Speed Museum of Art Speed Art Museum
Louisville, KY

Speed Art Museum
2035 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 634-2700


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Promise, Witness, Remembrance

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection

Wolfgang Buttress: Blossom

The World Turned Upside Down: A Contemporary Response

Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell

Ebony G. Patterson . . . while the dew is still on the roses

A Celebration of the Speed Collection


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Promise, Witness, Remembrance
April 7 - June 6, 2021

Promise, Witness, Remembrance at the Speed Art Museum, curated by Allison Glenn, reflects on the life of Breonna Taylor, her killing in 2020, and the year of protests that followed, in Louisville and around the world. The exhibition is organized around the three words of its title, which emerged from a conversation between curator Allison Glenn and Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, during the exhibition’s planning.
In "Promise," artists explore ideologies of the United States of America through the symbols that uphold them, reflecting on the nation’s founding, history, and the promises and realities, both implicit and explicit, contained within them. In "Witness," they address the contemporary moment, building upon the gap between what a nation promises and what it provides through artworks that explore ideas of resistance across time, form, and context. In "Remembrance," they address gun violence and police brutality, their victims, and their legacies.
Promise, Witness, Remembrance features artists from Louisville and across the United States, and was developed with the guidance of Breonna Taylor’s family, a Steering Committee of Louisville artists, activists, mental health professionals, researchers, and community members, convened by the Speed’s Community Engagement Strategist Toya Northington, and a National Advisory Panel, convened by Glenn.
Free and Open to the Public

Contributing Artists

Terry Adkins
Terry Adkins (b. 1953, Washington, DC; d. 2014, Brooklyn, NY) established an interdisciplinary and frequently collaborative practice that encompassed sculpture, music, printmaking, and video. Engaging with the improvisatory spirit of free jazz, he sought to “find a way to make music as physical as sculpture might be and sculpture as ethereal as music is.”
Adkins grew up in a musical household. He played guitar, saxophone, and other instruments and counted John Coltrane, Nina Simone, and Jimi Hendrix among his influences. His early affinity for drawing was nourished at Fisk University in Nashville, where he studied with such luminaries as David Driskell and Martin Puryear. In 1975 Adkins completed his BS in printmaking and then pursued an MS in the field from Illinois State University. In 1979, he received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Kentucky. Adkins returned to DC, where he joined a free jazz band led by Yahya Abdul-Majid of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

It was Adkins’s residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem and, subsequently, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center which prompted the artist’s experimentation with sculpture, installation and performative practice. In 1986, Adkins was awarded a residency in Zürich, where he founded the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, a performance collaborative featuring a rotating ensemble of artists, musicians, and friends, such as Charles Gaines, Kamau Patton, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma. He termed the group’s multimedia happenings “recitals.”

Adkins’s recitals were often dedicated to recovering the narratives of historical figures important to the cultures of the African diaspora, including botanist and inventor George Washington Carver, musician Jimi Hendrix, intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois, composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and blues singer Bessie Smith. Adkins reached beyond conventional interpretations of the past in his “abstract portraiture,” coming to understand his subjects through site-specific research, engaging relevant contemporary communities, and employing historically potent materials for his installations and recitals.

In 1995, Thelma Golden curated an exhibition of Adkins’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris, including his Akrhaphones: giant horns which are both sculptures and invented instruments. In 1999, Adkins mounted a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and in 2000 he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in the departments of Fine Arts and Africana Studies. In 2009, he received the Jesse Howard, Jr. / Jacob H. Lazarus—Metropolitan Museum of Art Rome Prize. A retrospective of his work, Terry Adkins Recital, was organized in 2012 by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.

On February 8, 2014, Adkins passed away at the age of 59. His work has posthumously been included in significant international exhibitions including the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, and the 2015–16 traveling exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted the first exhibition and performance series to reunite the Lone Wolf Recital Corps since Adkins's death. Important solo exhibitions of his work include Terry Adkins: Infinity Is Always Less Than One at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2018); Our Sons and Daughter Ever on The Altar co-presented by Frist Museum and Fisk University, Nashville (2020); and Resounding at the Pulitzer Art Foundation, St. Louis (2020).

Work by Adkins can be found in the collections of major public institutions, including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; Art Bridges Foundation, Bentonville, Arkansas; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and Pérez Art Museum Miami. (via Lévy Gorvy)

Noel AndersonRead
Noel W Anderson (b. 1981, Louisville, KY) received an MFA from Indiana University in Printmaking, and an MFA from Yale University in Sculpture. He is also Area Head of Printmaking in NYU’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.
Anderson utilizes print-media and arts-based-research to explore philosophical inquiry methodologies. He primarily focuses on the mediation of socially constructed images on identity formation as it relates to black masculinity and celebrity. In 2018, Noel was awarded the NYFA artist fellowship grant and the prestigious Jerome Prize. His solo exhibition Blak Origin Moment debuted at the Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati) in February 2017 and travelled to the Hunter Museum of American Art in October 2019. His first monograph, Blak Origin Moment, was also recently published. (via artist website)

Erik BranchRead
Erik Branch is a photographer living in Louisville, KY.

Xavier BurrellRead

Xavier Burrell is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and is currently pursuing an MBA Degree at the University of Louisville College of Business. He is a former student-athlete at UofL, where he was a player on the UofL football team. He earned a BS Degree in Communications in 2008 from UofL, as well as a BS Degree in Sports Administration in 2018 when he returned back to school after he was medically retired from the U.S. Army as a Captain after serving 8 years on active duty. He was deployed twice to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and during his military career he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), NATO Service Medal, and a Combat Action Badge. After his military career was cut short, Xavier picked up a camera as a hobby and since then he has worked on creative projects with the UofL Athletics Department, Revolt, as well as a freelancer for the New York Times. Xavier works with various mediums to produce videos and photographs that always capture the essence of his subjects through an emphatic lens. (via the artist)

María Magdalena Campos-PonsRead
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (b. 1959, La Vega, Cuba) combines and crosses diverse artistic practices, including photography, painting, sculpture, film, video, and performance. Her work addresses issues of history, memory, gender, and religion; it investigates how each one of these themes informs identity formation.

