The DART Board: 02.22.2024

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday February 22, 2024

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism at The Met

Through some 160 works, the exhibition will explore the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and Chicago’s South Side and nationwide in the early decades of the Great Migration when millions of African Americans began to move away from the segregated rural South. The first survey of the subject in New York City since 1987, the exhibition will establish the Harlem Renaissance as the first African American–led movement of international modern art and will situate Black artists and their radically new portrayals of the modern Black subject as central to our understanding of international modern art and modern life. Above: William Henry Johnson (American, 1901–1970), Street Life, Harlem, ca. 1939-1940. © Art Resource, NY

“This landmark exhibition reframes the Harlem Renaissance, cementing its place as the first African American–led movement of international modern art,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO. “Through compelling portraits, vibrant city scenes, history paintings, depictions of early mass protests and activism, and dynamic portrayals of night life created by leading artists of the time, the exhibition boldly underscores the movement’s pivotal role in shaping the portrayal of the modern Black subject—and indeed the very fabric of early 20th-century modern art.” 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a five-episode podcast—the first one created by The Met specifically for an exhibition. Hosted by writer and critic Jessica Lynne (a founding editor of the online journal ARTS.Black), it will also be the first in-depth podcast series devoted to the broader narrative of the Harlem Renaissance, and will explore questions of fashion, portraiture, leisure, and nightlife through the lens of music, literature, and art from the period. Info The Met will host a variety of exhibition-related educational and public programs, in addition to other opportunities that will engage the New York City community. Info A fully illustrated scholarly catalogue on the vibrant history of the Harlem Renaissance will accompany the exhibition. Info

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Info



Friday, February 23: Beatrix Potter | Drawn to Nature at The Morgan

Creator of unforgettable animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) rooted her fiction in the natural world. Childhood summers spent in Scotland and the English Lake District nourished Potter’s love of nature, while her famous menagerie of pets inspired her picture letters and published tales. Her study of botany and mycology established an abiding interest in the life sciences, a passion she would bring to rural life at Hill Top Farm in Cumbria, England. There, she enjoyed a second act as a sheep breeder and land conservationist, ultimately bequeathing four thousand acres of farmland to the National Trust.

Organized by the Victoria and Albert MuseumBeatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artifacts from several institutions in the United Kingdom, including the V&A, the National Trust, and the Armitt Museum and Library. Paired with the Morgan’s exceptional collection of her picture letters, these objects trace how Potter’s innovative blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children’s books. A series of public programs is geared to family groups. Info

Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY Info



Friday, February 23: Sonia Delaunay | Living Art at Bard

Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979) was one of the most influential French artists of the twentieth century. Her remarkably diverse and interconnected body of work focused on the primacy of color and a synthesis of the arts. Painter, artisan, and designer, she embraced modernity and harnessed the creative power of collaboration in the realms of fashion, textiles, interiors, books, mosaics, and tapestries. Living Art comprises more than 200 objects secured from major international lenders, reflecting Delaunay’s kaleidoscopic output through all periods of her career from the early Parisian avant-garde of the 1910s to the spirited 1970s. Exploring the materiality, making, and marketing of her work, the exhibition traces a lifetime of creative expression and presents an innovator who transcended conventional artistic boundaries and devotedly lived her art.

Save the date, February 28 at 6pm: Cardboard and Dada | Sonia Delaunay’s Costume Design. Tristan Tzara’s Dadaist play The Gas Heart is known for two things: that its 1923 performance ended in a riot and that it featured geometric costumes by Sonia Delaunay (which, incidentally, impeded the actors’ escape from the riot). All that survives of these costumes are sketches by Delaunay and production photos, but iconic homages have been worn by David Bowie and Klaus Nomi. In conjunction with the exhibition Sonia Delaunay: Living Art, Broadway costume designer and BGC MA student Sydney Maresca has reconstructed two of these costumes and will reanimate them with actors to explore what happens when two-dimensional modernist design meets three-dimensional performing bodies.. Register For more information about public programs, click here.

Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street, New York, NY Info



Friday, February 23,, 8pm-Midnight: Night at the Museum at PS1

New York’s favorite contemporary art party, Night at the Museum,  sends off Rirkrit Tiravanija: A LOT OF PEOPLE with an unforgettable evening of performances, dancing, DJs, and more. The entire museum will be open until midnight, with all of Tiravanija’s interactive artworks on view for one night only. 

Dance to music by DJs Patia Borja, Spencer Sweeney, and Brian DeGraw from Gang Gang Dance. Check out performances by artists in the city’s experimental music scene: art rock ensemble Das Audit (Craig Kalpakijan, Eve Essex, and Dan Fox), Che Chen and Talice Lee, Leila Bordreuil, C. Spencer Yeh, and other special guests. Take home an exclusive screen printed t-shirt, and put your game face on for a doubles ping-pong competition. Drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets

MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue Queens, NY Info



Closing March 3: Judy Chicago | Herstory at the New Museum

Spanning Judy Chicago’s sixty-year career, the exhibition will encompass the full breadth of the artist’s contributions across painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, textiles, photography, stained glass, needlepoint, and printmaking.

Taking over three floors of the Museum, “Herstory” will trace the entirety of Chicago’s practice from her 1960s experiments in Minimalism and her revolutionary feminist art of the 1970s to her narrative series of the 1980s and 1990s in which she expanded her focus to confront environmental disaster, birth and creation, masculinity, and mortality. Contextualizing her feminist methodology within the many art movements in which she has participated—and from whose histories she has frequently been erased—“Herstory” will showcase Chicago’s tremendous impact on American art and highlight her critical role as a cultural historian claiming space for women artists previously omitted from the canon.
The New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, NY Info