Clockwise, from top left, Sam Gilliam, Lorna Simpson, Mark Bradford, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Glenn Ligon Julie Mehretu, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Rashid Johnson. | via Sotheby’s

 

ARTISTS WITH CLOSE TIES to the Studio Museum in Harlem are donating works to support the historic institution’s construction campaign. Creating Space: Artists for The Studio Museum in Harlem: An Auction to Benefit the Museum’s New Building will be featured during the May 16-17 Contemporary Art sales at Sotheby’s New York. Artists including Mark Bradford, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Sam Gilliam, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Lorna Simpson, and Lynette-Yiadom Boakye, are contributing art to the auction with the proceeds going to help fund the museum’s new home designed by architect David Adjaye.

“I’m profoundly touched by the tremendous generosity that artists and their representatives have demonstrated for this project. Artists are at the heart of everything the Studio Museum has done for the past 50 years—from our foundational Artist-in-Residence program to creating impactful exhibitions of artists of African descent at every stage in their careers,” Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, said in a statement.

“It means so much to have artists support us in creating this dynamic new building, where their work can engage the public even more deeply.”

“I’m profoundly touched by the tremendous generosity that artists and their representatives have demonstrated for this project. Artists are at the heart of everything the Studio Museum has done for the past 50 years… It means so much to have artists support us in creating this dynamic new building…” — Thelma Golden


From left, Renderings for new Studio Museum in Harlem building main entrance on 125th Street and 124th Street facade. | Adjaye Associates

 

FOUNDED IN 1968, the Studio Museum is celebrating its 50th year by embarking on the most expensive and consequential project in its history. Last September, the Studio Museum unveiled the design plans for the building and announced a capital campaign was underway, with 70 percent of the goal already met. The museum is raising $175 million to help cover construction costs, provide an operating and capital reserve fund, and establish an endowment.

Envisioning a state-of-the-art 21st century museum, Adjaye designed a light-filled building with expansive exhibition galleries and welcoming spaces for public programming and community gathering. The six-story structure includes improved collection storage and studio space for the museum’s artists-in-residents (AIR), along with an auditorium, rooftop deck, and café.

The new 82,000-square-foot building will be constructed on the institution’s existing site on West 125th Street. In January, the museum closed its exhibition and programming spaces to the public in preparation for the groundbreaking scheduled for late fall.

 


Architect David Adjaye and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem. | Photo by Scott Rudd via Sotheby’s

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS were central to the founding of the Studio Museum and artists of African descent have remained the institution’s lifeblood throughout the decades. Conversely, association with the institution has transformed the careers of countless artists.

The artists contributing works to the auction are part of the Studio Museum’s ever-expanding orbit. Many have worked at the museum, participated in the artist-in-residence (AIR) program, or were selected for its “F” series exhibitions of emerging artists.

Gilliam was featured in “Harlem Artists ’69,” one of the museum’s first exhibitions. An alum of the AIR program (2011-12), Akunyili Crosby received the museum’s 2015 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. Ligon interned at the Studio Museum in the 1980s and was awarded the Wein Artist Prize in 2009.

“Give Us a Poem (Palindrome #2),” a neon work by Ligon has been on view near the entrance to the museum for a decade. The installation appears in the renderings for the new building, connecting the institution’s recent past with its future. The new Studio Museum is slated for completion in 2021. When it opens, Ligon’s work, which spells out “Me/We,” will be displayed prominently. CT

 

A full list of participating artists will be available prior to the sale and the featured works will be shown in a preview exhibition at Sotheby’s New York, beginning May 4.

 

TOP IMAGE: Rendering for new Studio Museum in Harlem Building. The materials for architect David Adjaye’s design include precast concrete frames with polished black aggregate panels, brass, terrazzo, wood, and glass. | Adjaye Associates

 

BOOKSHELF
“Glenn Ligon: America” documents the artist’s 25-year survey organized by Whitney Museum of American Art. Published to accompany his exhibition at Tate Liverpool, “Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions” assembles artworks and texts by Ligon and other artists with whom “he shares certain affinities.” Since 2001, the Studio Museum in Harlem has been dedicated exhibitions to emerging artists, these “F” series shows include “Freestyle,” “Frequency,” “Fore,” “Flow,” and “Fictions.”

 


“Give Us a Poem (Palindrome #2),” a 2007 neon work by Glenn Ligon composed of the words “ME/WE” is currently displayed prominently in the museum’s atrium, is also featured in the renderings for the new building. | Adjaye Associates

 

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