On September 30, the Joyner/Giuffrida Collection will commence a national tour at Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The touring exhibition is called Solidary & Solitary and offers a new perspective on the critical contribution African American and African diaspora artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to today. Ranging across 70 years, Solidary & Solitary will reveal a rich and complex history woven from the threads of artistic debates about how to embody blackness; social struggle and change; migrations and the international African diaspora.
Highlights will include large-scale works by an array of artists that fuse the social and the abstract in visceral ways, including Jack Whitten, Kevin Beasley, Shinique Smith, and Serge Alain Nitegeka, among others. Placing a spotlight on individuals’ pursuit of creative freedom in different eras and geographical contexts, the exhibition will feature several artists’ careers in depth including solo sections focused on Norman Lewis, Sam Gilliam, Charles Gaines, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Speaking on the forthcoming exhibition, Katy Siegel, Baltimore Museum of Art Senior Programming & Research Curator and Thaw Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University explains “these artists confront with bravery and creativity a tension we all feel, most especially African Americans, between the ‘solitary’—being specifically, uniquely and only oneself—and the ‘solidary’ of a group’s collective social identity. It is essential that these histories be told, that the possibilities of individual achievement, collective identity and genuine, institutional social change be made vivid, concrete and beautiful.”
To celebrate the commencement, curators Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel will be partaking in a public artists talk – Black Artists/New Histories – at The Ogden Museum on Saturday, September 30, from 2-3p.m. Solidary & Solitary will be on display in The Ogden Museum of Southern Art from September 30, 2017 – January 21, 2018.