African American Artists Showcased In ‘30 Americans’ At Frist Center

Iona Rozeal Brown, “Sacrifice #2: it has to last” (after Yoshitoshi’s “Drowsy: the appearance of a harlot of the Meiji era”), 2007; enamel, acrylic, and paper on wooden panel, 52 by 38 inches. Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

NASHVILLE, TENN. — The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is presenting “30 Americans,” an exhibition surveying works by many of the nation’s leading African American artists working since the mid-1970s. “30 Americans” is on view in the center’s Ingram Gallery through January 12.

Often provocative and challenging, the exhibition explores how artists relate their own sense of self to ideas within history, popular culture and contemporary mass media central to American society. Organized and drawn from the acclaimed Rubell Family Collection in Miami, “30 Americans” includes more than 75 works by 31 emerging and established African American artists working within a variety of mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and video.

The exhibition offers an intergenerational dialogue by presenting well-known and influential figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Glenn Ligon and Carrie Mae Weems alongside younger ascending artists such as Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley and Hank Willis Thomas.

“While developing their collection, the Rubell family received first-hand accounts from younger artists about the importance of influential, older counterparts, many of whom were already represented in their collection,” said Frist Center curator Kathryn Delmez. “We are delighted to bring this superb selection from the Rubell collection to Nashville, especially in the wake of our critically acclaimed ‘Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video’ exhibition last fall,” says Dr Susan H. Edwards, executive director of the Frist Center.

The Frist Center is at 919 Broadway Avenue. For information, www.fristcenter.org or 615-744-3351.

Kehinde Wiley, “Equestrian Portrait of the Count Duke Olivares,” 2005;  oil on canvas, 108 by 108 inches. Rubell Family Collection, Miami. © Kehinde Wiley. Used by permission.

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