Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art from Saint Louis critically follows a host of exhibitions over the past decade that centered questions of Blackness (racially, politically, and aesthetically) through abstraction. Find more about those exhibitions below. Collectively these exhibitions ask the question prompted by the Blackness in Abstraction curator Adrienne Edwards, who wrote, “In response to the demands placed on Black artists for social content in their art I put forward Blackness in abstraction,” to ask “how [do] artists negotiate and exhaust the paradigm of Black representation in visual art”? Below are exhibitions–many of which index themes of abstraction, blackness, and Saint Louis–that have informed this exhibition.
Blackness in Abstraction curated by Adrienne Edwards (2015, Pace Gallery, New York, NY)
- Exhibition page: https://www.pacegallery.com/exhibitions/blackness-in-abstraction/
- ARTnews Editors. “‘Blackness in Abstraction.’” ARTnews: Art in America, 30 June 2016, www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/blackness-in-abstraction-57293/.
- Daniel Larkin, “What Abstraction Can Teach Us About Race and the Color Black,” Hyperallergic, 17 August 2016.
- Ian Bourland,. “Blackness in Abstraction.” Frieze. 30 July 2016, https://frieze.com/article/blackness-abstraction
Blue Black curated by Glenn Ligon (2017, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis, MO)
- Exhibition page: https://pulitzerarts.org/exhibition/blue-black-curated-by-glenn-ligon/
- Holland Cotter, “Glenn Ligon Rethinks the Color Line in the Show ‘Blue Black’,” The New York Times, 10 August 2017.
- Antwaun Sargent, “The Many Shades of Glenn Ligon’s Blue Black,” Hyperallergic, 24 July 2017.
- Terence Trouillot, “Glenn Ligon’s Show ‘Blue Black’ Explores the Dramatic Tension of Race and Color in America,” ArtNet.com, 24 August 2017.
We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 organized by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley (2017, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY)
- Exhibition page: www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/we_wanted_a_revolution.
- Terence Trouillot, “‘We Wanted A Revolution’ at the Brooklyn Museum.” Artnet News, 28 Apr. 2017, news.artnet.com/exhibitions/we-wanted-a-revolution-brooklyn-museum-936359.
Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction curated by Erin Dziedzic and Melissa Messina (2017, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO)
- Exhibition page: https://www.kemperart.org/news/2017/apr/magnetic-fields-expanding-american-abstraction-1960s-today
- Exhibition page: National Museum of Women in the Arts. “Magnetic Fields | National Museum of Women in the Arts.” National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2017, nmwa.org/exhibitions/magnetic-fields. Accessed 25 Mar. 2020.
- Ben Davis, “Yes, Black Women Made Abstract Art Too, as a Resounding New Show Makes Clear.” Artnet News, 20 Oct. 2017, news.artnet.com/exhibitions/yes-black-women-made-abstract-art-too-and-how-a-vital-new-show-makes-clear-1121906.
Out of Easy Reach curated by Allison Glenn (2018, various locations, Chicago, IL)
Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis (2018-2019)
- Exhibition page: www.slam.org/exhibitions/kehinde-wiley-st-louis/.
- Kenya Vaughn, “Kehinde Wiley up for discussion at Saint Louis Art Museum,” St. Louis American, 9 January 2019.
1919: Black Water curated by Irene Sunwoo (2019, Columbia University, New York, NY)
- Exhibition page: www.arch.columbia.edu/exhibitions/114-1919-black-water.
- Nicole Miller, “Torkwase Dyson’s New Show Is an Abstract Meditation on the Racial Violence of the 1919 Red Summer.” ARTnews: Art in America, 1 December 2019.
Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art curated by Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel (2019-2020, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD)
- Exhibition page: artbma.org/exhibitions/generations/?slug=2019_generations-a-history-of-black-abstract-art.
- Baltimore Museum of Art. “ArtBMA: A Closer Look.” YouTube, 31 October 2019.
- Benskin, Elizabeth. A Teacher’s Guide to the Joyner/Giuffrida Collection Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, 2019.
The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection curated by Gretchen L .Wagner and Alexis Assam (2019-2020, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO)
- Exhibition page: Saint Louis Art Museum. “The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection.” Saint Louis Art Museum, 2019, www.slam.org/exhibitions/shape-of-abstraction/.
- Davis, Chad. “St. Louis Exhibits Shine A Light On African American Abstract Artists.” St. Louis Public Radio, 10 October 2019.