Saturday, May 09, 2015

Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA

Thursday morning the Museum of the African Diaspora held a preview of Portraits and Other Likenesses, a joint exhibition comprising works from SFMOMA. In her opening remarks, MoAD Executive Director Linda Harrison reminded us that we are all African & had us repeat, "I am the diaspora." Ruth Berson, Deputy Museum Director, Curatorial Affairs of SFMOMA, told us that the show includes objects never before exhibited publically, because they were acquired after the SFMOMA closed for renovation. We also heard from co-curators Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins of MoAD & Caitlin Haskell of SFMOMA.

The show contains over 50 works by 36 artists, from the 1920s to the present, & occupies 2 floors of MoAD. There are paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures & videos, & "portraiture" is interpreted in the widest possible way.

The German in me appreciated the compositional rigor of Kara Walker's wall-sized drawing Daylights (after M.B.). The homage to Max Beckmann is apparent.

I was smitten by Mickalene Thomas's perfect & loving recreation of a 1970s living room. We ought to be allowed to stretch out on that couch.

Nick Cave's flamboyantly adorned Soundsuit is fun to look at, though I really wanted to see someone actually wearing it.

The photographs seem particularly well-chosen. Joaquin Truijillo's imperious portraits of children are arresting.

I liked this trio of young men, from 3 different photographers in 3 different countries.

The curators were no doubt pleased to find the perfect spot for Leslie Hewitt's metaphysical still life. One of the curators also made sure that I did not overlook a room containing Nicole Miller's Untitled video projection, which allows us to spy on a MacBook user's restless browsing of multiple media streams. Portraits and Other Likenesses officially opened on Friday, & several of the artists appear in the gallery today.

§ Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA
On view at Museum of the African Diaspora
May 8 ̶ October 11, 2015

§ Media Preview
Thursday, May 7, 10:30a
Museum of the African Diaspora

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