Home Leisure & Sports Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage exhibition opens at Frist Art Museum

Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage exhibition opens at Frist Art Museum

by Cass Teague
Derek Fordjour. Airborne Double, 2022. Acrylic, charcoal, cardboard, oil pastel, and foil on newspaper mounted on canvas; 60 x 100 in. Frances Fine Art Collection. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel Gallery, New York.

The first major museum exhibition devoted to the subject, Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage presents 80 major collage and collage-informed works that reflect the breadth and complexity of Black identity. Featuring an intergenerational group of 52 living artists, Multiplicity explores the varying ways collage is employed and how the technique suggests diverse conceptual concerns such as cultural hybridity, notions of beauty, gender fluidity, and historical memory. By assembling pieces of paper, photographs, fabric, and salvaged or repurposed materials, these unified compositions express endless possibilities of Black-constructed narratives despite our fragmented society.

Artists include Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Radcliffe Bailey, Sanford Biggers, McArthur Binion, Brittney Boyd Bullock, Mark Bradford, Tay Butler, Zoë Charlton, Andrea Chung, Jamal Cyrus, M. Florine Démosthène, Derek Fordjour, Genevieve Gaignard, Lauren Halsey, Kahlil Robert Irving, Tomashi Jackson, Arthur Jafa, Rashid Johnson, Yashua Klos, YoYo Lander, Rick Lowe, Kerry James Marshall, Rod McGaha, Lester Julian Merriweather, Helina Metaferia, Wardell Milan, Joiri Minaya, Troy Montes Michie, Devin N. Morris, Wangechi Mutu, Narcissister, Rashaad Newsome, Lovie Olivia, Ebony G. Patterson, Howardena Pindell, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Deborah Roberts, Lanecia Rouse Tinsley, Tschabalala Self, Vitus Shell, Devan Shimoyama, David Shrobe, Lorna Simpson, Nyugen E. Smith, Paul Anthony Smith, Shinique Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Didier William, and Kandis Williams.

Plan now to attend a Curator’s Tour for Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage, as part of the Multiplicity Opening Celebration, on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. in the Ingram Gallery; free for members; gallery admission required for not-yet-members.

Yashua Klos. Uncle Scott, 2022. Woodblock prints on archival paper, Japanese rice paper, acrylic, spray paint, colored pencil, and wood mounted on canvas; 72 x 60 in. Collection of Marc Rockford and Carrie Gish.

And, you won’t want to miss the Artist and Scholar Conversation on Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage, also as part of the Multiplicity Opening Celebration, on Saturday, September 23, 2023, from 10:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Frist Auditorium; free; first come, first seated. Hear from Multiplicity artists and catalogue contributors during this series of conversations that take a deeper dive into the exhibition’s themes and its impact in the Nashville community.

Saturday’s schedule: 10:15 a.m., Welcome; 10:30 – 11:20 a.m., Kahlil Robert Irving with Rebecca VanDiver, PhD, associate professor of African and African American art, Vanderbilt University; 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Nyugen E. Smith and Paul Anthony Smith with María Elena Ortiz, curator, Modern Art Museum Fort Worth; 1:30 – 2:20 p.m., Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Rashaad Newsome with Tiffany E. Barber, PhD, assistant professor of African American art, University of California, Los Angeles; 2:30 – 3:20 p.m., Tay Butler and Genevieve Gaignard with Anita N. Bateman, PhD, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; 3:30 – 4:20 p.m., Helina Metaferia; Lovie Olivia; Michael Ewing, independent curator; and Chase Williamson, 2022–2023 fellow, Frist Art Museum, with Katie Delmez, organizing curator of Multiplicity and senior curator, Frist Art Museum. The exhibition, organized by the Frist Art Museum, is accompanied by a catalogue with scholarly essays, and will travel to other venues.

Also opening September 15, and running through December 31, 2023 in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery, is Raqib Shaw: Ballads of East and West.

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