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MEMBERS-ONLY PROGRAM: Cecilia Wichmann on "Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art" at the BMA

  • The Baltimore Museum of Art 10 Art Museum Drive Baltimore (map)

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art
On view September 29, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Baltimore Museum of Art

1:30pm • Presentation on Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art in the auditorium
2:00pm • Private tour Generations with curator Cecilia Wichmann followed by a visit to the new Contemporary wing installation “Every Day” which includes the video work “Baltimore” by Isaac Julien.

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation including Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

A central theme of the exhibition is the power of abstract art as a political choice as well as a personal statement for generations of black artists. The freedoms of postwar abstraction took on specific urgency as these artists resisted both the imagery of mainstream culture and pressures to create prescribed, positive representations of black Americans. The exhibition draws on the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection’s unparalleled holdings alongside highlights from the BMA’s growing collection of contemporary art and select loans.

Curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Research Curator and Thaw Chair at Stony Brook University