Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context presents work that addresses the concerns, thoughts, and desires of contemporary artists from the Southern African region as they grapple with the legacy of post-colonial structures. Regional Identities x Global Context is the second iteration of Crossing Night, an exhibition series organized by the A4 Arts Foundation—a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the creative arts in southern Africa. With an emphasis on transition and transformation, Crossing Night explores how local politics, urban landscape, and place shape the personal identities that define regional culture. The exhibition will feature photography, video, sculpture, and installation works. For this exhibition, MOCAD and A4 Art Foundation are proud to partner with Wedge Collection—one of Canada’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections focused African diasporic culture and contemporary Black life.
Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in collaboration with the A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town and is curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator, Josh Ginsburg, Director at the A4 Arts Foundation, and Jova Lynne, Ford Curatorial Fellow.
Mining images from advertising, social media, and entertainment since the late 1970s, Richard Prince has redefined concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura. Applying his understanding of the complex issues surrounding representation in the context of contemporary art, he has developed a unique signature—one filled with echoes of other images, yet unquestionably his own. An innovator of a critical genre of art history—appropriation—Prince is an avid collector committed to chronicling perspectives on American subcultures. Occupying MOCAD’s largest gallery, various Instagram photos on large canvases will be featured, with Prince adding his own, Instagram-style comments below.Richard Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone. Prince’s work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992) and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1993). Prince’s works are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts Collection, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Prince currently lives and works in New York.
Richard Prince: Portraits is curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director.
This exhibition is generously supported by A. Alfred Taubman Foundation.
Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius is the first solo museum show for Detroit-based visual artist, Conrad Egyir. The works in this show focus on figurative characters that reside or bestride three geographical spaces–Detroit, New York, and Aburi, Ghana–and how the cultures of each of these locations define citizenship, migration, hybrid spaces, and political and religious revolutions. Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in partnership with International Studio & Curatorial Program.
CONRAD EGYIR: TERRA NULLIUS
APRIL 16 – JUNE 7, 2020
Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius is the first solo museum show for Detroit-based visual artist, Conrad Egyir. For this debut, Egyir created a new body of work while in residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York City, during the summer of 2019. The works in this show focus on figurative characters that reside or bestride three geographical spaces–Detroit, New York, and Aburi, Ghana–and how the cultures of each of these locations define citizenship, migration, hybrid spaces, and political and religious revolutions. At the core of the exhibition, is finding similarities among the three psycho-social terrains and synthesizing them into a new space “Terra Nullius.” Within this new place, devoid of political and legal constructs, its residents behave as stewards of time, resources, and space.
Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in partnership with International Studio & Curatorial Program. Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius is coordinated by Tizziana Baldenebro, Ford Curatorial Fellow with curatorial insights from guest curator Larry Ossei-Mensah.
Exhibitions and public programs at MOCAD are supported by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Lead funding for this exhibition is generously provided by The Kettering Family Foundation, with additional support provided by Jessica Silverman Gallery.
Crimes Against Reality is the first solo museum exhibition of The New Red Order. Accompanied by a series of public programs, the exhibition explores questions of Indigenous sovereignty and experience through the lens of digital culture, experimental media, and emerging technologies. Crimes Against Reality is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Pat Elifritz, Curator of New Media and Technology.
THE NEW RED ORDER: CRIMES AGAINST REALITY
APRIL 16 – JUNE 7, 2020
Crimes Against Reality is the first solo museum exhibition of The New Red Order. This exhibition explores the desire for indigeneity through the lens of digital culture, experimental media, and emerging technology. Presented across two galleries at MOCAD, as well as the Museum's online platform Daily Rush, Crimes Against Reality includes new video commissions shot on-location in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.
The New Red Order (NRO) is a public secret society facilitated by core contributors Adam Khalil (Ojibway), Zack Khalil (Ojibway), and Jackson Polys (Tlingit). Working with an interdisciplinary network of informants—including, for this exhibition, Ashley Byler, Driftnote, Jim Fletcher, Inpatient Press, KITE, Jeremy Pheiffer, Gaile Pranckunaite, Walker Schiff, Walter Scott, Rezarta Seferi, Bayley Sweitzer, Virgil Taylor, and others—the NRO co-produces video, performance, and installation works that confront settler colonial tendencies and obstacles to Indigenous growth and agency.
Crimes Against Reality is the largest installment to date in Unboxing, an ongoing series of exhibitions, performances, and public programs dedicated to emerging ideas at the crossroads of technology, new media, and contemporary art. Unboxing is a spotlight for new perspectives on digital culture in the museum context. The series provides MOCAD with a dedicated platform for engaging topics unique to art of the twenty-first century, demonstrating the Museum's long-term commitment to artists pushing the boundaries of new media and technology.
The New Red Order: Crimes Against Reality is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Pat Elifritz, Curator of New Media and Technology, with curatorial support from Tizziana Baldenebro, Ford Curatorial Fellow.
Exhibitions and public programs at MOCAD are supported by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. The New Red Order: Crimes Against Reality is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with additional support from the Jerome Foundation.
Peter Williams: Black Universe is a joint exhibition that surveys Williams’ figurative and abstract paintings. Intertwining art historical references, allegories, and current events with personal life experiences, his paintings address significant issues of our time, such as climate change and racial discrimination, through grotesque figures, vibrant compositions, and symbolic imagery. Peter Williams: Black Universe is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by guest curators Larry Ossei-Mensah and Rebecca Mazzei.
