I always love going to new exhibits and now that I’ve been in DC for some time I am finally taking advantage of it. The exhibit 30 Americans at the Corcoran is fantastic. I was impressed by the breadth of work and on a whole, the pieces were very well thought out.
When the majority of the artwork in a show actually makes me think about anything in a new way– I know it’s great. The show gives insight into how artists express their own notion of black identity in America. I thought the way many artists succeeded in creatively representing stereotypes and giving their own twist on what they think about them was well done. There was such a variety of mediums too. I loved the work of Hank Willis Thomas, Barkley L. Hendricks, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley’s Sleep was just amazingly impressive in size. Next to many of the pieces there were quotations from the artists explaining their thinking about the piece and/or a bio on the artist. Most of these artists were new to me, so I was very excited to learn about them. The exhibit also has a bunch of iPads on the wall which you can send ecards with the pieces from the exhibit on them and a table that you can send a regular postcard to anyone. They mail it for you too! I thought this show was very well done with involving the viewer and evoking an emotion from its audience with the work and interactive activities.
The description is below from the Corcoran and I highly recommend checking it out. It runs until February 2nd 2012.
30 Americans is a wide-ranging survey of work by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. Selected from the Rubell Family Collection, the exhibition brings together seminal figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons with younger and emerging artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Shinique Smith. Often provocative and challenging, 30 Americans focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture. It explores how each artist reckons with the notion of black identity in America, navigating such concerns as the struggle for civil rights, popular culture, and media imagery. At the same time, it highlights artistic legacy and influence, tracing subject matter and formal strategies across generations.