Urgent Museum Notice

Art Fix Friday: January 29, 2021

Blog Category:  Art Fix Friday
A black-and-white photograph of a light-skinned adult woman holding a newspaper with news about World War II. She wears a coat and her short, curly hair is caught in the wind.

Illustrator Michaela Goade is the first Native American to win the Caldecott Medal for her work on the children’s book We Are Water Protectors (2020). The story, written by Carole Lindstrom, follows a young Native American girl as she takes a stand against a black snake threatening to poison her people’s water.

A light-skinned woman stands outside in at a dock wearing a fuzzy winter coat's hood pulled up over hear head; she smiles and holds up an illustration of a landscape done in various blue hues and depicting a body of water, mountains, and pine trees.
Illustrator Michaela Goade; Photo courtesy of the artist

The snake is a metaphor for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project and the story draws inspiration from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s struggle to stop the pipeline’s construction. “This book helped me better understand the work I can do and the world I can help change as an artist activist. For that I’ll always be grateful,” Goade said.

Front-Page Femmes

New York–based nonprofit Queer|Art has announced Keijaun Thomas as the recipient of its inaugural Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists.

Hyperallergic reports on Tania Bruguera’s recent arrest in Havana; the artist, along with poet Katherine Bisquet, had planned a peaceful homage to Cuban writer José Martí.

The Guardian looks at the efforts to save a feminist mural in Madrid from removal by the far-right Vox party; it depicts Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, and Rosa Parks, among others.

Sculptor Artis Lane’s bust of Rosa Parks is now on view in President Joe Biden’s Oval Office.

Artnet interviews Swoon about her collaboration with Alicia Keys, which inspired Swoon to transition from block prints to painting.

A conceptual painting that depicts the head of musician Alicia Keys staring off into the distance, she has wings and from the wings a cityscape emerges of tall buildings, a car, and a man crossing the street. The painting's colors are cool, bluish purple.
Swoon’s portrait of Alicia Keys; Photo by Zahra Sherzad

ARTnews reports on FKA twigs’s new music video, which features Kara Walker’s giant fountain sculpture Fons Americanus (2019), a monument to the horrors of the British slave trade.

The Guardian features Sasha Phyars-Burgess’s photographs that delve into the Black experience and the meaning of ‘home.’

For Art21, Abigail DeVille discusses her work, which reflects on the history of New York City: “This idea of freedom is under continual construction—and reconstruction—from generation to generation.”

The New York Times reports on the scrutiny around Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s proposed project honoring Brooklyn abolitionists, which would install pavement engravings and bronze placards; critics call Rasheed’s project too abstract and want to see figurative works.

Shirin Neshat will speak in Stanford University’s Artists on the Future: the Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Artist Conversation Series on February 8.

Shows We Want to See

At Chapter NY, Tourmaline’s first solo exhibition, Pleasure Garden, is on view through January 31. The exhibition features the artist’s recent film, Salacia, which reenvisions the life of Mary Jones, a Black trans woman who was born in 1803 in New York. Five new photographs inspired by the world of the film are also on view. The Nation writes that the exhibition “actualizes a world in which life is easy for Black trans femmes.” Artnet profiled the artist.

In this photograph, the artist, Tourmaline, a Black nonbinary trans person floats in midair with her knees slightly bent. She appears like a stylized astronaut mid-flight, floating through the Earth’s sky, rather than outer space.
Tourmaline, Summer Azure (2020); Photo by Dario Lasagni, courtesy of Chapter NY

At GAVLAK in Los Angeles, Karen Carson’s Middle Ground is on view through March 6. Centered around her current bas relief works and her early “zipper” series, both bodies of work deploy geometric configurations to explore the convergence of gender, nature, and the material world. Hyperallergic recently reviewed the show.

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