Napoleon Jones-Henderson, TCB, 1970. Wool. 72 x 48 inches (182.9 x 121.9 cm). Courtesy the artist. © Napoleon Jones-Henderson
(Boston, MA—November 16, 2021) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents its advance schedule of exhibitions through 2023. Upcoming exhibitions include solo exhibitions of Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Jordan Nassar, Rose B. Simpson, and Guadalupe Maravilla, the exhilarating video installation Swinguerra by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, and a major thematic exhibition exploring the influence of childhood on the work of visual artists.
All exhibition dates are subject to change. For more information and to confirm schedule, please contact Margaux Leonard at email@example.com or 617-478-3176.
Feb 17, 2022–Jul 24, 2022
For more than fifty years, Napoleon Jones-Henderson (b. 1943 in Chicago) has created works that strive to highlight, celebrate, and empower the communities where he lives. Jones-Henderson is a longstanding founding member of the influential artist collective African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA). His work translates AfriCOBRA’s aesthetic principles—to create images inspired by the lived experience and cultures of people of the African diaspora in an accessible graphic style with shining Kool-Aid colors—into woven tapestries, mosaic tile works, shrine-like sculptures, and varied works on paper. Often focused on themes of Pan-Africanism and racial justice, Jones-Henderson’s work aims to be self-affirming and reflective, with an eye toward both a fraught past and a liberated future. The artist integrates forms from African ritual sculpture and Southern vernacular architecture and incorporates reverential references to jazzman Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts,” musician Stevie Wonder, and writer June Jordan, among others. Made in close collaboration with the artist, this concise survey draws together a suite of Jones-Henderson’s works in various media across his entire career, centered around his magisterial woven textiles. Jones-Henderson has been based since 1974 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he has been an influential community member, educator, and mentor. This is his most comprehensive solo museum exhibition in Boston. This exhibition is organized by Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager.
A Place for Me: Figurative Painting Now
Mar 31, 2022–Sep 5, 2022
A Place for Me celebrates a new generation of artists at the vanguard of contemporary painting. David Antonio Cruz (b. 1974 in Philadelphia), Louis Fratino (b. 1993 in Annapolis, MD), Doron Langberg (b. 1985 in Yokneam Moshava, Israel), Aubrey Levinthal (b. 1986 in Philadelphia), Gisela McDaniel (b. 1995 in Bellevue, NE), Arcmanoro Niles (b. 1989 in Washington, D.C.), Celeste Rapone (b. 1985 in Wayne, NJ), and Ambera Wellmann (b. 1982 in Lunenburg, Canada) are propelling figurative painting’s recent revival by depicting what they love—their friends, lovers, and family; studio spaces and homes; and the scenes that make up their everyday. Evoking intimacy, community, and the personal in the power to represent oneself in painting, these artists consider the politics of seeing and being seen and how the process of painting might register care, tenderness, fragility, empathy, and resilience. They have each developed unique approaches to representing others, approaching their sitters with the insights of their own subject positions and a wide range of painterly techniques. Colorful, surprising, and full of life, A Place for Me is a testament to the vitality of contemporary figurative art, reflecting a multitude of styles and approaches to painting through a cross-section of contemporary painting today. Organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, with Anni Pullagura, Curatorial Assistant.
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Swinguerra
Mar 31, 2022–Sep 5, 2022
Collaborating since 2013, Bárbara Wagner (b. 1980 in Brasília, Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (b. 1975 in Munich) create works in video, photography, and installation that explore contemporary histories of underground dance and musical genres. Frequently made in collaboration with cinematographer Pedro Sotero, their moving-image works (which the artists refer to as “documentary musicals”) often center on urban subcultures in the South Atlantic diaspora. A recent acquisition on view for the first time in Boston, Swinguerra (2019) focuses on queer communities of color in Recife, Brazil, with an emphasis on transgender and nonbinary performers. Their mixed dance styles recall Brazil’s colonial and slave trade history, where music and dance functioned as discreet methods of organizing politically under oppressive regimes. Fast-paced, athletic, sexy, dreamlike, and dynamic, Swinguerra is an exhilarating and unforgettable viewing experience, illustrating how dance and music offer rich sources of agency, resistance, and community. Organized by Anni Pullagura, Curatorial Assistant.
