The Brooklyn Museum has announced their 2023 exhibition schedule, including a group show of contemporary artists reflecting on the complex and continuing legacy of the Great Migration; a landmark exhibition celebrating the creativity, ingenuity, and global impact of contemporary African fashions; a multidecade survey of visually captivating, experimental work by María Magdalena Campos-Pons; and the first major exhibition of zines by artists working in North America, bringing attention to this unexamined but vibrant aesthetic practice.
Scheduled exhibitions include:
“Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter: Ain’t I a Woman”
January 20th through August 13th, 2023
Overlook Gallery, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor
On the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, “Ain’t I a Woman” examines the many ramifications of the 2022 decision to end federal abortion rights through two projects that link Black American women’s fight for bodily autonomy to the legacy of Roe. In the video projection “Ain’t I a Woman” and an installation from her recent photo-based series “Consecration to Mary,” contemporary artist and advocate Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter champions the power of storytelling, agency, and healing as she explores the violent histories that have long stripped Black women and girls of the right to make decisions about their own bodies. The presentation redresses mainstream feminism’s history of marginalizing specific groups by foregrounding Black incarcerated women, while expanding the conversation around reproductive justice to encompass human rights, empathy, and liberation.
This exhibition is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, with Jaileen Pierre-Louis, CITI Intern, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
“A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration”
March 3rd through June 25th, 2023
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor
“A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration” invites twelve influential and emerging Black artists to reflect on the Great Migration (1915–70), considering the period’s continuing impact on their lives and on social and cultural life in the United States. The exhibition presents newly commissioned works ranging from large-scale installation, painting, and immersive film to photography, tapestry, and mixed media. Forming a dynamic array, these works draw from historical research, familial heritage, and lived experience. Highlights include Torkwase Dyson’s “Way Over There Inside Me” (A Festival of Inches), Allison Janae Hamilton’s “A House Called Florida,” Mark Bradford’s “500,” Carrie Mae Weems’s “Leave! Leave Now!” and “The North Star,” and Robert Pruitt’s “A Song for Travelers” (all 2022).
Brooklyn, a locus of innumerable migration narratives, has an important place in the uniquely American experience of the Great Migration. Upholding the Brooklyn Museum’s commitment to Black culture and history, the exhibition will explore these legacies both through the artworks and by encouraging visitors to share their own migration tales in an oral history “pod” near the galleries.
This exhibition is co-organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art and is co-curated by Ryan N. Dennis, Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art and Public Exchange, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Jessica Bell Brown, Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by Kimberli Gant, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, with Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
Exhibition for Picasso Celebration 1973–2023, title to be announced
June 2nd through September 24th, 2023
Robert E. Blum Galleries, 1st Floor
This exhibition, part of a global consortium of exhibitions and events marking the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, reevaluates the artist’s practice and reception through a feminist lens. It is a collaborative curatorial project between the Brooklyn Museum and Hannah Gadsby, an Emmy and Peabody Award–winning Australian comedian, writer, and mild-mannered antagonist. The project will engage compelling questions that young, diverse museum audiences increasingly raise about the interconnected issues of misogyny, masculinity, creativity, and “genius,” particularly around a complex, mythologized figure like Picasso. The exhibition will also include works from the Museum’s Feminist Art collection, including selections by Cecily Brown, Ana Mendieta, May Stevens, and Kiki Smith.
This exhibition is curated by Hannah Gadsby; Catherine Morris, Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art; and Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art; with Talia Shiroma, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum. It is part of a global presentation of exhibitions and events marking the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death: “Picasso Celebration 1973–2023.”
“Africa Fashion” is a landmark exhibition celebrating the creativity, ingenuity, and global impact of African fashions from the 1960s independence era to today, showcasing examples of fashion design, photography, textiles, music, and visual art. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation will include works from our collections — namely, Arts of Africa; Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art; Arts of the Islamic World; and Photography — with commentary from designers whose fashions and self-expression have been inspired by those objects. By looking to the past, the designers are reimagining textiles from various regions of Africa as well as garments that consider sustainability of both cultural heritage and the environment. The presentation will shift perspectives on fashion in Africa and by African makers by examining trends, tastes, and traditions. Globally impactful and full of brilliance, the fashion scene on the African continent is dynamically reconstructed in Africa Fashion.
Created by the V&A — touring the world. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by Ernestine White-Mifetu, Sills Foundation Curator of African Art, and Annissa Malvoisin, Bard Graduate Center / Brooklyn Museum Postdoctoral Fellow in the Arts of Africa, with Catherine Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, and Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture.
