Still from single-channel video by Tiona Nekkia McClodden


THE ARTIST LIST for Prospect New Orleans was officially announced today. Invited artists for the 2020 triennial include Los Angeles-based Mark Bradford, who participated in the first Prospect New Orleans more than a decade ago and is contributing a major new site-specific work; the late Georgia-born Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015) whose practice explored Southern vernacular architecture and was best known for her shack sculptures; and Brooklyn-based Simone Leigh. Her 16-foot-tall “Brick House” sculpture of a black female figure overlooks 10th Avenue in New York City. In New Orleans, Leigh will install a temporary public monument that draws on the city’s history.

Participants in Prospect.5 also include artists Dawoud Bey, Karon Davis, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Jamal Cyrus, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, ektor garcia, Jennie C. Jones, Mimi Lauter, Candice Lin, Rodney McMillian, Hương Ngô, Jennifer Packer, and Kiki Smith.

Based in New Orleans, Katrina Andry, Keni Anwar, Ron Bechet, Willie Birch, Malcolm Peacock, Welmon Sharlhorne and the late photographer George Dureau (1930-2014), are also on the list.

The group represents a range of disciplines and is composed of 49 individual artists, the collective Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual), and The Neighborhood Story Project, a nonprofit ethnography organization that partners with the University of New Orleans. More than 60 percent of the artists are black and nearly 20 percent live and work in New Orleans.

Prospect New Orleans opens to the public Oct. 24, 2020 October 2021, and remains on view through Jan. 24, 2021. Artists based in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, are participating in the citywide exhibition. Programming will be presented in museums, cultural spaces, and public sites throughout New Orleans. Organizers describe Prospect as “an invitation to experience the city through the eyes of artists.” Several artists are producing new projects commissioned specifically for Prospect, including Bradford, Leigh, Kevin Beasley, Glenn Ligon, Wangechi Mutu, and Nari Ward.

Similar to Leigh’s project, Ligon is producing a new work that will confront the history of monuments and memorials in New Orleans. Beasley is pursuing a project that will further his investigations around land, inheritance, and ownership. A new bronze sculpture by Mutu will explore hybridity between humans and the natural world.

“We started with an investigation into how the past informs the present, looking to a diverse and intergenerational group of artists whose work contends with questions of history in a breadth of ways. Yesterday we said tomorrow reflects the many ways contemporary artists are working to understand our moment.” — Co-Curator Diana Nawi

PROSPECT.5 IS CO-CURATED by artistic directors Naima J. Keith, vice president of education and public programs at the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and Diana Nawi, an independent curator based in Los Angeles. The triennial is organized around the theme “Yesterday we said tomorrow.” Inspired by the title of an album from New Orleans–born jazz musician Christian Scott (“Yesterday You Said Tomorrow”), the concept references perpetually delayed or deferred structural and political change, and the relationship between history and the contemporary moment, realities that resonate in New Orleans and beyond.

“We started with an investigation into how the past informs the present, looking to a diverse and intergenerational group of artists whose work contends with questions of history in a breadth of ways. Yesterday we said tomorrow reflects the many ways contemporary artists are working to understand our moment,” Nawi said in a statement.


Clockwise, From top left: Tiona Nekkia McClodden, via Wikipedia; Simone Leigh, Photo by Paul Mpagi Sepuya; Mark Bradford, Photo by Sean Shim-Boyle, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth; Dawoud Bey, Courtesy MacArthur Foundation; Phoebe Boswell, via Pinchuk Art Centre; Jamal Cyrus, Photo by Ronald Jones; Nari Ward, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin; and Willie Birch, Photo: Arthur Roger Gallery


Many of the projects in the international contemporary art triennial will explore the state of the city since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the launch of Prospect in 2008. Bradford is reprising his participation in the exhibition, along with Dave McKenzie, Birch, Mutu, and Ward, who also showed work in the first edition of Prospect.

Bradford produced a monumental ark called “Mithra” (2008) standing 16 feet high and 70 feet long. Exploring New Orleans, trying to figure out what he should make, he noticed flyers about missing, seen, and found pets, inspiring the idea for the work which is about isolation and wandering. Constructed with three shipping containers and sheets of plywood covered with worn and torn advertisements, the sculpture was on view in a weed strewn, vacant lot in the Ninth Ward.

During Prospect. 1, Ward installed a massive work at Battle Ground Baptist Church, a Ninth Ward church whose congregation was displaced due to flood damage. With a metal armature, he built “Diamond Gym: Action Network” (2008), a diamond shaped sculpture filled with gym equipment flanked by two free-standing walls that served as bulletin boards for community fliers, where real announcements about births and anniversaries or helpful information about home loans and car sales were posted.

Clad with mirrors, the sculpture was inspired by the fact that Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network was headquartered in the old Diamond Gym building in Harlem. The installation was accompanied by an audio recording featuring positive passages from speeches by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Marcus Garvey, interspersed with Buddhist chants by Tina Turner. For Prospect.5, Ward is creating an outdoor sculpture that directly references “Diamond Gym.”

Nawi has worked previously with both Bradford and Ward. She curated “Mark Bradford Los Angeles,” the artist’s recent exhibition at the Long Museum in Shanghai, where “Mithra” was on view for the first time outside the United States. Nawi also organized “Nari Ward: Sun Splashed,” a mid-career retrospective that was the artist’s largest-ever survey to date.

“One of the key features of Prospect has always been the vibrancy and complexity of New Orleans itself and our exhibition seeks to be attuned to that.” — Co-Curator Naima J. Keith

THE TRIENNIAL WILL DRAW HEAVILY on the perspectives of artists of Africa descent. In addition to previously mentioned figures, these artists also include Paul Stephen Benjamin, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Phoebe Boswell, EJ Hill, Tau Lewis, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Naudline Pierre, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Jamilah Sabur, and Cosmo Whyte.

