WOLE SOYINKA: Antiquities Across Times and Place
Comprising nearly 50 pieces, including antiquities made from wood, bronze, cloth, pigment and other materials, the exhibition prominently features pieces made and used by the Yoruba people. Works from the Congo, bronzes from Benin, and some of Igbo origin also are included. Items in the exhibition range from religious iconography to ritual pieces, to ornamental artworks, weaponry, vessels and more. The curated collection of antiquities are placed in conversation with works by five contemporary African artists themselves inspired by Soyinka’s plays and writings.
Contemporary artists featured in this exhibition are sculptors and painters Peju Alatise, Olu Amoda, Osaretin Ighile, Moyo Okediji, and Bruce Onobrakpeya. Choregrapher Peter Badejo and filmmaker Tunde Kelani also feature in the exhibition – along with the poetry of Chris Abani. Their works are placed in conversation with the Soyinka Collection.
Harlem: Found Ways
Curated by Vera Ingrid Grant. Featuring works from the new Amar Gallery; Stephen Daiter, art2art, Michel Rein; Lehmann Maupin; Roberts & Tilton, and collector Tom Peters. Our deep appreciation goes to The Studio Museum in Harlem (SMH) for their support.
With the exhibition Harlem: Found Ways, the Cooper Gallery presents artistic visions and engagements specific to Harlem, New York City, in the last decades. Each artwork employs a distinct set of inquiries and innovative strategies to explore the Harlem community’s visual heritage as it grapples with the challenges of gentrification. The artists have found ways—urgent, complex, intense, and mindful—to present the tangled threads of dilemma and paradox, memory and memorial, beauty and poignancy, and also instances of disruption and resilience within Harlem’s new realities. Collectively, they offer deeply thoughtful reflections and provocative portrayals of Harlem, allowing us to see it anew in this moment of transformation.
Diago: The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present
Curated by Alejandro de la Fuente
Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center
Juan Roberto Diago is a leading member of the new Afro-Cuban cultural movement, which has valiantly denounced the persistence of racism and discrimination in Cuban society. This exhibition of twenty-five mixed-media and installation artworks traces Diago’s vibrant career from the mid-1990s, when he began to construct a revisionist history of the Cuban nation from the experience of a person of African descent. It is a history of enslavement and cultural loss, but also of resilience and recovery, the kind of history that is required in this Afro-Cuban present.
Carrie Mae Weems: I once knew a girl...
The Cooper Gallery presents the evocative work of internationally acclaimed photography and video installation artist Carrie Mae Weems, recipient of the 2013 MacArthur “Genius” grant and the 2015 W. E. B. Du Bois Medal. The exhibition highlights her storytelling tableaux that question our social constructs of power, race, and space and pose a more multi-dimensional concept of humanity. Organized in three parts, Beauty, Legacies, and Landscapes, the installation illuminates our social and aesthetic vistas—both real and imagined—and centers on Weems' stunning expressions of black beauty.
THE WOVEN ARC
THE WOVEN ARC explores the visual dialogues between an unusual selection of artworks not usually posed in conversation with each other: figurative and abstract sculptures, paintings, prints, and textiles, along with mixed media and performance-based video. Three artworks from our permanent collection—a Yinka Shonibare Food Faerie, a Nick Cave Soundsuit, and a conceptual piece by Peter Sacks—inspired us to consider other artworks that vibrate and move with sumptuous surfaces, embedded texts, an overt and oblique presence of the black body, and our historical legacies of the African and African American experience.
ART OF JAZZ: FORM/PERFORMANCE/NOTES
The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art will present the illuminating, three-part exhibition “Art of Jazz: Form/Performance/Notes.” The exhibition, held in conjunction with the Harvard Art Museums, private collectors, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and two Manhattan galleries—DC Moore Gallery and Luhring Augustine Gallery—explores the intersection of jazz music and the visual arts. Through more than 70 pieces ranging from early Jazz Age objects and mid-century jazz ephemera to contemporary works by established African American artists, “Art of Jazz” traces the beginnings of jazz in visual culture and how it was embraced internationally as an art form, a social movement, and a musical iconography for Black expression.
Black Chronicles II
Black Chronicles II explores the presence of black subjects in Victorian Britain through the prism of late 19th century studio portraiture.The Cooper Gallery installation presents the U.S. premiere of this critically acclaimed exhibition, first shown at Rivington Place, London in 2014. The second in a series of exhibitions dedicated to excavating archives, Black Chronicles II showcases Autograph ABP’s commitment to continuous critical enquiry into archive images which have been overlooked, under-researched or simply not recognised as significant previously, yet are highly relevant to black representational politics and cultural history today.
The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art unveils a stunning exhibition curated by Alejandro de la Fuente, Director of the Center for Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center. The provocative installation features distinctive Afro-Cuban art from the original Grupo Antillano alongside that of intriguing younger artists; their work engages with centrality of African practices in Cuban national culture. It is the second exhibition of the brand new gallery - designed by David Adjaye - part of the Harvard University campus, and located in Cambridge, MA, at Harvard Square.
In Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy, we explore a visual nexus of African urban subjectivities through an innovative consideration of the Jean Pigozzi Contemporary Art Collection (CAAC). We have gathered a stunning array of ninety-eight works from twenty-one African artists: photographs, models, sculptures, paintings, and videographies that express vital, contemplative, and imaginative visions of city life. The individual works chosen by curators David Adjaye and Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt are each extraordinary and yet they resonate together as a melodic chorus on the city, offering nuanced close readings and vivid renditions of the ordinary and the mundane. We offer you this reconsideration of the collection, and present this stunning new gallery space as a welcoming home for these African artistic transcriptions to dwell - just for a moment.