This Spring, institutions across the country are offering exhibitions from Black artists and curators that speak to the diverse environments and traditions that contribute to the fabric of Black culture. The imagery connected to jubilee, mourning, love, creativity, and truth are all up for exploration as traditional aesthetics are reclaimed and standards are challenged.
From large scale paintings that will inspire you to think about who you are and what your place is in the world to retrospectives that treat hip-hop with the sincerity and reverence it deserves, there is something for everyone to enjoy. See 11 Black art exhibitions you most definitely shouldn’t skip out on this Spring below.
Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses – Houston Contemporary Art Museum
Get in touch with your “hot girl” heritage at this exhibition centering the life and legacy of the notorious Houston DJ Screw through April 25, 2021.
Bisa Butler: Portraits – The Art Institute of Chicago
Butler weaves history into the present via textiles in vibrant hues. Lose yourself in the way she highlights the joy and strength of our people’s glory through September 6, 2021.
Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America – The New Museum
This intergenerational show, on display until June 6, 2021, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor features 37 artists commenting on the collective mourning that accompanies continued racist violence.
Art Finds A Way – Norton Museum
Black artists invite audiences to confront the realities of racism using relatable narratives in this exhibition. See their work through May 30, 2021.
Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence
Barbara Earl Thomas uses light and darkness to speak to the forced maturation of Black children. Her work is on display through November 14, 2021.
Julie Mehretu – Whitney Museum
Spend some time with the artist’s large-scale paintings inspired by mobility, displacement, and the transient nature of what it means to be an “urban space.” They’re on display through August 8, 2021.
Off The Record – Guggenheim Museum
Ashley James, who made headlines as the institution’s first full-time Black Curator, selected the work of 13 artists to challenge the authority of “objective” historical narratives. See this exhibit from April 2–September 27, 2021.
The Truth About Me – Urban Zen
Curated by Mashonda Tifrere, this show featuring 20 female-identifying and non-binary artists, including Shantell Martin, Dawn Okoro, and Jade Yasmee,n intends to provide “a vibrant homage to the curiosity, mystique, trauma and humility of humankind.” It is on display by appointment only from March 9 – April 17, 2021.
Children of the Sun -Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
Jennifer Mack-Watkins uses inspiration from the defunct 1920s periodical The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine to visually “persevere the act of play.” Edited by W.E.B. Du Bois, the publication sought to fill the gap of uplifting contemporary content and imagery Mack-Watkins responds to that legacy with delicate silkscreens and lithographs on display from March 18 – June 13 2021.
Writing the Future Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This exhibition focuses on the connection between the rules broken in Basquiat’s work and the abstract nature of hip-hop’s verbal and visual styles. Catch it through May 16, 2021.
John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance – Brooklyn Museum
Edmonds photographs are on display through August 8, 2021.