Imagining Black Diasporas: 21st Century Art and Poetics

Imagining Black Diasporas: 21st Century Art and Poetics is the first global examination of the last two decades of production by Black artists. The exhibition traces aesthetic connections among Black artists, emphasizing their historically sidelined insights about existence.

Available 12-14 weeks per venue

Exhibition Images

  • Diedrick Brackens look spit out, 2019 Cotton, nylon, acrylic yarn, and silk, 72 × 72 in. (182.88 × 182.88 cm)

    Diedrick Brackens, look spit out, 2019 Cotton, nylon, acrylic yarn, and silk, 72 × 72 in. (182.88 × 182.88 cm). Purchased with funds provided by Allison and Larry Berg, M.2019.220. © Diedrick Brackens, image courtesy the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles and Seoul

  • Widline Cadet, Seremoni Disparisyon #1 (Ritual [Dis]Appearance #1), 2019, Inkjet print (pigment based), Frame: 20 × 16 × 1 3/4 in. (50.8 × 40.64 × 4.45 cm). Promised gift of Avo Samuelian, PG.2021.19.1. © Widline Cadet, image courtesy of the artist and Deli Gallery

  • Frida Orupabo, Untitled, 2018, Collage with pins, Frame: 58 1/2 × 80 1/2 × 2 3/4 in. (148.59 × 204.47 × 6.99 cm). Gift of Burton Aaron, M.2021.231.12. © Frida Orupabo, image courtesy of the artist

  • Arielle Bobb-Willis, New Jersey, 2019, Inkjet print (pigment based), Image: 40 × 30 in. (101.6 × 76.2 cm) Primary support: 44 × 34 1/4 in. (111.76 × 87 cm). Ralph M. Parsons Fund, M.2022.68. © Arielle Bobb-Willis, image courtesy of the artist

About the Exhibition

Imagining Black Diasporas: 21st Century Art and Poetics draws aesthetic connections between Black artists working around the world today. The exhibition is the first museum exploration of the last two decades of artistic production by Black artists.

Viewers will find overlapping strategies by 60 makers working in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Drawn primarily from LACMA’s collection, the work introduces artists working in Los Angeles and the Pacific Rim into exhibitions that have historically focused on the Black Atlantic. Viewers will be introduced to emerging artists like Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo, Grace Ndiritu, and Zohra Opoku. They will encounter work by established artists like Mark Bradford and Lorna Simpson in a new context.

The project addresses an urgent need in visual arts scholarship for analyses that emphasize the aesthetic impact of Black artists’ work. The aesthetic decisions artists make reveal what it means to be alive. The project extends the historic use of poetry in Pan-African scholarship. Black artists, writers, theorists, and activists frequently used poetry to imagine the experience of slavery or convey their experience of oppression. They used it to demand equality. Poetic language fosters relationships among people and regions. Imagining Black Diasporas: 21st Century Art and Poetics emphasizes Black artists’ historically sidelined insights about existence.

Specifications

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