"A Constellation" traces connections among twenty-six artists of African descent: eight who emerged in the mid- to late twentieth century, and who are represented in the exhibition by works from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection, and eighteen younger artists whose works are being shown at the Studio Museum for the first time. The works in the Museum’s collection serve as material and conceptual anchors exploring themes of the figure, formal abstraction, economy, African diasporic history and materiality. The newer works expand on these themes and prompt an intergenerational dialogue in visual space. The artists in the exhibition embrace a broad range of conceptual approaches. Some employ making as a form of politics, others explore how race and cultural production affect aesthetics, while still others combine these methods or create their own. Together the works function as a “constellation,” both as a metaphor for stars that form a pattern, and as a representation of a gathering of dynamic, kindred artists. As suggested by the title, the connections drawn here present just one possible combination among an infinite variety of configurations.
A Constellation is on view at the Studio Museum from November 12, 2015 to March 6, 2016 and is organized by Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator