The DART Board: 01.29.2020

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday January 29, 2020

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s holdings of art from sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas are integral to the museum’s legacy. When it acquired the former Museum of Primitive Arts, in 1974 (founded by former Governor of New York, Nelson A. Rockefeller) and further established the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, where the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas are on view, this collection is arguably the most important of its kind in the West.

This week, The Met opens Sahel | Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, which traces the cultural legacy of the region. The exhibition will bring together some 200 works that were created in parallel to the rise of the legendary empires of Ghana (300–1200), Mali (1230–1600), Songhay (1464–1591), and Segu (1640–1861). Among the some 200 works on view are spectacular sculptures in wood, stone, fired clay, and bronze; gold and cast metal artifacts; woven and dyed textiles; and illuminated manuscripts.

"Although the material artifacts created in the Sahel we will be presenting constitute our most immediate connection to its past, they have largely remained isolated and detached from the region's history and succession of legendary states," said Alisa LaGamma, Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Curator in Charge of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. "What is today southcentral Mali is renowned for its traditions of wood sculpture produced by Dogon and Bamana masters. This exhibition seeks to anchor those more fully in what has been an ever-changing cultural landscape and situate them in relation to a more expansive array of its artistic landmarks.

“The immersive experience of this presentation,” she continues, “will take you on a journey that underscores a many-layered past. A sense of continuity in the visualization of ideals of power and leadership will be embodied in a cavalcade of equestrian figures produced by regional artists over the course of the last millennium, led by the commanding Bura example from present-day Niger showcasing a breathtaking amount of detail."
"There is so much focus on the challenges that the Sahel faces today: increasing desertification owing to climate change, security threats from extremists, and perilous desert and ocean crossings to Europe faced by migrants," said Mamadou Diouf, Leitner Family Professor of African History at Columbia University, and a key curatorial advisor to the exhibition. "This presentation provides an opportunity to wonder at the Sahel's legacy of creative ingenuity and resilience going back millennia."

The exhibition continues through May 10, with a roster of public events that includes an unprecedented acoustic performance by the legendary Baaba Maal; a series of artist talks; a regular schedule of curator tours; and a series of MetFridays: Sahel in April. The exhibition will be featured on The Met website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There will also be a series of Met blog posts that explore a variety of themes related to Sahel, including oral traditions, scholarly contributions, and behind-the-scenes experiences while mounting the exhibition.

Sahel | Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info Photos © Peggy Roalf. See the performance by Yacouba Sissoko at the Tuesday preview here.

Talks / Book Events / Screenings / and Beyond

Wednesday, January 29

Mitch Epstein | Sunshine Hotel, in conversation with Andrea K. Scott, 6:30 pm. NeueHouse, 110 East 25th Street, NY, NY  Info 


Thursday, January 30

Dannielle Bowman and Seph Rodney in conversation, 6 pm. Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, 126 Baxter Street, NY, NY Info

David Heredia | The Freelance Hustle, 6:30 pm; book signing follows. SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, NY, NY Info

Lila Nazemian, curator for I open my eyes and see myself under a tree laden with fruit that I cannot name will be in conversation with poet Sinan Antoon and artist Hadieh Shafie, 6:30 pm. Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, NY, NY Info

Right: David Brandon Geeting, from Neighborhood Stroll, this week at Janet Borden, Inc.

Friday, January 31

Shadows Cast by Things and People | A Candlelit Talk with Irena Haiduk and Laura McLean-Ferris, 7 pm. Swiss Institute/Contemporary Art, 38 St Marks Place, NY, NY Info

Saturday, February 1

Fashion Out Loud | Izak, Carlos Aponte, Tobie Giddio, Sarah Singh, and Bil Donovan, 11:30 am- 3:30 pm. Society of Illustrators, 128 West 63rd Street, NY, NY Tickets

Monday, February 3

Joseph Maida in conversation with Lois Connor, Sze Sung Nicolas Leong, Pixy Liao, 7 pm; reception follows. SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, NY, NY Info

