January 30, 2020
BMA Presents Nine Solo Exhibitions of Female-Identifying Contemporary Artists
BALTIMORE, MD (January 30, 2020)—As part of The Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) 2020 Vision initiative to provide greater recognition for women artists and leaders, the museum is hosting nine solo exhibitions of works by female-identifying artists beginning in March. Seven exhibitions encompassing paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, and video by Zackary Drucker, Katharina Grosse, Valerie Maynard, Ana Mendieta, Elissa Blount Moorhead,
Howardena Pindell, Jo Smail, and SHAN Wallace will be presented in the Contemporary Wing from March 1, 2020 through January 3, 2021, and a new work by Shinique Smith will be presented in the European art galleries March 15 through January 3, 2021. Subsequent exhibitions opening in February 2021 will feature works by Sharon Lockhart, Tschabalala Self, and Lisa Yuskavage.
Admission is free for each of the exhibitions. The 2020 Vision Contemporary Wing exhibitions are generously sponsored by BGE, Constellation, and Exelon.
“This selection of focused and incisive contemporary exhibitions amplifies both global and local voices and emphasizes the incredible range of contributions made by women artists to our understanding and experience of art today,” said Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “2020 Vision offers new opportunities to examine how these artists have and continue to shape the trajectory of art. We look forward to engaging our audiences with their inspiring and visionary work.”
Descriptions of the nine featured exhibitions and artists follow:
Katharina Grosse: Is It You? March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
German artist Katharina Grosse’s exuberant large-scale, in-situ paintings explore the countless ways of how and where a painted image can appear in our lives. Her works are the bold expression of a highly individual aesthetic, yet their creation is inspired by the needs of the community. Often painted directly onto and across architectural structures and objects or into landscapes, her extraordinarily colorful works invite visitors to engage with painting on both a visual and a physical level.
For this exhibition at the BMA, the internationally acclaimed artist will present five recent paintings and create a new site-related environment. The central gallery in the Contemporary Wing will be transformed with an expansive fabric installation that is partially suspended from the ceiling, creating an enveloping cloth “room” with undulating walls. Grosse will then spray-paint the fabric, allowing the colors and the shapes of the fabric to combine to form a vibrant and immersive experience for visitors. The new work will be on view February 28 through September 19, 2021.
This exhibition is curated by BMA Curator of American Art Virginia Anderson. It is generously sponsored by the Suzanne F. Cohen Exhibition Fund and J.P. Morgan Bank.
Grosse (born 1961, Germany) has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, most recently at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2019; and at the K11 Art Museum in Shanghai, China; National Gallery Prague in the Czech Republic; and Carriageworks in Sydney, Australia, in 2018. Her work is in the collections of many
major museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; Kunsthaus Zürich in Switzerland; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Kunstmuseum Bonn in Germany.
Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This one-gallery retrospective celebrates the six-decade career of Baltimore-based printmaker and sculptor Valerie Maynard. Among the major works on view is the landmark No Apartheid series from the 1980s and 1990s, which embodies Maynard’s unique ability to combine diverse techniques (assemblage, pochoir, and monotype) into both deeply personal and profoundly political new forms of art on paper. A rarely shown selection of Maynard’s early drawing and sculpture drawn directly from the artist’s studio will also be on view.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Bill Gaskins, Edward Spriggs, Nikky Finney, and Alexis De Veaux, as well as an interview with the artist by Howardena Pindell.
This exhibition is co-curated by BMA Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator Asma Naeem and BMA Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Leslie Cozzi.
Maynard (born 1937, New York) was the first artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She is an admired teacher, stage set designer, printmaker, and sculptor who has taught at Howard University and the University of the Virgin Islands. Her work is in the collections of
the Brooklyn Museum in New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, National Art Museum of Mozambique, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Her public artworks include the glass mosaic installation Polyrhythmics of Consciousness and Light (2003) at the 125th Street/Lexington Avenue subway station in New York.
