Join us for a Curator and Artist Talk in celebration of MoAD's current exhibition Elegies: Still Lifes in Contemporary Art. Join Elegies curator Monique Long and artists Sadie Barnette and Devan Shimoyama in conversation with MoAD's Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs Elena Gross to discuss how this group exhibition both disrupts and extends the traditional presentation of still lifes, and how the artists have appropriated the genre in order to create works within a framework of Black diasporic identities, histories, and collective experiences.
This program will take place in-person at MoAD and you will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry.
Sadie Barnette (b. 1984, Oakland, CA) has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. Sadie Barnette’s multimedia practice illuminates her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the United States. The last born of the last born, and hence the youngest of her generation, Barnette holds a long and deep fascination with the personal and political value of kin. Barnette’s adept materialization of the archive rises above a static reverence for the past; by inserting herself into the retelling, she offers a history that is alive. Her drawings, photographs, and installations collapse time and expand possibilities. Political and social structures are a jumping off point for the work, but they are not the final destination. Her use of abstraction, glitter, and the fantastical summons another dimension of human experience and imagination. She has been awarded grants and residencies by The Studio Museum in Harlem, Art Matters, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Carmago Foundation in France. She has enjoyed solo shows in the following public institutions: ICA Los Angeles, The Lab and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College; and The Kitchen in New York. Her work is in many permanent collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Pérez Art Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Walker Art Center, as well as a permanent, site-specific commission at the Los Angeles International Airport forthcoming in 2024. The first monograph on the artist’s work, Legacy + Legend, is available now. She lives and works in Oakland, CA and is represented by Jessica Silverman.
Devan Shimoyama (b. 1989, Philadelphia, PA) received his BFAin drawing and painting from Pennsylvania State University, State College (2011) and his MFA in painting and drawing from Yale University, New Haven (2014). Inspired by fashion, tarot,drag, pop culture and craft, Shimoyama references works from the art historical canon and reframes them through the Black, queer, male body. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2018); Kavi Gupta, Chicago (2019); and Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany (2021). He has also had works included in group exhibitions like Fictions, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2017); Getting to Know You, Cleveland Institute of Art (2019); Translating Violence: Redefining Black Male Identity, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI; and Friends and Friends of Friends, Schlossmuseum, Linz, Austria (both 2020). He is represented by De Buck Gallery in New York City and Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago. He currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA, where he is an associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Monique Long is an independent curator and writer based in New York. She curated MoAD's current exhibition, Elegies: Still Lifes in Contemporary Art, on view through August 18, 2022.
Elena Gross (she/they) is the Director of Exhibitions & Curatorial Affairs at Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, CA. She received an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts in 2016, and her BA in Art History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Elena was formerly the creator and co-host of the arts & visual culture podcast what are you looking at? published by Art Practical. Her research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists. She has presented her writing and research at institutions and conferences across the U.S., including Nook Gallery, Southern Exposure, KADIST, Harvard College, YBCA, California College of the Arts, and the GLBT History Museum. In 2018, she collaborated with the artist Leila Weefur on the publication Between Beauty & Horror (Sming Sming Books). The two performed a live adaptation of their work at The Lab, San Francisco. Her most recent writing can be found in the publication This Is Not A Gun(Sming Sming Books / Candor Arts). Elena is the co-editor, along with Julie R. Enszer, of OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Culture, forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in March 2022.
This program is presented in conjunction with the current exhibition Elegies: Still Lifes in Contemporary Art on view at MoAD through August 18, 2022.