the renaissance society: black is, black ain’t

Today I visited the Renaissance Society of Chicago, located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago’s campus. “The Society presents art seldom seen
in the midwest, giving the public opportunities to investigate the most recent developments in contemporary art. At the same time, the museum is equally committed to fostering the development of Chicago’s own rich artistic resources”.

The current show , curated by Hamza Walker, is entitled Black Is, Black Ain’t. I was very impressed by the work included in the show from artist’s throughout the country, the show was powerful and many pieces have stuck with me. I enjoyed the works by William Pope L. particularly his cupped-flour sculptures which were scattered throughout the gallery on small make-shift shelves. The video pieces were interesting and very peculiar especially Joanna Rytel’s monologue-based performance/video work about a mixed-race relationship.

Artist’s included in the exhibition are as follows:
Terry Adkins | Edgar Arceneaux | Elizabeth Axtman | Jonathan Calm | Paul D’Amato | Deborah Grant | Todd Gray | Shannon Jackson | Thomas Johnson | Jason Lazarus | David Levinthal | Glenn Ligon | David McKenzie | Rodney McMillian | Jerome Mosley | Virginia Nimarkoh | Demetrius Oliver | Sze Lin Pang | Carl Pope | William Pope.L | Robert A. Pruitt | Randy Regier | Daniel Roth | Joanna Rytel | Andres Serrano | Hank Willis Thomas | Mickalene Thomas

Photobucket
Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow, 2005
Neon, 39 x 192 inches (Courtesy of Sender Collection, courtesy of Levin Art Group)

Photobucket
Jonathan Calm, Baruch Runoff #2,2008
Pigment print, 40 x 50 inches (Courtesy of the artist and Caren Golden Fine Art, New York)

***********************************************************************************
(portion of press release)
“Taking its title from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, this exhibition will explore a shift in the rhetoric of race from an earlier emphasis on inclusion to a present moment where racial identity is being simultaneously rejected and retained. The exhibition will bring together works by 26 black and non-black artists whose work together examines a moment where the cultural production of so-called ‘blackness’ is concurrent with efforts to make race socially and politically irrelevant.”

For more information about the Renaissance Society please visit http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/

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