Born in 1959 in La Vega, a town in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, Campos-Pons is a descendant of Nigerians who had been brought to the island as slaves in the 19th century. She grew up learning firsthand about the legacy of slavery along with the beliefs of Santeria, a Yoruba-derived religion. Directly informed by the traditions, rituals, and practices of her ancestors, her work is deeply autobiographical. Often using herself and her Afro-Cuban relatives as subjects, she creates historical narratives that illuminate the spirit of people and places, past and present, and renders universal relevance from personal history and persona. Her imagery and performances recall dark narratives of the Middle Passage and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. They honor the labor of black bodies on indigo and sugar plantations, renew Catholic and Santeria religious practices, and celebrate revolutionary uprisings in the Americas. As she writes, “I…collect and tell stories of forgotten people in order to foster a dialogue to better understand and propose a poetic, compassionate reading of our time.”

Campos-Pons has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada, among other distinguished institutions. She has participated in the Venice Biennale (twice), the Dakar Biennale, the Johannesburg Biennial, Documenta 14, the Guangzhou Triennial, three editions of the Havana Biennial, and the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA and Prospect.4 Triennial. She has presented over 30 solo performances commissioned by institutions including the Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Every element that appears in María Magdalena Campos-Pons’ performance work is something that the artist herself has created. She designs her own costumes. She writes the texts that she or her collaborators will speak or chant. She fabricates the physical items that she will deploy and constructs the sonic features by which she will be accompanied. The power of her performances—unprecedented actions that immerse contemporary viewers in ancient practices and unremembered narratives—is derived precisely from her commitment to and investment in every aspect of her work.
Campos-Pons’ performances tend to unfold as processions. They are ritualistic spectacles that physically and spiritually embody the spaces in which they take place while asserting themselves outward and beyond the boundaries of those spaces. They are simultaneously immanent and transcendent. Operating within the museum institution, they kick open its doors and reinscribe within its halls identities that have been institutionally excluded, thereby transforming both the institution and the visitor. Incorporating incantations, religious rituals, and celebrations, Campos-Pons’ performances challenge viewers to participate by virtue of their presence while providing opportunities for all present to reflect, to call forth energies, and to heal.

In the late 1980s, Campos-Pons taught at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and gained an international reputation as an exponent of the New Cuban Art movement that arose in opposition to Communist repression on the island. In 1991, she immigrated to Boston and taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, where she received numerous prizes and honors for both her teaching and her artistic practice. In 2017, she was awarded the Vanderbilt Chair at Vanderbilt University and moved to Nashville, TN., where she currently resides.

Campos-Pons’ works are in over 30 museum collections, including the Smithsonian Institution; the Whitney; the Art Institute of Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Perez Art Museum, Miami; and the Fogg Art Museum. (via Gallery Wendi Norris)

Nick CaveRead More
Nick Cave (b. 1959, Fulton, MO) is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, initially created in direct response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment.

Throughout his practice, Cave has created spaces of memorial through combining found historical objects with contemporary dialogues on gun violence and death, underscoring the anxiety of severe trauma brought on by catastrophic loss. The figure remains central as Cave casts his own body in bronze, an extension of the performative work so critical to his oeuvre. Cave reminds us, however, that while there may be despair, there remains space for hope and renewal. From dismembered body parts stem delicate metal flowers, affirming the potential of new growth. Cave encourages a profound and compassionate analysis of violence and its effects as the path towards an ultimate metamorphosis. While Cave’s works are rooted in our current societal moment, when progress on issues of global warming, racism and gun violence (both at the hands of citizens and law enforcement) seem maddeningly stalled, he asks how we may reposition ourselves to recognize the issues, come together on a global scale, instigate change, and ultimately, heal. (via Jack Shainman Gallery)

Jon P. CherryRead
Jon Cherry (he/him) is a widely published multi-specialty photographer whose work spans a wide range of photographic disciplines. His work has been described as deeply romantic, yet joyful.

Currently, Jon is committed to documenting the community uprising, the COVID-19 pandemic, and cultural occurrences in Louisville, Kentucky. He is dedicated to capturing moments that spark action without words and convey emotions that may be otherwise foreign to the viewer.

Jon has worked as a stringer for Getty Images, and has been published when shooting independently by TIME Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The New York Times, and others.

Bethany CollinsRead More
Bethany Collins (b. 1984, Montgomery, Alabama; lives and works in Chicago, IL) is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. As Holland Cotter noted in The New York Times, “language itself, viewed as intrinsically racialized, is Bethany Collins’ primary material.” Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationwide, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Drawing Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Collins has been recognized as an Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MacDowell Colony, the Bemis Center, and the Hyde Park Art Center among others. In 2015, she was awarded the Hudgens Prize. She received her MFA from Georgia State University, and her BA from the University of Alabama. (via gallery)

Theaster GatesRead
Theaster Gates (b. 1973) lives and works in Chicago. Gates creates works that engage with space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Gates redeems spaces that have been left behind. Known for his recirculation of art world capital, Gates creates work that focuses on the possibility of the “life within things.” His work contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.

In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities on Chicago’s South Side. In 2016, at the request of Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother, Rebuild Foundation received the gazebo where Tamir was playing when he was killed. Ms. Rice sought to preserve the structure as a community space for care, dialogue, and public engagement. The gazebo, which had once been on display in a deconstructed state inside the Stony Island Arts Bank, now stands tall in a reflection garden on the Arts Bank lawn where it serves as a site and object of care.

