Kara Walker’s work is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art; A massive Nick Cave installation open at MASS MoCA Oct. 15.


BEYOND NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, AND CHICAGO, there are major U.S. museums and innovative art institutions presenting the work of world-renowned artists. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the largest and liveliest centers for contemporary art and performance. Located two hours from Boston in North Adams, a small town of about 14,000, MASS MoCA is debuting a massive, immersive installation by Nick Cave this fall. The first museum exhibition to feature Brooklyn-based Lorna Simpson‘s new painting series—a departure from her photography and video work—is on view in Fort Worth, Texas. Kara Walker recently spent time in Rome and the new large-scale drawings inspired by her time there are on view in Cleveland. Meanwhile, museums in North Carolina are mounting exhibitions exploring the American South in contemporary art, and featuring the work of New York-based Hank Willis Thomas and South African photographer Zanele Muholi. A selection of exhibitions by state follows.


KEHINDE WILEY, “Morpheus,” 2008 (oil on canvas). | Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, Calif.; Sean Kelly, New York; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © Kehinde Wiley

1. “KEHINDE WILEY: A New Republic” @ Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Ariz. | Oct. 7, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

TITUS KAPHAR, Front Page, 2012 (oil on newspaper on canvas). | Courtesy of the artist and GMAF. Photography by John Lam, © Titus Kaphar; Courtesy Lowe Art Museum

2. “TITUS KAPHAR: The Vesper Project” @ Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. | Sept. 8-Dec. 23, 2016

Installation view of the transmedia project launched in 2012 to provide “a platform for an authentic exchange about life in America for black men.” | Courtesy Question Bridge: Black Males and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York via Norton Museum of Art

3. Question Bridge: Black Males @ Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla. | Oct. 18-Dec. 18, 2016

Installation view of EBONY G. PATTERSON, “If We Must Die…,” 2016. | Image courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design via SCAD MOA

4. “EBONY G. PATTERSON: If We Must Die…” @ Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art, Savannah, Ga. | Sept. 2, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017

SAYA WOOLFALK, Detail of “Chimera,” 2013 (installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts). | Photo by John White, 2013. Courtesy of the artist via SCAD MOA

5. SAYA WOOLFALK @ Savannah College of Art & Design Museum of Art, Savannah, Ga. | Oct. 13, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

NICK CAVE is creating his largest installation to date in a football field-sized exhibition space. Detail of “Until” shown. | Photo by Douglas Mason via MASS MoCA

6. “NICK CAVE: Until” @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass. | Oct. 15-August 2017

Recently acquired by the museum, “Property” (2014) by NICK CAVE is a mixed-media installation measuring nearly 240 inches in length and featuring about 1,000 objects.

7. “NICK CAVE: Property” @ Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Mo. | July 23-Dec. 31, 2016

This presentation is a video installation in which RODNEY MCMILLIAN casts himself as politician and recites a historic 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson speech laying out his domestic agenda focused on eliminating poverty and racial injustice: “Untitled (the Great Society) I,” 2006 (single channel video, color and sound, 15:48 minutes, looped; Edition of 5 and 2 AP). | Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

8. “Screen Projects: RODNEY MCMILLIAN” @ University of Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. | Sept. 8-Nov. 13, 2016

This group exhibition explores Southern identity through the work of more than 60 artists, including TAMEKA NORRIS, “12 Times Table,” 2014 (acrylic and oil on fabric). | Courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery, London, United Kingdom. © Tameka Norris via Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

9. “Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art” @ Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, N.C. | Sept. 1, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “Bounce back to normal,” 1933/2015, 2015 (digital chromogenic print). | Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York via Weatherspoon Art Museum

10. HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015” @ Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, N.C. | Sept. 2-Dec. 11, 2016

ZANELE MUHOLI, “Mbala Zulu, KwaThema, Springs, Johannesburg, 2010,” 2010, printed 2014 (gelatin-silver print). | Purchased with funds from the Friends of African and African American Art, © 2010 Zanele Muholi, image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery via North Carolina Museum of Art

11. ZANELE MUHOLI: Faces and Phases @ North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C. | Oct. 1, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

FRED WILSON, “Liberation,” 2012 (acrylic on canvas, blown glass). | Photograph by Silvia Ros, © Fred Wilson, Courtesy Pace Gallery

12. “FRED WILSON: Black to the Powers of Ten” and “Wildfire Test Pit” @ Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio | Aug. 30, 2016-June 12, 2017

The exhibition features new large-scale drawings by KARA WALKER influenced by time spent in Rome earlier this year. | Photo by Ari Marcopoulos via Cleveland Museum of Art

13. KARA WALKER, “The Ecstasy of St. Kara, New Work” @ Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio | Sept. 10-Dec. 31, 2016

ZANELE MUHOLI, “Bester II, Paris,” 2014. | © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery via National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

14. ZANELE MUHOLI: Personae @ FotoFocus 2016, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio | Oct. 1, 2016-Jan. 23, 2017

MELVIN EDWARDS, “Curtain for William and Peter,” 1969/2012 (barbed wire and chain). | Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © 2016 Melvin Edwards/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

15. MELVIN EDWARDS @ Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City, Olka. | Oct. 20-Dec. 27, 2016

Featuring more than 40 artists, this group exhibition reflects the diversity and complexity of African American art since the mid-20th century. Shown, RADCLIFFE BAILEY, “Until I Die/Georgia Trees and the Upper Room,” 1997 (color aquatint). | via Susquehanna Art Museum

16. “African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center” @ Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, Pa. | Oct. 7, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

This is the first museum exhibition to feature the LORNA SIMPSON’s large-scale acrylic, ink, and silkscreened paintings. Shown, “Moveableness,” 2015 | via The Modern, Fort Worth

17. “FOCUS: LORNA SIMPSON” @ Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas | Nov. 19, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017

SONYA CLARK, Detail of “Writer Type,” 2016 (found typewriter and artist’s hair). | Courtesy Sonya Clark

18. “Follicular: The Hair Stories of SONYA CLARK” @ Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Va. | Oct. 1, 2016-May 14, 2017

This widely exhibited group show featuring 45 works from the Rubbell Family Collection by critically recognized African American contemporary artists such as Kara Walker, Rashid Johnson, Mickalene Thomas, Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Glenn Ligon and Carrie Mae Weems, is being presented on the West Coast for the first time. Shown, HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “Who Can Say No to a Gorgeous Brunette? from the Unbranded series,” 1970/2007 (digital C-print, Edition 1 of 5). | Courtesy of the Rubell Family Collection via Tacoma Art Museum

19. “30 Americans” @ Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Wash. | Sept. 24, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017

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