Thelma Golden is organizing a solo show of painter Michael Armitage at MoMA in fall 2019.


ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s exhibition programming is the annual group show presenting new work by budding artists in its Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. Each cohort mounts a show at the conclusion of its residency. The exhibition is a coming out of sorts, with nearly all the participating artists over the past half century going on to establish formidable practices and critically recognized careers.

Given the Studio Museum is no longer occupying its West 125th Street location, in anticipation of the new building that will rise on the same site, the fate of the forthcoming exhibition that would feature work by the latest group—artists Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self, and Sable Elyse Smith—was an open question. The Studio Museum provided the answer today.

For the first time since the museum was founded in 1968 and the residency program was instituted, the AIR exhibition will be presented outside the museum. The show will go on view in another borough—Queens. MoMA PS1 in Long Island City is hosting the exhibition.

Opening on June 9, the show is organized by a curatorial team representing both museums—Legacy Russell, associate curator, exhibitions at the Studio Museum; and Hallie Ringle, curator of contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art (former Studio Museum assistant curator); with Josephine Graf, a curatorial assistant at MoMA PS1. The AIR exhibition will remain on view through Sept. 9.

For the first time since the Studio Museum in Harlem was founded 1968 and the residency program was instituted, the artist-in-residence exhibition will be presented outside the museum. MoMA PS1 in Long Island City is hosting the exhibition.

From left, Studio Museum in Harlem artists-in-residence Tschabalala Self and Sable Elyse Smith. The 2018-19 cohort, including Allison Janae Hamilton (below) is presenting a group exhibition at MoMA PS1 in June. | Photos by Lauren Spinelli and Charlie Rubin

Allison Janae Hamilton, Studio Museum Artist-in-Residence (2018-19). | Photo courtesy the artist


The historic AIR exhibition is one component of a multiyear partnership. The Studio Museum announced a collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 that includes a series of programs and exhibitions designed to build on the “existing affiliations and shared values” of the institutions.

In addition to the arrangement to stage the AIR exhibition at MoMA PS1, MoMA and the Studio Museum are embarking on a collaborative exhibition series—Studio Museum at MoMA: The Elaine Dannheisser Project Series.

MoMA is closing between June and October to complete the final stage of a $400 million overhaul, adding 40,000 square feet to the museum. When MoMA reopens, a solo show organized by Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum, will be among the slate of exhibitions presented in the expanded gallery space. Opening Oct. 21, the inaugural exhibition in the Studio Museum at MoMA series will feature the work of Kenyan-born, London-based painter Michael Armitage.

Armitage’s figurative expressionist works “weave multiple narratives that are drawn from historical and current news media, internet gossip, and his own ongoing recollections of Kenya.” The artist has had several solo exhibitions in the UK and last year, “Strange Fruit,” was presented at White Cube gallery in Hong Kong. In the United States, “MATRIX 263” was on view at the Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California. The MoMA show marks his first museum exhibition in New York City.

Another aspect of the partnership, the Studio Museum and MoMA are also continuing their investment in diversifying the next generation of art professionals. In 2015, the museums established a joint fellowship program. The two-year, paid fellowship provides participants with the opportunity to spend a year at each institution gaining experience in the curatorial, education, or public programming departments. CT


TOP IMAGE: Artist Michael Armitage. | Photo courtesy White Cube


FIND MORE about the artists in residence on their websites: Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self, and Sable Elyse Smith


In his London studio, Kenyan-born artist Michael Armitage talks about his work and technique, which includes painting on Lubugo, a traditional bark cloth from Uganda. | Video by Turner Contemporary


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