Gates has exhibited and performed at Tate Liverpool, UK (2020); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2020); Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (2019); Palais de Tokyo Paris, France (2019); Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013); Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012). He was the winner of the Artes Mundi 6 prize and a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur in 2017. In 2018, he was awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture, and the Urban Land Institute, J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. Gates received the 2020 Crystal Award for his leadership in creating sustainable communities.

Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the Harris School of Public Policy, and is Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College. (via the artist)

Tyler GerthRead
Tyler Gerth (b. 1992; d. 2020, Louisville, KY) was incredibly kind, warm-hearted and generous, holding deep convictions and faith. It was this sense of justice that drove Tyler to be part of the peaceful demonstrations advocating for the destruction of the systemic racism within our society. This, combined with his passion for photography led to a strong need within him to be there, documenting the movement, capturing and communicating the messages of peace, justice and change.

Tyler Gerth was a beloved son, cherished little brother, adored uncle and a trusted friend. A graduate of Trinity High School (2011) and the University of Kentucky (2016), Tyler was a lifelong learner and held many passions in addition to his corporate career in quality assurance with Papa John's. Tyler loved watching movies; listening to his vast and diverse record collection, traveling and exploring new places; learning about history through both genealogy research as well as biographies & documentaries; playing and watching a variety of sports; and spending time with family and friends. Tyler was creative, inquisitive, gentle, tenacious, and so very brave. He played the ukulele, had a thriving garden, loved to play with his nieces and nephews, constantly wore some sort of silly socks (tie-dye was his favorite) and is still missed terribly by his precious rescue dog Jordan.

Tyler desired a world in which the future generation could have equal and equitable access to rights and opportunities and he truly believed as he often quoted Sam Cooke, “change is gonna come”. We at Building Equal Bridges, The Tyler Gerth Memorial Foundation are determined to continue Tyler’s legacy of fighting social and racial injustice and are committed to seeing that change he gave his life advocating for. (via the artist's family)

Sam GilliamRead
Sam Gilliam (b. 1933, Tupelo, MS) is one of the great innovators in postwar American painting. He emerged from the Washington, D.C. scene in the mid 1960s with works that elaborated upon and disrupted the ethos of Color School painting.

A series of formal breakthroughs would soon result in his canonical Drape paintings, which expanded upon the tenets of Abstract Expressionism in entirely new ways. Suspending stretcherless lengths of painted canvas from the walls or ceilings of exhibition spaces, Gilliam transformed his medium and the contexts in which it was viewed. As an African-American artist in the nation’s capital at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, this was not merely an aesthetic proposition; it was a way of defining art’s role in a society undergoing dramatic change. Gilliam has subsequently pursued a pioneering course in which experimentation has been the only constant. Inspired by the improvisatory ethos of jazz, his lyrical abstractions continue to take on an increasing variety of forms, moods, and materials.

In addition to a traveling retrospective organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in 2005, Sam Gilliam has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1971); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (1982); Whitney Museum of American Art, Philip Morris Branch, New York (1993); J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (1996); Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (2011); and Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2018), among many other institutions. A semi-permanent installation of Gilliam’s paintings will opened at Dia:Beacon in August 2019. His work is included in over fifty public collections, including those of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Washington, D.C. (via Pace)

Jon-Sesrie GoffRead
Jon-Sesrie Goff (b. 1983, Hartford, CT) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. With extensive experience in media and film production, Jon has offered his lens to a variety of projects spanning many genres including the recently released and award-winning documentaries, including Out in the Night (POV, Logo 2015), Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens 2015) and Spit on the Broom (2019), among several other projects. He is in production for his feature-length documentary, After Sherman, which has received support from JustFilms, Firelight Media, International Documentary Association, Black Public Media, Jerome Foundation, Gucci/Tribeca Film Institute, and the Sundance Institute.
Previously, he has served as Executive Director of the Flaherty Film Seminar and the Museum Specialist for Film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture where he was responsible for developing the museum’s public film program. His personal practice has involved extensive institutional, community, and personal archival research, photo, and film documentation, and oral history interviews in the coastal South on the legacy of Black land ownership and Gullah Geechee heritage preservation. Jon engages with his work from the paradigm of a social change instigator. This is evidenced in his participation in the dimensionality of discourse in multicultural communities both within the United States and overseas. He has taught courses in photography, social justice documentary, and film production – at Duke University (Durham, NC), Villanova University (Villanova, PA), and Westchester University (Westchester, PA).

Jon has served on grant-making panels and juries for the National Endowment for the Arts, Open Society Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Black Star Film Festival, International Documentary Association, Oberhausen Seminar, and CinemAfrica Film Festival (Stockholm, Sweden) among others. He has an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. (via the artist)

Ed HamiltonRead
Ed Hamilton (b. 1947, Cincinnati, Ohio) has created a body of work depicting some of the most well-known Americans throughout history, with a career spanning over 30 years. From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, historical figures to athletes, Hamilton's commissioned monuments, plaques and personal works tell the story of America and shows the rich diversity represented in our culture.

Classically trained, naturally talented and internationally recognized, Hamilton's passion for sculpture has given him the opportunity to share his love of art with the World.
Active in the Louisville community, Ed hastaught workshops, held lectures at public schools, colleges and conferences. He opens his studio for tours and is often called upon to judge art exhibits and has created opportunities for other artists to work and hone their crafts and skills in his studio space. Ed taught sculpture at Jefferson Community College, is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a long time member of St. George’s Episcopal Church, he has served on various boards and panels for community arts organizations, the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky and the Louisville Fund for the Arts. Ed is a former member of the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Public Art and was previously appointed by the Governor to the Kentucky Military Museum in Frankfort, Kentucky and serves on the Executive board of the Thomas Clark Historical Center in Frankfort, Kentucky. (via artist's website)

Kerry James Marshall
Through its formal acuity, Kerry James Marshall’s (b. 1955, Birmingham, AL) work reveals and questions the social constructs of beauty, taste, and power. As the artist has written, ‘I gave up on the idea of making Art a long time ago, because I wanted to know how to make paintings; but once I came to know that, reconsidering the question of what Art is returned as a critical issue.’1 Engaged in an ongoing dialogue with six centuries of representational painting, Marshall has deftly reinterpreted and updated its tropes, compositions, and styles, even pulling talismans from the canvases of his forbearers and recontextualizing them within a modern setting. At the center of his prodigious oeuvre, which also includes drawings and sculpture, is the critical recognition of the conditions of invisibility so long ascribed to black bodies in the Western pictorial tradition, and the creation of what he calls a ‘counter-archive’ that reinscribes these figures within its narrative arc.

Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his BFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1978, where he was later awarded an honorary doctorate in 1999. In 2014, Marshall joined David Zwirner. Kerry James Marshall: Look See, an exhibition of new paintings by the artist, marked his first gallery solo show at David Zwirner in London that same year. Kerry James Marshall: History of Painting, the artist’s second solo presentation with the gallery, was on view in London in 2018.

Marshall has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States since the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2018, Kerry James Marshall: Collected Works was presented at the Rennie Museum in Vancouver and Kerry James Marshall: Works on Paper at The Cleveland Museum of Art. His site-specific outdoor sculpture A Monumental Journey was also permanently installed in Hansen Triangle Park in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. From 2016 to 2017, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, the first major museum survey of the artist’s work, was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, followed by The Met Breuer, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2015, he created a large-scale mural specifically for the High Line, marking the artist’s first public commission in New York. In 2013, his work was the subject of a major survey entitled Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff. The exhibition was first on view at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen in Antwerp. In 2014, it traveled to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen and was co-hosted by two venues in Spain, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

Other prominent institutions which have presented solo shows include the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2013); Secession, Vienna (2012); Vancouver Art Gallery (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2008). Previous traveling solo exhibitions include those organized by the Camden Arts Centre, London (2005), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2003), and The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1998).
Marshall received the 2019 W. E. B. Du Bois Medal, which is considered Harvard University's highest honor in the field of African and African American studies. In 2016, the artist was the recipient of the Rosenberger Medal given by The University of Chicago for outstanding achievement in the creative and performing arts. In 2014, he received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, an award given annually by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2013, he was one of seven new appointees named to President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Other prestigious awards include a 1997 grant from the MacArthur Foundation and a 1991 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Marshall lives and works in Chicago. (via David Zwirner)

Rashid Johnson
Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago, IL) is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. After studying in the photography department of the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson’s practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media – including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking, and installation ­– yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.

Johnson’s work is known for its narrative embedding of a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing collective aspects of African American intellectual history and cultural identity. To date, Johnson has incorporated elements / materials / items as diverse as CB radios, shea butter, literature, record covers, gilded rocks, black soap and tropical plants. Many of Johnson’s works convey rhythms of the occult and mystic: evoking his desire to transform and expand each included object’s field of association in the process of reception. (via Hauser & Wirth)

Kahlil JosephRead More
Kahlil Joseph (b. 1981, Seattle, WA) earned his spurs early on working for the photographer Melodie McDaniel and the movie director Terrence Malick. Joseph creates films and video installations that disrupt linear narratives with a particular treatment of music, used both as a material and as a model of lyricism and complexity. Joseph’s practice scrambles the conventional approach to and understanding of video: his films quote the likes of Andrei Tarkovsky and Chris Marker and feature pop culture icons and underground heroes alike. Joseph’s current focus is the ongoing projectBLKNWS®, an artwork and functioning business established as a way to redefine how Black culture is experienced, viewed, and communicated.BLKNWS®starts from the postulate that anything can be “news” that is new to someone. Originally conceived as a television program, it presents an uninterrupted—though highly edited—stream of images focusing on African American life, including YouTube videos, amateur film footage, internet memes, Instagram stories, and actual news clips. The work operates through a network of highly skilled editors and fugitive journalists—constantly updating the stream—whom Joseph hires and supports, forming a sort ofBLKNWS®academy that reflects his interest in community-driven process. Joseph’s work withBLKNWS®was included inMay You Live in Interesting Timesat the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) and in the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Geneva (2018). His short filmFly Paperdebuted as part of his 2017 solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York. Other exhibitions include those at Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2017); Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2016); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2015). Joseph currently serves as the creative director of the Underground Museum alongside his family, carrying out the vision of his brother, the late Noah Davis. (via the Hammer Museum)

Glenn LigonRead More
Glenn Ligon (b. 1960, Bronx, NY) received a BA from Wesleyan University in 1982. His early practice was grounded in painting, and his canvases of this period built upon the legacies of such Abstract Expressionist artists as Philip Guston, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. In1984 – 1985, Ligon spent an academic year in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, developing a series of representational drawings of iconic sculptures by European artists such as Alberto Giacometti and Constantin Brâncu?i, juxtaposed against images of African American hair products rendered in acrylic and ink.

This early deployment of objects as signifiers did not fully meet Ligon’s desire for expression: ‘I had a crisis of sorts when I realized there was too much of a gap between what I wanted to say and the means I had to say it with.’ Nevertheless, these works crystallized Ligon’s commitment to using signifiers within formalist procedures as a means to explore the complexities of deep cultural tensions.

Soon Ligon began incorporating text into his paintings, using the stenciled words that would become a hallmark of his oeuvre, in order to say more. Just as Guston returned to figuration after a long exploration in Abstract Expressionist painting as a response to the Vietnam War, Ligon pursued language as a means of commentary on the cultural milieu of the 1980s and ‘90s, and more specifically on African American identity within a turbulent landscape. Among key works from this period is ‘Untitled (I Am a Man)’ (1988), an oil and enamel painting derived from a black-and-white photograph by Ernest C. Withers, depicting black sanitation workers striking in Memphis and carrying identical signs printed with the text ‘I AM A MAN.’ These words still carry the force of a heavy assertion: a demand for visibility and humanity in response not only to the injustices thrust upon African Americans in the present time, but also to the history of slavery, the effects of which continue to permeate the entire American experience.

