Wednesday, February 22, 2017

30 Americans

Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.4OD1YWDz.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf

dentity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.CpxcUFq9.dpuf
Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and videodrawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson. - See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4998&iid=#sthash.4OD1YWDz.dpuf  
Fig 1.  Equestrian Portrait of the Count Duke Olivares, 2005  by Kehinde Wiley 
img source: https://rfc.museum/30a
I was fortunate to visit 30 Americans during its last weekend on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA.)  This compelling exhibition critically examines the quintessential American Dream, yet simultaneously embodies the rebellious underdog spirit upon which our country was founded.  While we stand on the cusp of another civil rights revolution, 30 Americans highlights the importance of such ongoing sociopolitical movements as Black Lives Matter.  It facilitates intelligent discussion about an uncomfortable subject too many of us avoid addressing:  the continued repercussions of institutionalized slavery and longstanding systematic oppression.  

Children are the most easily impressionable victims of indoctrination.  Gary Simmon's 1992 installment piece, Duck, Duck, Noose, offers a haunting reminder that childhood is no exception to the violence permeating every aspect of segregated society.  A circle of small desk chairs evokes memories of the classic schoolyard game, Duck, Duck Goose.  Rather than a figure in each chair, child-size Klan hoods stare blankly from the wooden seats.  A noose, the titular twist referencing lynchings, hangs down into the middle of the scene.