Continuing its yearlong celebration honoring American art and artists, the Milwaukee Art Museum presents 30 Americans, showcasing the work of thirty-one contemporary African American artists who tackle issues around race, religion, gender, sexuality, and cultural identity. Opening June 14, this wide-ranging survey drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, explores ideas central to what it means to be an American.
“The art in 30 Americans is provocative and challenging, and will explore how our identities and histories are varied, yet we are all still Americans,” said Milwaukee Art Museum Director Daniel Keegan. “This is a vastly different exhibition from anything that the Museum has done in recent years.”
30 Americans features nearly eighty photographs, paintings, sculptures, installations, and works on paper and in digital media by Jean-Michel Basquiat, iona rozeal brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Leonardo Drew, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Shinique Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Kehinde Wiley, among others.
In conjunction with the 30 Americans exhibition, the Museum is presenting thirty works by thirty Wisconsin African American artists in Schroeder Galleria, entitled “Wisconsin 30.” The exhibition was designed to complement the works on view in 30 Americans and was organized by the Museum, in collaboration with the African American Art Alliance support group, and the Haggerty Museum at Marquette University.
“Our feature exhibition, 30 Americans, is about identity and creating dialogue, as well as the achievements of these thirty-one contemporary artists, considered some of the best in the world,” said Brady Roberts, chief curator for the Milwaukee Art Museum. “We thought it was the perfect opportunity to include regional African American artists and highlight their achievements.”
The installation includes artists such as Marlon Banks, Reginald Baylor, Tyanna Buie, Anwar Floyd- Pruitt, Christopher McIntyre, Evelyn Patricia Terry, Della Wells, and Iverson White.
“The works presented will help foster dialogue within the community and showcase the outstanding regional work being produced,” said Roberts.
As part of the exhibitions, the Museum is offering a variety of family programming, and several free admission days for the entire community. Included in the programming are lectures, videos, Lakefront Festival of Art (June 21-23), Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays (July 21), and “MAM After Dark,” an after-hours party (June 14 and August 16). More information is available at mam.org.
The exhibition runs through September 8. Adults are $15, seniors and students are $12. Kids age 12 and under get in free every day, as do Wisconsin teachers, veterans, and active military and their families. The first Thursday of every month is free for everyone, thanks to Target.