Jo Smail: Flying with Remnant Wings March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
South African-born, Baltimore-based artist Jo Smail uses charged colors and abstract forms to convey the strangeness, vulnerability, and complicated beauty of contemporary life. The exhibition features 50 paintings and works on paper by Smail, as well as collages produced with fellow South African artist William Kentridge. The earliest works date to
the late 1990s and early 2000s when the artist overcame a studio fire that destroyed all her previous paintings and a stroke that inhibited her movement and speech. Since then, Smail has continued to draw upon her daily experiences alongside a deep engagement with international literature and theory as she experiments with different media and
compositional strategies. Her profound and unique works, accompanied by their poetic and irreverent titles, reflect an irrepressible joy and optimism while never shying away from a world always on the brink of destabilization.
This exhibition is organized by independent curator Kristen Hileman.
Smail’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she has been a professor since 1988, as well as the American University Museum in Washington, DC; McLean Project for the Arts in Virginia; and Silber Art Gallery at Goucher College in Baltimore. Among the many awards she has received are the Trawick Sapphire Prize, The Trawick Prize, Strictly Painting Award, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Smail’s work is in the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art and Johns Hopkins University, and in South Africa at the Durban Museum and Art Gallery, Pretoria Art Museum, U.S. Embassy in Johannesburg, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and South African National Gallery in Cape Town.
Zackary Drucker: Icons March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
The work of photographer, producer, and activist Zackary Drucker has reshaped contemporary conversations around gender presentation and identity within both the art world and popular culture at large. This exhibition weaves together two semi-intertwined personal narratives, juxtaposing newly created self-portrait photographs by the artist
with her recent portraits of Rosalyne Blumenstein, LCSW, whose advocacy has been credited with popularizing the term transgender in place of outmoded, pejorative labels. Blumenstein transitioned from male to female in her teens and then went on to direct the New York Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center’s pioneering Gender Identity
Depicting two women of different ages and experience and the scars they bear, Drucker’s work interrogates assumptions about transformation, beauty, aging, and mortality. Her images of muse and mentor Blumenstein capture the cinematic flavor of the artist’s ongoing project to chronicle the trans community. A vinyl wallpaper collage of snapshots drawn from Blumenstein’s personal archives will also be on view, underlining the importance of Blumenstein’s role as mentor and advocate.
This exhibition is organized by BMA Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Leslie Cozzi.
Drucker (born 1983, New York) is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Drucker is also an Emmy-nominated producer for the docuseries This Is Me, as well as a producer on Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning TV show Transparent.
Elissa Blount Moorhead and Bradford Young: Back and Song March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This meditative four-channel film and art installation reflects on how the pursuit of health and well-being is at the root of how life, breath, joy, and pain manifest in black experience from cradle to grave. Back and Song considers the labor and care provided by generations of black healers—doctors, nurses, midwives, morticians, therapists, and
health aides—and their histories of contribution to and resistance from the flawed and discriminatory structures of Western medicine.
Working with archivists from around the world, Moorhead and Young synthesized images of quotidian black family life into a time-based archive of expression. Paired with new footage, archival compilations bring together music, movement, sound therapy, dance, rest, and meditation as a spectrum of individual and communal pursuits.
Commissioned by Philadelphia Contemporary and Thomas Jefferson University, and premiered in the Chapel of Philadelphia’s historic Girard College in October 2019, the work will be newly installed in Baltimore to explore its resonances with the city that both artists have chosen to make their home.
This exhibition is organized by BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Cecilia Wichmann.
Moorhead (born in New York) is an artist, curator, and producer who has created public art, exhibitions, and cultural programs in Baltimore, New York, Jamaica, and London. She is currently a principal partner at TNEG film studio, which creates films and time-based installations. Her work has been recognized with the USA Artist Fellowship, Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellowship, Ford Foundation/JustFilms/Rockwood Fellowship, and a Ruby Award. Moorhead is also featured in the new anthology How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance.
Young (born 1977, Kentucky) is an American cinematographer whose feature films as director of photography include Pariah (2011), Restless City (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), Mother of George (2013), Selma (2014) and Arrival (2016), for which he became the first African American cinematographer to be nominated for an Academy Award. He has also won three Sundance Film Festival awards for cinematography. His recent work includes the film Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) and an Ava DuVernay Netflix series titled When They See Us (2019).