Ligon’s 1991 work ‘Untitled (I Am an Invisible Man)’ borrows lines from the 1955 Ralph Ellison novel ‘Invisible Man.’ Ligon strategically blends, muddles, and merges written words in oil stick and graphite, thereby juxtaposing presence and absence, comprehension and illegibility; by claiming these words in a new context, he points to the possibility of how meaning can slip or evolve. Works such as ‘Untitled (I Feel Most Colored When I Am thrown Against a Sharp White Background)’ (1990), which draws text from Zora Neale Hurston’s 1928 essay ‘How It Feels to Be Colored Me,’ or ‘Untitled (There is a consciousness we all have…)’ (1988), in which Ligon uses a comment made in the New York Times about African American artist Martin Puryear, engage not only the language itself but the visual expression of that language to comment on the subject matter. Painted language becomes the construct of the self, and the stencil is a mechanism of reconstruction, with both pop and expressionist qualities, allowing for a complication of Ligon’s address. In the moments of blurred illegibility, Ligon alludes to the systemic exclusion and erasure of African Americans – including the ways in which black artists have been situated in the margins of canonical art history.

Over the past two and a half decades, Ligon has expanded his practice radically to incorporate new media and structures in large-scale installations, prints, photographs, and sculptures. While sweepingly broad in style and composition, these works engage not only with text-based resources but found images, reworked by the artist in order to amplify the conversation: from the re-appropriation of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of black male nudes, to silkscreen paintings from the Nation of Islam’s Million Man March in Washington D.C., to his seminal ‘Untitled’ (2008), a neon work that spells out the word ‘AMERICA.’ Expressed through this broader range of mediums, Ligon’s engagement with words takes on greater physicality. In ‘Self- Portrait Exaggerating My Black Features and Self-Portrait Exaggerating My White Features’ (1998), Ligon riffs upon Adrian Piper’s seminal work ‘Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features’ (1981) to address the complexities in our perceptions of race using two towering images made from the exact same silkscreen, with the title of the work printed clearly at the bottom of each image. The artist appears here in a rare instance of self-portraiture, provoking questions about the gaze and racist stereotyping.

In 2004, Ligon wrote a major essay for Artforum titled ‘Black Light: David Hammons and the Poetics of Emptiness.’ Shortly after, inspired by the notion of working with light, he presented his first neon relief: ‘Warm Broad Glow’ (2005) outlining the words ‘negro sunshine’ in neon letters. Ligon has continued to question the relationship between light and dark in his work, most recently using neon in the handwriting of his friends and colleagues in a work titled ‘Some Black Parisians’ (2019), included in the exhibition ‘Black Models: From Géricault to Matisse’ at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. This sculptural work displays the names of black models whose identities are the focus of the exhibition. While centering and celebrating the individuals whose likenesses are rendered in these works, Ligon also uses the phrase ‘nom inconnu’ (name unknown) to remind viewers that many of these subjects still remain lost to history.

Ligon engages the state of the world – and urges us to do the same – by posing questions rather than proposing answers. His art demonstrates the ways in which a given subject has permeated culture over time, magnetizing our attention to the mutability of images and our perceptions of them. His questions concern not only the identity of his subject; he interrogates the viewer, the history, the institution, and the cultural context by rendering a portrait of America as a concept, a place, and a nation.

The artist’s important recent exhibitions include ‘Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions,’ a curatorial project organized with Nottingham Contemporary and Tate Liverpool (2015), and ‘Blue Black,’ an exhibition curated by the artist at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis (2017). A retrospective of Ligon’s work, ‘Glenn Ligon: America,’ organized by Scott Rothkopf, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in March 2011 and traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011) and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2012).

Ligon’s work has been included in major international exhibitions such as the Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (1997, 2015); Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2014); Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002); Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2000); and the Whitney Biennial, New York NY (1991, 1993). He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2003), the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (2006), and the Studio Museum’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (2009). (via Hauser & Wirth)

Amy SheraldRead
Amy Sherald (b. 1973, Columbus, GA; lives and works in Baltimore MD) documents contemporary African-American experience in the United States through arresting, otherworldly portraits. Sherald subverts the medium of portraiture to tease out unexpected narratives, inviting viewers to engage in a more complex debate about accepted notions of race and representation, and to situate black heritage centrally in the story of American art.

Among her influences, Sherald has cited photographs that W.E.B. Du Bois compiled to be displayed at the Paris Exposition in 1900, depicting African-American men, women, and children in ways that countered discriminatory representations of the day. In particular, Sherald is drawn to the way in which African-American family photographs served as intimate, personal portraits, during a time when only white individuals or groups were being iconized in paintings.

While her subjects are always African-American, Sherald renders their skin-tone exclusively in grisaille – an absence of color that directly challenges perceptions of black identity.’ Sherald offsets this against a vibrant palette: eye-popping clothes and ephemera float in tension against abstracted backgrounds. The depth created by the pastel backgrounds are not confined to any specific time or space, but seem to exist beyond the facts of recorded history and national borders.
She defines the subjects of her portraits simply as ephemera float in tension against abstracted background to American identity. The individuals in her paintings are deliberately posed, dramatically staged, and assertive in gaze. Their expressiveness, and the variations in their gestures, clothing, and emotional auras reinforce the complex multiplicities of African-American existence. But the persistent sense of privacy and mystery maintained in Sherald’s work requires viewers to ponder the thoughts and dreams of the black men and women she has depicted.