Tuesday, February 4

Sam Contis | Day Sleeper, in conversation with Fanny Singer, 7 pm. Mast Books, 72 Avenue A, NY, NY Info

In Galleries / Lens-based Art

Thursday, January 30

David Brandon Geeting | Neighborhood Stroll, 6-8 pm. Janet Borden, Inc., 91 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY Info


Marco Palli, The Origin of Sculpture, #15; reception tonight at The New York Studio School. Photo © Marco Palli

In Galleries

Wednesday, January 29

Marco Palli | The Origin of Sculpture, opening reception, 6-8 pm/artist talk, 1:15-2 pm. New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, NY, NY Info

Tina West and Tucker Robbins| Photographs-Installation by Amy Pilkington, 6-8 pm. Robin Rice Gallery, 325 West 11th Street, NY, NY  Info

Thursday, January 30

Melinda Ring | Strange Engagements/featuring Laurel Atwell, Talya Epstein, Paul Hamilton, Sam Kim, and Rainey White, 8-9 pm. Danspace Project, 131 East 10th Street St. Mark’s Church, NY, NY  Info

Akito Nara | Ikiru wo Egako [Painting is Living/Living is Painting], 6-8 pm. Ethan Cohen Gallery, 251 West 19th Street, NY, NY Info

Beverly Semmes | Red, 6-8 pm. Susan Inglett Gallery, 522 West 24th Street, NY, NY Info

Gladys Nilsson | Honk! Fifty Years of Painting, 6-8 pm. Matthew Marks Galleary, 523 West 24th Street, NY, NY Info

Gladys Nilsson | Honk! Fifty Years of Painting, 6-8 pm. Garth Greenan Gallery, 545 West 20th Street, NY, NY Info

Roger Tibbetts | Recto/Verso, 6-8pm. New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, NY, NY Info

Friday, January 31

Andy Woll | Strange Animal, 6-8 pm. Denny Dimin Gallery, 39 Lispinard Street, NY, NY Info

Marge Hoffman | More Than a Feeling, 3-7 pm. David Richard Gallery, 211 East 121st Street, NY, NY Info

Portrait: Identity & Expression, 6-9 pm. Site:Brooklyn, 165 7th Street, Brooklyn Gallery, NY Info

Closing Saturday, February 1

Swoon | Cicada. Jeffrey Deitch, 76 Grand Street, NY, NY Info

Richard Serra | Reverse Curve. Gagosian, 522 West 21st Street, NY, NY Info 

Sunday, February 2

Thomas Kovachevich | Paintings and Installation, 6-8 pm. Callicoon Fine Arts, 49 Delancey Street, NY, NY Info


International Center of Photography, photo: © Peggy Roalf

In Museums

Thursday, January 30

Sahel | Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info

Saturday, February 1

Celebrate Black History | First Saturday: Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. This First Saturday lineup is organized in partnership with the Culture LP. Highlights include a sound bath with HealHaus, a screening of the short film Second Eulogy: Mind the Gap, and music by Bri Blvck. Info

The International Center of Photography has opened in its new home at Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side, with four exhibitions: The Lower East Side: Selection from the ICP Collection; James Coupe: Warriors; Contact High: A Visual History of Hip- Hop; and Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good, all on view through May 18. 79 Essex Street, NY, NY Info Photos: © Peggy Roalf

Closing Sunday, February 2

Duane Michals | Illusions of the Photographer. The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, NY, NY Info

Editor’s Note: DARTs parent,, has extended the AP36 deadline to February 11. “Think Back. Think Positive. Think Now.” Info. Meet the Jurors: Aerial Brown; Laura Geiser; Tara Guertin; Molly Roberts; Jolie Ruben; David Sleight, here

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday January 23, 2020

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday January 22, 2020

By Peggy Roalf   Friday January 17, 2020

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