SHAN Wallace: 410 March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Named for the area code that encompasses the city, Baltimore-born artist SHAN Wallace describes 410 as “a devotion to the significance of black life and history in Baltimore.” The exhibition features approximately two dozen photographs inspired by her own observations and unique experiences unifying the lives, memories, revelations, day-to-day life, and politics in her hometown. Representing highlights of her evolving practice of the past five years, Wallace is crafting an immersive environment that reflects her new interest in collage, the connective possibilities of different museum spaces, and the expressive potential of portrait photography.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Wallace will be engaging Baltimore audiences through portrait sessions and workshops at the BMA’s Lexington Market branch on the last Saturdays in February, March, and May 2020. The market has served as a site of sustained interest, investigation, and engagement for the artist for several years. Wallace will incorporate several of the new portraits in her exhibition at the BMA.
This exhibition is co-organized by BMA Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Leslie Cozzi and BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Cecilia Wichmann.
Wallace (born 1991, Maryland) is an award-winning photographer, artist, and freedom fighter who lives and works in Los Angeles and Baltimore. Her work has been exhibited at New Gallery of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC; Mariano Arts Center in Havana, Cuba; Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in North Brentwood, MD; and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, The Contemporary, and The Peale Center in Baltimore.
Howardena Pindell: Free, White and 21 March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This installation features American artist Howardena Pindell’s influential video Free, White and 21 (1980), which shows the artist voicing complex and conflicting perspectives on race and gender. The 12-minute work was created in 1979 after a car accident that left the artist with partial memory loss. Eight months later, she set up a video camera in her apartment, focused it on herself, and created a deadpan account of the racism she experienced coming of age as a black woman in America.
This exhibition is curated by Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Research & Programming Curator
and Thaw Chair of Modern Art at Stony Brook University.
Pindell (born 1943, Pennsylvania) is a distinguished artist who has also worked as a scholar and educator at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Yale University, and SUNY Stony Brook, where she continues to teach. Pindell has participated in numerous exhibitions and received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, National
Endowment for the Arts, College Art Association (CAA), Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Studio Museum in Harlem. She received a Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement from CAA in 2019.
Her first major museum retrospective, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen, was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in 2018–19. Museum collections with Pindell’s work include The Baltimore Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University in Cambridge; and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.
Ana Mendieta: Blood Inside Outside March 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This exhibition showcases diverse aspects of the brief but influential career of pioneering feminist artist Ana Mendieta. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Blood Inside Outside (1975), a recent BMA acquisition, that shows Mendieta exploring the layered meanings ascribed to blood—from death to rebirth. Complementing this work is a selection of lifetime photographs of the artist’s Body Tracks series, as well as drawings that inscribe abstracted outlines of paleolithic goddesses on a variety of surfaces using natural materials and artisanal processes.
This exhibition is organized by BMA Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Leslie Cozzi.
Mendieta (1948–1985, Cuba) created groundbreaking work in photography, film, video, drawing, sculpture, and sitespecific installations. Her work has been the subject of six major museum retrospectives and a groundbreaking exhibition of her catalogued moving image works traveled to museums around the world in 2014–15. Among the many collections that feature her works are the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva; and Tate Collection in London.
Shinique Smith: Grace Stands Beside March 15, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This new deity-like sculpture is inspired by the monuments that Shinique Smith practiced drawing as a young artist growing up in Baltimore City. Its title is an evolution of one of the inscriptions on the base of the former Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1903, which reads “Glory stands beside our grief.” In relation to her layered feelings and memories of the bronze sculpture, Smith was compelled to create her own monument to grace, which the artist defines as “a complex state of being that black people and others who have endured tragic prejudice have embodied to survive and to rise beyond.”
This exhibition is curated by BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Cecilia Wichmann.
Shinique Smith (born 1971, Maryland) is a Los Angeles- and New York-based painter and sculptor known for her monumental creations of fabric, clothing, and calligraphy. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian
National Portrait Gallery, and New Museum, among others. She has also produced several large-scale public art commissions. Among the many awards she has received are fellowships from Anonymous was a Woman, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and Joan Mitchell Foundation. Smith earned her BFA and MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.