“María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Behold”
September 15th 2023 through January 14th, 2024
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor
“María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Behold” is a monographic exhibition of a visionary voice in photography, immersive installation, and performance. Spanning nearly four decades of visually engaging artworks, the exhibition explores Campos-Pons’s prescient and sensorial work — transporting viewers across geographies, mediums, and spiritual practices. In her explorations of migration, diaspora, and memory, “Campos-Pons” draws on feminism, photoconceptualism, and Yoruba-derived Santería symbolism to weave together personal narratives and global histories. The first multimedia survey of the artist’s work since 2007, Behold highlights the artist’s dedication to creating new modes of understanding, as well as her engagement with both historical and present-day challenges.
These themes are examined through Campos-Pons’s performance-based practice and work with communities in Cuba, Boston, and Nashville, where she currently resides. The touring exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.
This exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and the J. Paul Getty Museum. It is curated by Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum; Jenée-Daria Strand, Assistant Curator, Public Art Fund; and Mazie Harris, Assistant Curator of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum.
“Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines”
November 17th, 2023 through March 31st, 2024
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor
Since the 1970s, zines — short for “fanzines,” or self-published booklets of texts and images, usually made with a copy machine — have given a voice and visibility to many outside of mainstream culture. “Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines,” the first major exhibition dedicated to such publications made by North America–based artists, foregrounds this unexamined aesthetic practice, which has thrived over the past five decades. This canon-expanding exhibition documents zines’ relationship to various subcultures and avant-garde practices, from punk and street culture to conceptual, queer, and feminist art. It also examines zines’ intersections with other mediums, including painting, drawing, collage, photography, performance, sculpture, video, and film. Featuring works by nearly one hundred artists, Copy Machine Manifestos demonstrates how zines have influenced a variety of artistic outputs since 1970. The touring exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.
This exhibition is organized by Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum, and Branden W. Joseph, Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, with Marcelo Yanez, Research Assistant, and Imani Williford, Curatorial Assistant, Photography, Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.
2023 collection installations include:
“Sakimatwemtwe: A Century of Reflection on the Arts of Africa”
Opening April 7th, 2023
Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The year 2023 marks the hundredth anniversary of a watershed exhibition of African art mounted at the Brooklyn Museum. Despite its problematic title, Primitive Negro Art, Chiefly from the Belgian Congo, the display included over fourteen hundred objects from African regions and, importantly, presented them as works of art. Reflecting upon that momentous exhibition’s legacy, this centennial installation centers on the sakimatwemtwe figure. Meaning “many heads” in the Bwami society of the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sakimatwemtwe symbolizes the consideration of multiple perspectives — a principle that this installation aims to achieve. While highlighting African works acquired for the 1923 exhibition, “Sakimatwemtwe: A Century of Reflection on the Arts of Africa” contextualizes them within a more holistic view of African creativity at the time, in part by incorporating works by early twentieth-century African modernists.
Organized by Ernestine White-Mifetu, Sills Foundation Curator of African Art, and Annissa Malvoisin, Bard Graduate Center / Brooklyn Museum Postdoctoral Fellow in the Arts of Africa.
“Eye to the West: Grafton Tyler Brown”
Opening September 15th, 2023
American Art Galleries, 5th Floor
Building on the Museum’s ecocritical explorations of ways that artists have captured American landscapes and their evolution, this installation focuses on nineteenth-century landscape painter Grafton Tyler Brown, who has historically been excluded from surveys of such works due to racial discrimination and regionalism. Highlighting Brown’s unique approach to scenes of the Pacific Northwest and his paint-to-order business model, three intimately scaled paintings from the artist’s Yellowstone series will be brought together for close consideration. These canvases offer vantages of the American wilderness and its place within the mind of a marginalized American artist. lithographer in San Francisco undoubtedly informed his later representations of rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas, which he depicted amid transformations caused by industry and tourism. Well known on the West Coast, Brown painted largely for locals and sightseers, most of whom could not afford a work the size of those that dominate the American Art galleries. His commercially accessible Yellowstone paintings offer an important counterpoint to the monumental, romanticized compositions made by Hudson River School artists for their wealthy East Coast patrons.
Organized by Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, with Caroline Gillaspie, Assistant Curator of American Art, and Grace Billingslea, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe.
“Extraction” explores the harvesting of raw materials from the earth, their trade and manipulation, and the effects of these processes on humans and the environment. The objects on view are primarily drawn from the Decorative Arts and Design collection, including historical and contemporary works made of precious stones and metals, clay, wood, plastic, glass, rubber, and fiber, among others. Grouped by material and theme, this focused installation broadly investigates the ways that materials and labor are connected to global, capitalistic power structures and catastrophic ecological devastation.
Organized by Catherine Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator, Decorative Arts and Design; Liz St. George, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts and Design; and Talia Shiroma, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe.
The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. For more information visit their website.
Photos, from above: Still from Ain’t I a Woman courtesy Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter; models holding hands, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019 courtesy Stephen Tayo; and Pair of Napkin Clips, 1878–79 courtesy Brooklyn Museum.