Upcoming Exhibitions

Norman Lewis. Afternoon. 1969. The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection. © Estate of Norman W. Lewis, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art

From September 29, 2019 — January 19, 2020

When the acclaimed touring exhibition Solidary & Solitary reaches the BMA, it will significantly expand to more than 80 paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works and take on a new title, Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. The exhibition offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history, such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

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Melvin Edwards. _Numunake_. 1993. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © Melvin Edwards, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Melvin Edwards: Crossroads

From September 29, 2019 — January 12, 2020

A pioneer in the history of contemporary American art and sculpture, Melvin Edwards (American, b. 1937) has influenced generations of artistic giants with his innovative formal genius and deep political commitment. This exhibition highlights the African roots of his dynamic, muscular abstraction by placing a small selection of works from the BMA’s world-class collection of African art in dialogue with 16 works that span four decades of Edwards’ career. The artist, who is the great-great-great grandson of a West African blacksmith, has lived, taught, and traveled throughout Africa since the early 1970s, forming relationships with artists, students, and politicians in 16 countries. In doing so, he discovered a relationship between his work and that of African blacksmiths and carvers, past and present.

Curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programing and Research Curator and Thaw Chair at Stony Brook University.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by the Smart Family Foundation of Illinois and the Henry Moore Foundation.