Several up-and-coming female artists are among the group. Philadelphia-based McClodden, for example (see top image), participated in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and won the show’s Bucksbaum Award. Pierre, a Brooklyn-based painter, is currently an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2019-20). A self-taught artist from Toronto, Lewis was the focus of a solo presentation by Cooper Cole Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

Many other emerging artists are participating in Prospect.5. Five have been shortlisted recently for the Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize. Cooking Sections was awarded a Special Prize in 2019. Nawi served on the selection committee in 2017. That year, Bopape won the Main Prize, Boswell was recognized with a Special Prize, and Rasheed and Hill made the short list.

“One of the key features of Prospect has always been the vibrancy and complexity of New Orleans itself and our exhibition seeks to be attuned to that. We brought together what feels like a truly diverse group of artists, ranging from emerging to leading voices in the field, around ideas. We wanted to take on ambitious projects with emerging artists, to revisit familiar names through bold new endeavors, and to undertake an in depth look at the work of recent art history,” Keith said in a statement. CT


Here’s the full artist list for Prospect.5:

Laura Aguilar (b. 1959, San Gabriel, CA; d. 2018, Los Angeles)
Katrina Andry (b. 1981, New Orleans; lives in New Orleans)
Keni Anwar (b. 1993, New Orleans; lives in New Orleans)
Felipe Baeza (b. 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico; lives in Brooklyn, New York)
Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Virginia; lives in New York)
Ron Bechet (b. 1956, New Orleans; lives in New Orleans)
Paul Stephen Benjamin (b. 1966, Chicago; lives in Atlanta)
Dawoud Bey (b. 1953, New York; lives in Chicago)
Willie Birch (b. 1942, New Orleans; lives in New Orleans)
Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981, Polokwane, South Africa; lives in Johannesburg)
Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982, Nairobi; lives in London)
Mark Bradford (b. 1961, Los Angeles; lives in Los Angeles)
Beverly Buchanan (b. 1940, North Carolina; d. 2015, Michigan)
Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939, Philadelphia; lives in Paris and Rome)
Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual; established in London, 2013; live in London)
Adriana Corral (b. 1983, El Paso; lives in Houston)
Jamal Cyrus (b. 1973, Houston; lives in Houston)
Karon Davis (b. 1977, Reno, NV; lives in Los Angeles)
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer (b. 1979, New York; lives in Los Angeles)
George Dureau (b. 1930, New Orleans; d. 2014, New Orleans)
ektor garcia (b. 1985 Red Bluff, California; lives in Mexico, New York, and elsewhere)
Sharon Hayes (b. 1970, Baltimore; lives in Philadelphia)
EJ Hill (b. 1985, Los Angeles; lives in Los Angeles)
Sky Hopinka (b. 1984, Ferndale, Washington; lives in Bellingham, Washington)
Elliott Hundley (b. 1975, Greensboro, North Carolina; lives in Los Angeles)
Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968, Cincinnati; lives in Hudson, New York)
Josh Kun (b. 1971, Los Angeles; lives in Los Angeles)
Mimi Lauter (b. 1982, San Francisco; lives in Los Angeles)
Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago; lives in New York)
Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto; lives in Toronto)
Glenn Ligon (b. 1960, New York; lives in New York)
Candice Lin (b. 1979, Concord, Massachusetts; lives in Los Angeles)
Tiona Nekkia McClodden (b. 1981, Blytheville, Arkansas; lives in Philadelphia)
Dave McKenzie (b. 1977, Kingston, Jamaica; lives in New York)
Rodney McMillian (b. 1969, Columbia, South Carolina; lives in Los Angeles)
Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi; lives in Nairobi and New York)
The Neighborhood Story Project (founded in 2004; based in New Orleans)
Hương Ngô (b. 1979 Hong Kong; lives in Chicago)
Jennifer Packer (b. 1984, Philadelphia; lives in New York)
Malcolm Peacock (b.1994, Raleigh, NC; lives in New Orleans)
Anastasia Pelias (b.1959, New Orleans; lives in New Orleans)
Naudline Pierre (b. 1989, Leomister, Massachusetts; lives in New York)
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985, East Palo Alto, California; lives in New York)
Eric-Paul Riege (b. 1994, Gallup, NM; lives in Gallup, NM)
Jamilah Sabur (b. 1987, St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica; lives in Miami)
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (b. 1972, San Juan, Puerto Rico; lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Welmon Sharlhorne (b. 1952, Houma, Louisiana; lives in New Orleans)
Kiki Smith (b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany; lives in New York)
Carlos Villa (b. 1936, San Francisco; d. 2013, San Francisco)
Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica; lives in New York)
Cosmo Whyte (b. 1982, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica; lives in Atlanta)


Prospect.5 New Orleans is on view throughout the city, Oct. 24, 2020-Jan. 24, 2021 opening October 2021. The event was pushed back one year due to COVID-19.


TOP IMAGE: TIONA NEKKIA MCCLODDEN, “Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions,” 2014 (single-channel video, HD 1920 x 1080, 10 minutes, 48 seconds). | © Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Courtesy the artist


UPDATE (03/02/20): Revised description of Simone Leigh’s planned project which is still in development and may change, noted percentage of artists based in New Orleans, and added information about artists shortlisted for Future Generation Art Prize.


Catalogs have been produced to document each cycle of Prospect New Orleans. “Prospect.1: New Orleans” and “Prospect.2: New Orleans,” were organized by Dan Cameron. Now director of Pérez Art Museum Miami, Frankin Sirmans served as artistic director of “Prospect.3: Notes for Now.” The most recent edition, “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” was led by Trevor Schoonmaker, chief curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.


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