone has been a major presence in the Village for more than forty years and today is one of the largest apartment owners and managers in New York City. In addition, the company pioneered the transformation of Long Island City’s waterfront into an amenity-rich thoroughfare, played a major role in residential development on the West Side of Manhattan, and has developed other notable properties in the Financial District and Upper East Side, among others. The company is owned and directed by K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875−1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists at a time when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for more than eighty years.

Architect David Adjaye Awarded 2016 Eugene Mcdermott Award In The Arts At MIT

Award Includes $100K Prize, Artist Residency, Gala And Four Public Programs At MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announce that architect David Adjaye OBE is the recipient of the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. The $100K prize awarded at a gala in his honor also includes an artist residency at MIT in spring 2016, during which Adjaye will participate in four public programs. These events will include panels and symposia focused on the future of the museum, library and campus, as well as a keynote lecture about his own body of work.

David Adjaye Awarded the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

David Adjaye Awarded the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT was established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT to recognize innovative talents in any arts discipline and offers its recipient a $100,000 cash prize and a campus residency. The selection process reflects MIT’s commitment to risk taking, problem solving, and the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. The Award honors Eugene McDermott, cofounder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor of MIT.

Upon receiving the news, Mr. Adjaye’s remarked, “In my career I have sought to cross creative platforms, to collaborate with artists and designers from different disciplines and to focus on the creative discourse surrounding the act of making things. I believe it is this dialogue – the cultural intersection – that moves us forward, generates new possibilities and creates greatness. The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT has long stood for exactly this principle, and it for this reason I am both supremely honoured and supremely humbled to be named as this year’s recipient.

David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. He founded Adjaye Associates in 2000 and immediately won several prestigious commissions. In Oslo he designed the NOBEL PEACE CENTRE in the shell of a disused railway station (completed in 2005). In London his design for the WHITECHAPEL IDEA STORE pioneered a new approach to the provision of imagesinformation services (2005). Later projects in London included the STEPHEN LAWRENCE CENTRE, with teaching and community spaces (2007), RIVINGTON PLACE, an exhibition venue and resource centre (2007), and the BERNIE GRANT CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (2007).

Adjaye Associates now has offices in London, New York, and Accra and is working throughout the world. In the United States, Adjaye is the designer of a new home for the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART in Denver (2007), two public libraries in Washington DC (2012), the SUGAR HILL low income housing development in Harlem (2014) and the redesigned ETHELBERT COOPER GALLERY OF AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN ART at Harvard’s HUTCHINS CENTER (2014). Adjaye Associates’ largest completed project to date is the £160 million MOSCOW SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT SKOLKOVO (2010).

Current high profile architectural projects include $360 million THE SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Alara concept store in Lagos, the AISHTI FOUNDATION ARTS AND RETAIL CENTRE in Beirut, a new headquarters building for the INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION in Dakar, the new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, the CENTER FOR ART AND CULTURE at Colgate University, and a condominium development for FOUR SEASONS in Washington, DC.

Adjaye recently collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on the design of the 56TH VENICE ART BIENNALE (2015). Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye, a comprehensive retrospective exhibition, was held at Haus der Kunst in Munich and is at the Art Institute of Chicago September 19, 2015–January 3, 2016.

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT celebrates individuals whose artistic trajectory reveals that they will achieve the highest distinction in their fields and continue to produce inspiring work for many years to come. The $100,000 prize represents an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement. The official announcement will be made at the Council for the Arts at MIT’s 43rd annual meeting at MIT on October 30, 2015 and Mr. Adjaye will be presented with the award at a gala in his honor on March 29, 2016. Continue reading