Urgent Museum Notice

Art Fix Friday: November 19, 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.

Historian Tiya Miles has won the 2021 National Book Award in nonfiction for All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake (2021). The book uncovers the lives of three generations of Black women through the history of a single cotton sack, which was given to a nine-year-old girl by her mother in the 1850s as the two were separated in slavery. Miles weaves meticulous research into stories, while simultaneously grappling with the archival gaps created by racism.

An aged, white cotton sack is embroidered with the history of the item in brown, pink, and green cursive. It reads: "My great grandmother Rose, mother of Ashley, gave her this sack when she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina. It held a tattered dress, 3 handfulls of pecans, a braid of Rose's hair. Told her "It be filled with my Love always." She never saw her again. Ashley is my grandmother. Ruth Middleton. 1921.
“Ashley’s sack” is embroidered with the history of the item, which was found at a flea market in 2007 and is now on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Photo courtesy of Middleton Place Foundation

Miles contributed an essay to NMWA’s Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend exhibition catalogue. In it, she examined the artist’s body of work on the Confederate truce flag.

Front-Page Femmes:

Lebanese American author, poet, and artist Etel Adnan died November 14 in Paris at age 96.

Frida Kahlo’s Diego y yo (1949) set a new auction record for art by a Latin American artist, selling for $34.9 million at Sotheby’s this week.

Also at Sotheby’s, a new record was set for Agnes Martin, with Untitled #44 (1974) selling for $17.7 million.

Artsy rounds up 11 influential Native American artists working today, including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Marie Watt, Wendy Red Star, Cara Romero, Weshoyot Alvitre, Rose B. Simpson, and Raven Halfmoon.

Hyperallergic reviews Fei Li: The Unofficial History of Tomorrow, which examines the double consciousness of being a Chinese woman living in America.

A three-paneled abstract painting showing a scene of figures, possibly trees, and other indistinguishable objects, in a swirling, colorful style.
Fei Li, I don’t know how to cook but I know how to buy off the kitchen god, 2021; Acrylic, spray paint, airbrush, marker, Japanese Gampi, Chinese Xuan paper, Dura-lar, glassine, fake banknotes, comic book and photo collage on Yupo, 80 x 150 in.; Photo courtesy of the artist and Hyperallergic

The New Yorker profiles Sophie Calle ahead of the release of The Hotel (2021), a new book on the artist’s series of photographs of life in a Venetian hotel.  

Mary Bauermeister, whose multidisciplinary practice helped shape the Fluxus movement, is the first winner of a new art prize given by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

AnOther interviews Gillian Wearing on the occasion of her just-opened survey at the Guggenheim and the installation of her life-sized bronze of photographer Diane Arbus in Central Park.

The New York Times reviews Jennifer Packer’s current solo show at the Whitney, which “offers a new way forward for representation.”

ARTnews looks at Chicago-based chef Jennifer Kim’s project Alt Economy, which emphasizes the connections between food, social justice, and art.

Shows We Want to See:

At the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Witch Hunt presents the work of 16 midcareer women artists from 13 countries, who use feminist, queer, and decolonial strategies to investigate current and historical political events and social conditions. The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, sound, and performance by Yael Bartana, Beverly Semmes, Vaginal Davis, Otobong Nkanga, Teresa Margolles, and more. The Los Angeles Times recently reviewed the exhibition. On view through January 9.

A photograph of a darkened room, with only natural, diffused light coming from the ceiling illuminating a table around which six women sit and talk and work. One pours water. They are dressed formally. A large map of the world is on the wall in front of them, along with the question, presented in bold white text, "What if Women Ruled the World?"
Yael Bartana, What if Women Ruled the World?, 2017; Performance view, Filmby Aarhus, European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, Denmark; Photo by Brigit Kaulfuss, courtesy of the artist

At the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Miné Okubo’s Masterpiece: The Art of Citizen 13660 marks the 75th anniversary of the artist’s graphic memoir Citizen 13660 (1946), which details her experiences inside two concentration camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The exhibition contextualizes the work alongside a collection of the artist’s archives. Browse all 197 drawings online. Hyperallergic recently reviewed the exhibition. On view through February 20, 2022.

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