Sherald was the first woman and first African-American ever to receive first prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; in February 2018, the museum unveiled her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Sherald has also received the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta GA. Alongside her painterly practice, Sherald has worked for almost two decades along-side socially committed creative initiatives, including teaching art in prisons and art projects with teenagers. (via Hauser & Wirth)

Lorna SimpsonRead
Lorna Simpson (b. 1960, Brooklyn, NY) came to prominence in the 1980s with her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. Simpson’s early work – particularly her striking juxtapositions of text and staged images – raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history that continue to drive the artist’s expanding and multi-disciplinary practice today. She deftly explores the medium’s umbilical relation to memory and history, both central themes within her work.

Studying on the West Coast in the mid-1980s, Simpson was part of a generation of artists who utilized conceptual approaches to undermine the credibility and apparent neutrality of language and images. Her most iconic works from this period depict African-American figures as seen only from behind or in fragments. Photographed in a neutral studio space, the figures are tied neither to a specific place nor time. Drawing upon a long-standing interest in poetry and literature, the artist accompanies these images with her own fragmented text, which is at times infused with the suggestion of violence or trauma. The incredibly powerful works entangle viewers into an equivocal web of meaning, with what is unseen and left unsaid as important as that which the artist does disclose. Seemingly straightforward, these works are in fact near-enigmas, as complex as the subject matter they take on.

Over the past 30 years, Simpson has continued to probe these questions while expanding her practice to encompass various media including film and video, painting, drawing and sculpture. Her recent works incorporate appropriated imagery from vintage Jet and Ebony magazines, found photo booth images, and discarded Associated Press photos of natural elements – particularly ice, a motif that appears in her sculptural work in the form of glistening ‘ice’ blocks made of glass. The new work continues to immerse viewers in layers of bewitching paradoxes, threading dichotomies of figuration and abstraction, past and present, destruction and creation, and male and female. Layered and multivalent, Simpson’s practice deploys metaphor, metonymy, and formal prowess to offer a potent response to American life today. (via Hauser & Wirth)

Nari WardRead
Nari Ward (b. 1963, St. Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in New York) is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighborhood. He has repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. Ward re-contextualizes these found objects in thought- provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. He intentionally leaves the meaning of his work open, allowing the viewer to provide his or her own interpretation.

One of his most iconic works, Amazing Grace, was produced as part of his 1993 residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem in response to the AIDS crisis and drug epidemic of the early 1990s. For this large-scale installation, Ward gathered more than 365 discarded baby strollers—commonly used by the homeless population in Harlem to transport their belongings—which he bound with twisted fire hoses in an abandoned fire station in Harlem. Echoing through the space was an audio recording of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s Amazing Grace on repeat. The lyrics speak about redemption and change, generating optimism and a sense of hope. As with most of his work, this installation explored themes informed by the materials, community, and location in which Ward was working. The work has since been recreated at the New Museum Studio in 2019, the New Museum’s Studio 231 series in 2013, and in several locations across Europe. With each change of context, the significance of the work changes as each community associates differently with these found objects.

Nari Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2019); New Museum, New York (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2017); The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2016); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2015); Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2015); Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, LA (2014); The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2011); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2011); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2002); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2001, 2000). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include Objects Like Us, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (forthcoming, 2018-2019); UPTOWN: nastywomen/badhombres, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2017); Black: Color, Material, Concept, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015); The Great Mother, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Palazzo Reale, Milan (2015); The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York (2013); Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Rotunda, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006); Landings, Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002); Passages: Contemporary Art in Transition, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Projects: How to Build and Maintain the Virgin Fertility of Our Soul, MoMA PS1, Long Island City; The Listening Sky, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Whitney Biennial, New York (1995); and Cardinal Points of the Arts, 45th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Ward’s work is in numerous international public and private collections, including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; GAM, Galleria Civica di arte, Torino, Italy; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; National Gallery of Victoria, Southbank, Australia; the New York Public Library, New York, NY; Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Ward has received numerous honors and distinctions including the Fellowship Award, The United States Artists, Chicago (2020); Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts, Vilcek Foundation, New York (2017); the Joyce Award, The Joyce Foundation, Chicago (2015), the Rome Prize, American Academy of Rome (2012), and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1996); and the National Endowment for the Arts (1994). Ward has also received commissions from the United Nations and the World Health Organization. (via Lehmann Maupin)

Hank Willis ThomasRead More
Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976, Plainfield, NJ; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture.

His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including the International Center of Photography, New York; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands.

Solo exhibitions of his work have been featured at Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, AR; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, and the African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA, among others.

Major group exhibitions of his work include the 2017 inaugural show at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Zacheta National Museum of Art, Poland; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, and the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Orange County, CA.

Thomas’ work is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

His collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males, In Search Of The Truth (The Truth Booth), The Writing on the Wall, and For Freedoms. In 2017, For Freedoms was awarded the ICP Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform. Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2019), The Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), Aperture West Book Prize (2008), Renew Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2007), and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award (2006).

Thomas holds a B.F.A. from New York University, New York, NY (1998) and an M.A./M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). He received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, MD and the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, ME in 2017.

In 2019, Thomas unveiled his permanent work "Unity" in Brooklyn, NY. In 2017, “Love Over Rules” permanent neon was unveiled in San Francisco, CA and “All Power to All People” in Opa Locka, FL. (via the artist)

Alisha WormsleyRead
Alisha B. Wormsley (b. 1978, Pittsburgh, PA) is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Her work is about collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color, more specifically Black Women in America. Wormsley is an artist who has worked in communities around the world, helping to develop artistic ideas, celebrate identities, and organize public art initiatives for national and international audiences.

