Kevin Beasley - Whitney Museum

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“The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists” by Paige Williams | The New Yorker
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the acquisition of dozens of works by African American self-taught artists from the South including Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Lonnie Holley and the women quilters from Gee’s Bend, Ala., on Nov. 24. The 57 paintings, drawings, mixed-media works and textiles by 30 artists were a gift from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. The extensive Atlanta collection founded by Bill Arnett includes approximately 1,500 works and the museum was able to pick and choose what it wanted. An exhibition of the works will be presented at the Met in the fall 2016, accompanied by a catalog published by Yale University Press. The New Yorker reports on the significance of the acquisition and travels with Arnett to visit Alabama artist Emmer Sewell.

“These artists have been neglected; there isn’t necessarily a substantial art-historical record for them.” Souls Grown Deep’s research has documented a “whole important, legitimate world for scholarly research” that might otherwise have been lost. “It’s been a kind of rescue operation that I’ve found incredibly moving.”
— Met Curator Marla Prather, The New Yorker

“In the Studio: Kevin Beasley” by Mike Pepi | Art in America
Fresh off his participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2013-14), Kevin Beasley, talks about his practice. The Virginia-born artist creates video, audio installations and performances, and dense sculptures involving clothing, foam and resin. Beasley describes the personal nature of his work, the intricacies of analog sound, how a pair of abandoned Air Force 1s inspired his mixed media work “Jumped Man” 2014, and his emotional reaction to discovering a cotton crop planted on the land surrounding the rural Virginia home that has been in his family for generations and serves as a gathering place.

“Everything about the brand is really absurd. Maybe it was cool in the early ’90s or something, but by now it’s just a ridiculous industry that doesn’t address the problems of violence that surround it.”
— Kevin Beasley on Nike Air Jordans, Art in America

Why is Washington, D.C. an Art Desert? by Jessica Dawson | New York Magazine
Constantly on the verge, the art scene in the nation’s capital never breaks through. “So many of Washington’s artists, gallery owners, and collectors speak of change, yet it never quite arrives. Even the city’s fledging art fair, which just celebrated its third iteration, is called (e)merge,” Jessica Dawson writes. She cites the restructuring of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and unremarkable impact of the Rubells (the Miami collectors who founded the (e)merge art fair) on the art scene as further setbacks and new leadership at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the forthcoming Institute for Contemporary Expression as potential game changers. CT

IMAGE: Kevin Beasley performing “Movement I: DEF/ACHE/ CRYSTALLINE/ SLEEVE,” 2014, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. | Photo by Paula Court