Then Is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America
April 2, 2023-October 15, 2023, Barbara and Edward Netter Foundation Gallery
Then Is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America explores how Black artists of our time critically engage with the past and present.
Then Is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America explores how Black artists of our time critically engage with the past and present. Over generations, these artists observe how individual and collective histories inform a present understanding of identity, memory, and heritage. The exhibition begins with works made in or around 1968 and culminates with examples made as recently as 2021, encompassing historical legacies of slavery, the era of the Civil Rights Movement, and the racial reckonings of the present day. Other works showcase artistic approaches to personal and familial histories or take up the history of art, revealing how artists reimagine art-historical precedents in order to subversively center Black experiences and narratives. The gallery is anchored by Hank Willis Thomas’s text-based lenticular piece Then Is Now (2017). As the text shifts along with the viewer’s perspective, Thomas’s conceptual intervention invites us to contemplate the pictorial constructs of past and present that are at the heart of this presentation.
Artists include: Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Dawoud Bey, Elizabeth Catlett, Melvin Edwards, Barkley Hendricks, Jammie Holmes, Steve Locke, Titus Kaphar, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Dread Scott, Mickalene Thomas, Charles White, Kehinde Wiley, and Kenneth Victor Young. Selected primarily from private collections within the Greenwich community and beyond, the works in Then Is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America are presented in pairs or small groups to address the making of and dialogue with history among this intergenerational group of artists.
Then Is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America is generously underwritten by:
The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund
S & L Marx Foundation
Committee of Honor and Honorary Co-Chairs: Lucy and Dick Glasebrook, Monica and Rick Segal, and Brenda and Larry Thompson
Co-Chairs: Nancy and Ken Duffy, Erin and Taylor Glasebrook, Cassaundra and Alexander Karnal, Cricket and Jim Lockhart, Simone and Andrew McEntire, Anne C. Sherrerd, and Judy and Steven Stein
Leader: Nancy and Kenneth Duffy, Kathy and Dick Fuld, Cricket and Jim Lockhart, Anne C. Sherrerd, and Judy and Steven Stein
Master: Lawrence and Elyse Benenson, and Simone and Andrew McEntire
Champion: Ellen Flanagan and Joanne Flanagan, Erin and Taylor Glasebrook, Nisha Kumar and Michael Behringer, Nicole Reynolds, and Christie C. Salomon
Emma Amos (American, 1937–2020)
Mississippi Wagon, 1937, 1992
Oil, monotype, and screenprint on paper, 15 ½ x 20 ¼ in.
From The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection
© Emma Amos; Courtesy of RYAN LEE Gallery, New York
Steve Locke (American, b. 1963)
Homage to the Auction Block #115-wander, 2021
Acrylic on panel, 16 3/4 x 17 1/8 x 2 1/4 in.
Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York
© 2023 Steve Locke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Melvin Edwards (b.1937)
Homage to James Benjamin Edwards, 1964
Welded steel, 20 x 17 x 11 1/2 inches / 50.8 x 43.2 x 29.2 cm
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
Community Day: Summer Block Party
Dates: June 10, 2023 and June 11, 2023
Time: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Art Adventures: Then Is Now
Dates: June 17, 2023 and June 18, 2023
Time: 1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Audience: Families/Intergenerational (5 and up)
Cost: Free with admission
Description: A drop-in program designed for children aged 5 and up and their families. In this program, participants will have the opportunity to craft fun and creative works of art inspired by the Museum’s collections and exhibitions. This program is free with general admission and no advance registration is required.
Teens @ Bruce
Date: June 24, 2023
Time: 5:00 PM–8:00 PM
Description: Teens @ Bruce is a Museum-wide event that is exclusively for teens that include hands on activities, performances, and more.