Wormsley’s work has received a number of awards and grants to support programs namely the Children of NAN film series and archive, and There Are Black People In The Future. Her work has exhibited globally. Over the last few years, Wormsley has designed several public art initiatives including Streaming Space, a 24-foot pyramid with video and sound installed in Pittsburgh's downtown Market Square, and AWxAW, a multimedia interactive installation and film commission at the Andy Warhol Museum. Wormsley created a public program out of her work, "There Are Black People In the Future", which gives mini-grants to open up discourse around displacement and gentrification and was also awarded a fellowship with Monument Lab and the Goethe Institute. In 2020, Wormsley launched an art residency for Black creative mothers called Sibyls Shrine, which has received two years of support from the Heinz Endowments. Wormsley has an MFA in Film and Video from Bard College and currently is a Presidential Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University to research and create work rooted in matriarchal leadership and mysticism in the African-American community. (via artist website)

T.A. YeroRead
T.A. Yero is a professional photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky. Yero and her husband Aron own and operate Two Hearts Media—offering portraits, headshots, family photos, weddings and food & product photography.

About the Curator
Allison M. Glenn is an Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Glenn works across the contemporary program at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, a new contemporary art space and satellite of Crystal Bridges. Since joining Crystal Bridges in 2018, she has worked with artists at all stages of their careers around themes of history, temporality, language, site, and identity.
In her role, Glenn also shapes how outdoor sculpture activates and engages the museum’s 120-acre campus. She is currently working with Rashid Johnson to create a new, site-specific outdoor sculpture for Crystal Bridges North Forest (2021) that will be activated with an ongoing series of performances. Connecting the impact that color has on perception and the body Glenn organized Color Field (2019), an outdoor sculpture exhibition that activated a contemporary gallery and the lush North Forest. Featuring fourteen sculptures by eleven contemporary artists, including Sarah Braman, Sam Falls, Odili Donald Odita, and Jessica Stockholder, Color Field debuted at Crystal Bridges and traveled to Artis-Naples, the Baker Museum (2020) and University of Houston (2020-2021). She is also curator on the Convergence, a Design Excellence collaboration between Crystal Bridges and The Scott Family Amazeum that will develop an interactive and multi-generational outdoor gathering space.

Glenn was a member of the curatorial team for State of the Art 2020, which opened simultaneously at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary. She spearheaded the adaptation of Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… (2020) at Crystal Bridges, and has produced collection focus exhibitions within the galleries.
Glenn has over a decade of experience in the field. Prior to working at Crystal Bridges, she was the Manager of Publications and Curatorial Associate for Prospect New Orleans’ international art triennial Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp. Her writing has been featured in numerous exhibition publications, including those produced by Crystal Bridges Museum, Princeton Architectural Press, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Kemper Museum of Art, Prospect New Orleans, DePaul Art Museum, Rebuild Foundation, the California African American Museum, University at Buffalo Art Galleries, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has contributed to Hyperallergic, ART21 Magazine, ART PAPERS, Pelican Bomb’s Art Review, and Newcity.

Glenn is a member of Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Public Art Consortium Collaboration Committee, and sits on the Board of Directors for ARCAthens, a curatorial and artist residency program based in Athens, Greece. She received dual master’s degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy, and a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography with a co-major in Urban Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper
February 19, 2021 – August 22, 2021

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a visit to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in 1994, de Borchgrave began working in the new medium, creating trompe l’œilpaper works in what eventually would become four major paper fashion collections.

The first, Papiers à la Mode (Paper in Fashion), takes a fresh look at three hundred years of fashion history from Elizabeth I to Coco Chanel. The World of Mariano Fortuny immerses museum-goers in the elegant world of twentieth-century Venice. Splendor of the Medici leads visitors through the streets of Florence, where they come across famous figures in their sumptuous ceremonial dress. And in Les Ballets Russes, de Borchgrave pays tribute to Sergei Diaghilev, Pablo Picasso, Léon Bakst, and Henri Matisse, who all designed for this extraordinary ballet company.

For this exhibition, all four collections will be presented together, for the first time, in a survey of de Borchgrave’s innovative work. Along with these pieces, a series of kaftans highlighting Silk Road textiles will be included as well.

This exhibition is organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, in cooperation with Isabelle de Borchgrave Studio.

Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection
February 6 – June 20, 2021

Engaged after a three-week courtship and married for 69 years, Leonard and the late Adele Leight were meant to be together. Their love for one another also embraced a love of artistic expression rendered in glass. Through decades of affectionate negotiation with one another—a requisite of any successful marriage—they built one of the country’s most significant collections of contemporary glass, proving once again that two heads are always better than one. Their collection has been generously gifted to the Speed over the past three decades.

Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection draws together over 60 works by over 50 artists to illustrate both the Leights’ shared lives as collectors and the stories of international contemporary glass embedded within their collection. Co-curated by Scott Erbes, the Speed’s Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, and widely exhibited artist and educator Norwood Viviano, this exhibition will use the breadth of the Leight Collection to examine the diverse practices of the artists represented. Some of the themes to be explored: issues of race and gender, perspectives on the human figure, conceptual considerations of the history of glass, and formalist explorations of the material.

Artists in the exhibition will include Dale Chihuly, Stephen Paul Day, Jeffrey Gibson, Karen LaMonte, Silvia Levenson, Sybille Peretti, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Judith Schaechter, Joyce J. Scott, Preston Singletary, Therman Statom, and Pamina Traylor as well as the artist-spouses Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský.

Support for this exhibition comes from:
Merrily Orsini and Rick Heath
Dr. John and Bonnie Seidman Roth

Support for contemporary exhibitions comes from:
Augusta and Gill Holand
Exhibition season sponsored by:
Cary Brown and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy

Wolfgang Buttress: Blossom
Second Floor, North Building

This project uses sculpture, light, and sound to poetically reveal the life and death cycle of trees. For Blossom, the artist Wolfgang Buttress, based in Nottingham, England, documents the fading life of a 200-year-old Bramley apple tree (the mother of all Bramley apple trees), and the flourishing life of this tree’s progeny.

