MoAD’s Spring 2020 Exhibition Season – Mary Lovelace O’Neal, David Huffman, Sam Vernon & Sydney Cain
March 25 – August 23, 2020
Museum of the African Diaspora is proud to announce our Spring-Summer 2020 season of exhibitions.
Museum of the African Diaspora is pleased to present Mary Lovelace O’Neal: Whales, A Romance…, an extensive installation of O’Neal’s Whales Fucking series. This body of work was created upon viewing rhapsodic and free whales in the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay in the 1970s during her first visit and extended stay on the West Coast.
Exploding in expressionist physicality, the abstracted landscapes on canvas are composed of oil paint, glitter and tape. Also inspired by D.H. Lawrence’s evocative poem Whales Weep Not!, this series followed O’Neal’s noted abstract minimalist “lampblack” paintings. The dramatic landscapes and bestial realities of San Francisco catalyzed this turning point in O’Neal’s career. Forty years after the creation of these works, O’Neal’s intersecting environmental and social justice commitments present a timely reflection on the Bay Area as a central geo-social site of politicized artistic expression. This exhibition will include large scale canvases and intimate works on paper from Whales Fucking, with a documentary film of her life and career as an artist and activist.
This exhibition is curated by Emily Kuhlmann, Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs, Museum of the African Diaspora and Erin Jenoa Gilbert, Independent Curator.
Museum of the African Diaspora is pleased to present David Huffman: Terra Incognita in the first museum show surveying the artist’s Traumanaut series. Emerging from Huffman’s lifelong interest in science fiction, formalist abstraction, and social justice movements, the “Traumanauts” are futuristic beings that travel the galaxy in constant search for home. This exhibition showcases the extensive narrative that Huffman has been designing since the early 1990s across a range of media including large-scale canvas, works on paper, ceramics, video, and printmaking. This work explores an Afrofuturistic landscape disrupting the canon of historical narrative painting with otherworldly horizons. Combining his notable abstract, gestural style with a decidedly figurative focus, these works present an imagined and safe interstitial space that plays between these aesthetics. With influences from cartoons, the Black Power movement,and poetics of basketball, Huffman brings us into his celestial world.
David Huffman: Terra Incognita is curated by Emily Kuhlmann, Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs and Elena Gross, Exhibitions Associate.
Museum of the African Diaspora is pleased to present Sam Vernon: Impasse of Desires, a site-specific installation and solo exhibition of the artist’s work. Using Matt Richardson’s 2013 publication The Queer Limit of Memory as a critical entry point, Vernon drapes the first-floor gallery and lobby of the museum with sheets of colored fabric and creates a constellation of made and found images throughout the first-floor hallway.
Refutations is an ongoing body of work exploring ancestral memory and the power of Black myth. The project includes various multimedia series of artwork, publications and exhibitions emerging from personal genealogy research alongside process documentation through photography and drawing. Through play between ephemerality and figurative representation, teases resistance against erasure while also celebrating metamorphoses that occur in the voids of invisibility. The work is an exploration in the perimeters of both existing and not existing through imaginative landscapes.