PETER WILLIAMS: BLACK UNIVERSE
APRIL 16 – JUNE 7, 2020
Peter Williams: Black Universe is a joint exhibition that presents Williams’ figurative and abstract paintings. Williams’ visually compelling works intertwine art historical references, allegories, current events, and personal life experiences. In this two-part exhibition, which presents more than two dozen paintings, the artist addresses difficult social issues, such as racial discrimination and climate change, through symbolic imagery, grotesque figures, and vibrant compositions. Now a professor of painting at the University of Delaware, Williams taught for 17 years at Wayne State University in Detroit and was a well-established member of the arts community.
Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in collaboration with guest curators Larry Ossei-Mensah and Rebecca Mazzei, the exhibition highlights new figurative works from Williams’ Black Exodus series (on view at MOCAD) and Narration and Transition, a survey of abstract paintings (on view at Trinosophes) that are an essential aspect of his dynamic oeuvre. Williams presents an uncensored picture of dominant contemporary culture, one in which our desires, our humor, our complicity and brutality are unsuppressed.
MOCAD presents a selection of 10 paintings from the Black Exodus series, featuring a highly evolved Afrofuturist storyline that uses allegory, dark humor, and satire to explore a new ecologically focused life for Black people. The series examines the idea of “space” literally and metaphorically, referring to the surface of the canvas, the physical realm, and perhaps most importantly, the realm of inner and outer consciousness.
With the earth on the verge of social and environmental disaster, a community bands together as they embark on an interdimensional voyage. Individuals travel in retrofitted 1950s flying cars, referencing the ingenuity of Cuban society during Socialism and Williams’ time spent living in the Motor City.
The formal qualities of painting function purposefully in the artist’s work as he slips between abstraction and figuration. Williams' stimulating color palette lures viewers in to explore themes regarding racial animosity that they may otherwise find challenging to confront. He also uses pattern and distortion as devices to “scramble things up,” emphasizing the disruptive and disorienting conditions that affect Black lives in American society. His characters may grab the viewer’s attention at first, but nothing can be taken at face value. A network of activity resides in the layers beneath the surface.
This charged body of work showcases the artist’s incredible knack for storytelling, as well as an in-depth knowledge of art history and the history of civilization that seem to be at his fingertips. He invites viewers to use their imagination when exploring a narrative he has constructed.
These paintings often convey multiple perceptual experiences at once, evoking potent imagery of both a physiological and psychological nature—totemic forms suggestive of sexuality and desire, ancient cultural significance, or even his own experience living in his body. Williams experienced great trauma as a young man, when he was involved in a car accident that left him disabled. Flesh, muscle, blood vessels, and cellular activity come to mind in the visceral forms he repetitively makes. These elements also become solutions for figuration, laying the groundwork for props that emerge in his narrative paintings, where they take on new meaning while carrying the 'DNA' of their origin.
Peter Williams: Black Universe is co-curated by guest curators Larry Ossei-Mensah and Rebecca Mazzei and organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. On view April 16, 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit) and runs through June 7, 2020.
Funding for Peter Williams: Black Universe is provided Modern Ancient Brown and with additional support from Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
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This exhibition features pen and ink drawings by Kenny Irwin, Jr., best known as the mastermind behind Robolights—a sci-fi themed art installation of epic proportions he built by hand over the course of 33 years on the grounds of his childhood home in Palm Springs, California. The project was reimagined last year as Robolights Detroit. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of photographs of the original Robolights in Palm Springs by Julie Reyes Taubman, the late founding board member of MOCAD.
KENNY IRWIN, JR.: DRAWINGS
APRIL 3 – MAY 3, 2020
This exhibition features pen and ink drawings by Kenny Irwin, Jr., best known as the mastermind behind Robolights—a sci-fi themed art installation of epic proportions he built by hand over the course of 33 years on the grounds of his childhood home in Palm Springs, California. The project was reimagined last year as Robolights Detroit at Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead.
At the age of two he drew pictures of aliens and scenes of outer space with crayons around the periphery of his room in a single night.Irwin has always used whatever common materials are at hand to create his art and today he makes most of his drawings with ballpoint pens. As Irwin grew older he discovered that the language appearing in his imagination used Pastu, Farsi, Urdu, and Arabic script and he now believes these to be most comparable to the advanced languages of other worlds.
Although Irwin was born into a Christian family he converted to Islam at an early age. References to both can be found throughout his work alongside secular holidays, dinosaurs, pirates, and robots. These disparate themes which are often at odds with each other are united inIrwin's work through the delightful power of happiness, creativity, and unlimited imagination. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of photographs of the original Robolights in Palm Springs by Julie Reyes Taubman, the late founding board member of MOCAD.
The A. Alfred Taubman Foundation is the presenting sponsor of Kenny Irwin, Jr: Drawings.
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Celebrate the artistic talents of teens from across Southeast Michigan at this exhibition curated by the MOCAD Teen Council. This exhibition includes a high energy opening reception featuring visual artwork and live performances by artists ages 13–19.
ANNUAL APPLEBAUM TEEN EXHIBITION
APRIL 3 – April 5, 2020
Celebrate the artistic talents of teens from across Southeast Michigan at this exhibition curated by the MOCAD Teen Council. This exhibition includes a high energy opening reception featuring visual work and live performances by artists ages 13–19.
Calling all Detroit area youth artists and performers, ages 13-19! MOCAD Teen Council invites you to submit works of all media to the 2020 Annual Applebaum Teen Exhibition, in response to the theme ‘Identity’. The theme is meant to share and explore how identities are being shaped by the world around us. Accepted media include video, drawing, painting, print, collage, photography, sculpture, digital media, music, theatre, and writing.
In addition to the visual art exhibition, the opening reception will feature a youth open mic. Teen musicians, poets, and performers of all types are invited to register for the open mic, with performances not to exceed five minutes. Teens must complete registration and deliver exhibition-ready work to MOCAD by Monday, March 23, at 5pm.