Working with scientist Dr. Martin Bencsik, Buttress attached accelerometers to the trunk and roots of the original Bramley apple tree, which is under the care of Nottingham Trent University in Southwell, England. These sensitive instruments detect the vibrations of this dying tree and send this live information to the glass sculpture on view at the Speed Art Museum. The artist also will attach accelerometers to a graft taken from the original Bramley tree which will be planted next to the original dying tree. Information from this new tree’s vibrations will be sent in real time to the Speed in Spring 2021 when the tree is in blossom.

On view in the gallery is a three-dimensional scan of the original Bramley apple tree, laser etched in cast glass. The light emanating from this sculpture and the sounds heard in the gallery are driven by the vibrations sent to the sculpture from the original tree and its young offspring. In the near future, the mother tree will die. Its vibrational energy will never completely cease, however, due to the energy released by the decaying process and lifeforms such as insects that will overtake the tree. The vibrations from the new tree will in time become the dominant source of information affecting the artwork.

Music is an important device in Buttress’s practice and a key facet in Blossom’s soundscape. Buttress collaborated with musicians in the United Kingdom such as Kev Bales and Tony Foster (BE) and musicians in Kentucky to create a library of sounds harmonious to the key of “C” (the resonant frequency of the mother tree). Their sonorous tones form an ever-changing musical accompaniment to this artwork. This is expressed as a subtle key change from minor to major which follows the progress of these trees’ growth and passage. The artist Benjamin Wigley collaborated with Buttress on the creation of the video on display.

Blossom thus presents a memory of the past, a document of the present, and a hope for the future. According to Buttress, “The sculpture expresses how life is formed and hopefully allows us to reconnect with the natural world around us.”

The World Turned Upside Down: A Contemporary Response

Featuring artwork from the twentieth and twenty-first century, this re-installation features pieces from the Speed’s permanent collection that focus on the role of artists in marking societal and political change. From commemorating the advances of the 1960s civil rights moment, to memorializing wartime atrocities, to acknowledging the persistence of systemic racism in society, and exploring the ever-shifting politics of the domestic sphere, artists reflect our changing world back to us through the lens of creativity.

Through exploring how artists have interpreted transitions in their environment, community, and family like, this display highlights the invaluable role of artists in helping us absorb and understand how our world continues to evolve.

This re-installation of the collection is complemented by a related presentation of The World Turned Upside Down in Gallery 2, featuring artworks from the eighteenth and earl nineteenth century.

Exhibition supported provided by:
Alan and Shelly Ann Kamei
Exhibition season support provided by:
Dav Fam Art Fund
Cary Brother and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy
Eleanor Bingham Miller

Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell

October 2019 marks the 150th birthday of Louisville-born and nationally-renowned sculptor Enid Yandell. To celebrate this milestone, and the publication of a new biography of Yandell by Juliee Decker, the Speed is presenting a fresh look at Yandell’s career. Comprised of works drawn from the Speed’s permanent collection and private loans, Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell will contextualize the world in which Enid lived, as a young woman living and working in turn-of-the-century Louisville, Paris, and New York City. As a working artist, Yandell competed for major commissions and completed works for private clients. As a young woman with an activist’s heart, she involved herself with volunteer efforts during World War I, eventually serving as Director for the Bureau of Communications for the American Red Cross in New York, and actively supported the women’s suffrage movement.

Outside of the Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Speed owns the largest collection of works by Yandell. The exhibition will be the third show presented by the Speed – the first being in 1941, and the second in 1993. This exhibition will be the first to situate the world in which Yandell lived and worked as a female artist navigating a career in a field that favored male artists, and the challenges and opportunities associated with her work.

A Celebration of the Speed Collection
Opens March 12, 2016
Location: Museum-wide
Free with general admission

Extending the legacy of its founder Mrs. Hattie Bishop Speed, the museum’s grand reopening will turn a new light on the Speed’s wide-ranging collections. With freshly renovated galleries and new, expansive spaces devoted to contemporary art and the art of Kentucky, visitors have the opportunity to see familiar favorites in novel ways and new acquisitions in new spaces. Supplemented by important loans, the extensive collection highlights more than 6,000 years of human creativity.

The new North Building includes an unprecedented 9,000 square foot gallery dedicated to the display of the Speed’s contemporary art collection. The reopening installation will also include important regional and national loans.. The Speed’s contemporary art collection consists of a growing body of work by artists working in a broad range of media. Global in its outlook, the collection is focused upon the dominant issues and ideas that concern contemporary artists, as well as their bold spirit of experimentation and imaginative use of materials.

Also new to the museum, the Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park, available free to the public, expands the art experience outdoors and into the community. Contemporary art will be featured here, too, with sculptures by Henry Moore, Deborah Butterfield, and Mark Handforth, among others, as well as multi-media installations including work by the renowned sound artist Susan Philipsz. The park will provide an inviting space that welcomes the community to interact with and be inspired both by art and by the surrounding landscape.

In addition to new works in new spaces, renovations to the beloved museum refresh and enhance the museum experience. Among the most dramatic changes, the Kentucky Collection has a new 5,600-square-foot-space dedicated to the state’s artistic heritage. The Speed’s Kentucky Collection showcases painting, sculpture, and decorative arts created by and for Kentuckians, from 1800 through the 1940s. Additionally, galleries featuring African art, the art of ancient cultures, and Native American art have been completely re-envisioned.

The Speed’s exceptional permanent collection of European and American art will be completely reinstalled in a series of expanded and revitalized gallery spaces. The museum’s rich holdings of 17th century Dutch, Flemish and 18th century French works will be presented with a contextual, comprehensive approach, offering visitors an immersive experience into those worlds. Visitors will be able to find familiar favorites by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and Brancusi, and there will be more opportunities for exploration of the collection. We are making sure that you can always discover new treasures that surprise, delight, and spark conversation and ideas. After all, this is your museum!

To see more of the artworks featured in the permanent collection, visit Collection Highlights.

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