Rose B. Simpson
Aug 11, 2022–Jan 29, 2023
The art work of Rose B. Simpson (b. 1983 in Santa Clara Pueblo, NM) encompasses ceramic sculpture, metals, performance, installation, writing, and automobile design, offering poignant reflections on the human condition. Her figurative ceramic sculptures—for which she is best known—often incorporate metal, wood, leather, fabric, and found objects, and express complex psychological states, spirituality, women’s strength, and post-apocalyptic visions of the world. Part of a multigenerational, matrilineal lineage of artists working with clay, Simpson calls forth Indigenous knowledge and curative aspects of working with clay to heal generational trauma and foster an internalized notion of sustainability. An enrolled member of the Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico, Simpson draws on processes of producing clay pottery in practice since the 6th century, connecting tradition and knowledge with her own place in the world today. From intimately scaled works, to monumental standing figures, this tightly conceived exhibition will feature a presentation of the artist’s signature ceramic sculptures alongside new works. Organized by Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager.
Aug 11, 2022–Jan 29, 2023
Jordan Nassar’s solo exhibition—his first in Boston—presents a selection of his intricate embroidered and mixed media works. Nassar (b. 1985 in New York) draws on traditional Palestinian craft techniques to investigate ideas of home, land, and memory. His work, which he creates in collaboration with Palestinian embroiders and craftspersons, combines geometric patterns with abstracted landscapes, imbued, in the artist’s words, “with yearning, while hopeful and beautiful.” Through complex patterning and a unique attendance to form and color, the painterly aesthetic of Nassar’s embroidery allows the artist to explore relationships between craft and history in new contemporary dialogues. Organized by Anni Pullagura, Curatorial Assistant.
To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood
Oct 6, 2022–Feb 26, 2023
To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood surveys how artists have reflected on and contributed to notions of childhood from the early twentieth-century to the present. Bringing together an international and intergenerational group of approximately thirty artists working from the early 20th-century to today, the exhibition takes as a starting point how artists have long been inspired by children—by their imagination, creativity, and unique ways of seeing and being in the world. Artists have made artwork that depicts and involves children as collaborators, that represents or mimics their ways of drawing or telling stories, that highlights their unique cultures, and that addresses ideas of innocence and spontaneity closely associated with children. The works in To Begin Again offer distinctive viewpoints and experiences, revealing how time and place, economics and race, and representation and aesthetics fundamentally shape how we experience and understand early human development. The exhibition underscores that while there is no single, uniform idea of childhood, it is nevertheless the ground upon which so much of society is built, negotiated, and imagined. Artists included are Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983 in Enugu, Nigeria), Jordan Casteel (b. 1989 in Denver), Henry Darger (b. 1892 in Chicago; d. 1973 in Chicago), Karon Davis (b. 1977 in Reno, NV), Mary Kelly (b. 1941 in Fort Dodge, IA), Paul Klee (b. 1879 in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland; d. 1940 in Muralto, Switzerland), Tau Lewis (b. 1993 in Toronto), Oscar Murillo (b. 1986 in Valle del Cauca, Colombia), Rivane Neuenschwander (b. 1967 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil), Faith Ringgold (b. 1930 in Harlem), Sable Elyse Smith (b. 1986 in Los Angeles), Mierle Laderman Ukeles (b. 1939 in Denver), and Cathy Wilkes (b. 1966 in Belfast, United Kingdom), among others. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, featuring the voices and perspectives of a variety of artists, scholars, and writers. Organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, with Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager.
Nov 5, 2022—Jan 21, 2024
For more than 40 years, Barbara Kruger (b. 1945 in Newark, NJ) has been a consistent, critical observer of contemporary culture. In the early 1980s, Kruger perfected a signature style of words and images extracted from mass media and recomposed into memorable, graphic artworks. Her iconic works, such as Untitled (I shop therefore I am), 1987, and Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989, combine cropped, black-and-white photographic images with provocative short texts printed on solid-colored bars. Often these works address viewers directly with personal pronouns—like “you” and “me”—while confounding clear notions of who is speaking. Kruger’s prodigious work has come to represent debates on women’s rights, identity, consumerism, and capitalism raging since the 80s. Rigorously composed, her works have occupied a range of media and spaces, including walls, billboards, video projections, and an array of consumer products. Since the 1990s, Kruger has also created large-scale installations of her text-based art, transforming lobbies, elevators, and buildings with her signature aesthetic and pointed content. Continuing in this vein, Kruger will create a brand-new work for the ICA that speaks, as her work has done for more than four decades, to contemporary social and political dynamics. Organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator.
About the ICA
Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and expanding the museum’s role as educator, incubator, and convener. Its exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to the breadth and diversity of contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at icaboston.org. Follow the ICA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
A Place for Me: Contemporary Figurative Painting
Support is generously provided by Katie and Paul Buttenwieser and Ellen Poss, and an Anonymous donor.
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Swinguerra
Swinguerra was acquired through the generosity of the General Acquisition Fund, Fotene and Tom Coté Art Acquisition Fund, and Anonymous Art Acquisition Fund.