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2023 Black Art Must-see-exhibitions

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Christie's selects must-see-exhibitions celebrating the works of black artists in 2023


Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (8/2-14/5/2023)

The exhibition displays the works of American artist William Henry Johnson, who celebrated the accomplishments of Black visionaries and paid tribute to those who fought for justice and equality.


Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club, at the New Orleans Museum of Art (10/2-7/5/2023)

The exhibition is a retrospective of American painter Jacob Lawrence, who explored spirituality and community in Nigeria during his nine-month stay there.


Njdeka Akunyili Crosby, at Huntington Art Gallery, California (15/2-12/6/2023)

A Nigerian-born artist based in Los Angeles, known for her collage-based paintings that explore the African diasporic experience and transnational identities. Her artwork uses paint, textiles, magazine images, and family photographs to create a complex tapestry of cultural references.


A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, at Brooklyn Museum, New York (3/3-25/6/2023)

The exhibition reflects the Great Migration (1910-1970) where six million Black Americans left the rural South due to segregation and discrimination and moved to cities of other regions. The exhibition features 12 contemporary Black artists who use film, tapestry, painting, and other mediums to explore the impact of the Great Migration on America's social and cultural fabric.


Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South, at Royal Academy of Arts, London (17/3-18/6/2023)

The exhibition takes its title from a book by Langston Hughes and features nearly 70 works by 34 artists from the mid-20th century to today, incorporating sculpture, paintings, reliefs, drawings, and quilts.


Simone Leigh, at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (6/4-4/9/2023)

The exhibition showcases her 20-year artistic practice exploring ideas of race, femininity, and material culture, featuring ceramic and bronze works, installations, and videos.


Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is to Me, at Tate Britain, London (26/4-20/8/2023)

This exhibition is the first-ever retrospective exhibition of the pioneering video artist Sir Isaac Julien in the United Kingdom, showcasing his creative work and activism, from early experimental films to recent multi-screen installations.


Carrie Mae Weems: The Evidence of Things Not Seen, at Kunstmuseum Basel (4/11/2023-17/3/2024)

Carrie Mae questions dominant historical narratives by highlighting marginalized voices and alternative storylines, featuring photography, videos, and installations that provide an in-depth examination of Weems' work.


This article was selected by Richard Lewsey

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