In Abstract, Haunting, and Poignant Works, Artists Reflect on the Great Migration in a Major Exhibition, Noah Simblist, Art in America [31/1/2023]
In 2021 New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote an op-ed about his move from New York to Atlanta, arguing for others to follow him on a path that has been called a “second Great Migration.” He was referring, of course, to the historical period between the 1910s and 1970s, during which millions of Black Americans moved from the South throughout the United States, seeking greater economic and political opportunity. While that movement was driven largely by increasing factory jobs in the North and dire conditions in the South, the patterns of relocation during this period also included shifts to the rest of the states. Mounted during a now decades-long pattern of Black Americans returning to the South—whether to gain political majorities, as Blow advocates, or find different communities and opportunities—the exhibition “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration” illustrated this history through commissioned works by 12 contemporary artists.
Curated by Jessica Bell Brown of the Baltimore Museum of Art and Ryan Dennis of the Mississippi Museum of Art, the show started in Jackson, Mississippi, and traveled this past fall to Baltimore. Its second iteration opened with abstraction, pairing a sculpture by Torkwase Dyson with a painting by Mark Bradford. Dyson’s sculpture comprises four black trapezoidal prisms nearly 7 feet tall made of steel and glass, arranged symmetrically on the floor; connected by black steel armatures, they suggest an ancient navigational tool, and evoke the movement of the show’s title. Each shape tapers toward its opposite, and, as one walks around them, their tones shift, manifesting both reflection and transparency. Bradford’s painting is a grid of vibrant yellow and black panels, based on an advertisement from a 1913 issue of the NAACP magazine The Crisis that sought Black families to move to Blackdom, New Mexico. This archival record, reproduced on each panel with raised lettering made with a caulking gun, is evident only on close inspection. From afar, the piece seems to depict flickers of fire glowing in the night sky.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.