October 11, 2013–January 12, 2014
Location: Ingram Gallery
Mickalene Thomas. Baby I Am Ready Now, 2007. Acrylic, rhinestone and enamel on wooden panel, diptych, 72 x 132 in. overall. Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, New York. © Mickalene Thomas
Rashid Johnson. The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club (Thurgood), 2008. Lambda print, Ed. 2/5, 69 x 55 1/2 in. Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Nick Cave's Soundsuits.
Jean-Michel Basquiat. Bird On Money, 1981. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 66 x 90 in. Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Kara Walker. Camptown Ladies, 1998. Paper and adhesive on wall, 97 1/2 x 666 in. Rubell Family Collection, Miami7
25Family Collection, Miami
Lecture presented by 30 Americans artist Hank Willis Thomas on October 24 at the Frist Center.
Glenn Ligon. America, 2008. Neon sign and paint, Ed. AP, 24 x 168 in. Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Barkley L. Hendricks. Noir, 1978. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 in. Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Kehinde Wiley. Equestrian Portrait of the Count Duke Olivares, 2005. Oil on canvas, 108 x 108 in. Rubell Family Collection, Miami. © Kehinde Wiley. Used by permission
Nick Cave -- Soundsuit's in Action
This engaging and thought-provoking exhibition is composed of more than 70 objects—paintings, sculptures, photographs, and multi-media installations—created by many of the most important African American artists working over the last 30 years. The artists range from well- known, established figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, and Carrie Mae Weems to emerging younger ones like Kehinde Wiley, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas. Seen together, 30 Americans provides an opportunity to examine the various relationships between these artists and, ultimately, to experience a cross generational exploration of the influence of race, sexuality, history, gender, and popular culture on individual identity.
For example, Weems and the late Robert Colescott often critique the denigrated place (or entire lack thereof) of African Americans in art history, a position re-challenged in the recent grand portraits of Kehinde Wiley who bestows a sense of dignity and power to his sitters while maintaining their urban identity (right). Wiley has also been influenced by the realistic and culturally expressive depictions of African Americans by Barkley Hendricks (below, left). Like Hendricks’s, Wiley’s subjects are not generic types but recognizable individuals.
30 Americans is drawn from the noted Rubell Family Collection based in Miami, Florida. In describing the origins and development of the exhibition, Don and Mera Rubell state:
As the show evolved, we decided to call it 30 Americans. “Americans,” rather than “African Americans” or “Black Americans,” because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all. And the number 30 because we acknowledge…that this show does not include everyone who could be in it.
Artists included in the exhibition
Nina Chanel Abney
Iona Rozeal Brown
Barkley L. Hendricks
Kerry James Marshall
Hank Willis Thomas
Carrie Mae Weems
Some content in this exhibition may not be appropriate for all audiences. Visitor discretion is advised.
30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
Self-guided and docent led tours are available for 30 Americans. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.
Rubell Family Collection