Sept. 7 - Nov. 4, 2012
In New York–based artist Rashid Johnson's first major solo museum exhibition, he explores the complexities and contradictions of black identity in a practice that is rooted in his individual experience. Incorporating commonplace objects from his childhood in a process he describes as “hijacking the domestic,” the artist transforms everyday materials such as wood, mirrors, tiles, rugs, CB radios, shea butter and plants into conceptually loaded and visually compelling works.
Exhibition Organization and Support
Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, MCA Pamela Alper Associate Curator. Lead support for this exhibition is generously provided by The Joyce Foundation and Margot and George Greig.
Additional generous support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Mary Ittelson; The Estate of Edward Anixter; The Efroymson Family Fund; Jack and Sandra Guthman; David Kordansky Gallery; Hauser & Wirth; Massimo De Carlo/Carlson Gallery, Milan-London; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Paul Gray and Dedrea Armour Gray; Marilyn and Larry Fields; Susan D. Bowey; Paul and Linda Gotskind; Lenore and Adam Sender; David Shuman; Dr. Daniel S. Berger; Galerie Guido W. Baudach; Dr. Anita Blanchard and Martin H. Nesbitt; Evan Boris and Monique Meloche; and Lynn and Allen Turner.
Additional support for the presentation at Miami Art Museum is provided by UBS Financial Services Inc. – The Bodner Zubizarreta Group.
Highlights from the Exhibition
"Message to Our Folks" Playlist
Throughout his work, Rashid Johnson evokes shared memories by referencing icons and figures from American and African-American culture. The exhibition fosters a dialogue by inviting viewers' free associations with familiar figures -- such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Sun Ra, Miles Davis and Public Enemy.
Listen to songs that inspired Johnson's work, including "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," "Love in Outer Space" and "Cosmic Slop."
Artist-led tour of "Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks" .
In New York--based artist Rashid Johnson's first major solo museum exhibition, he explores the complexities and contradictions of black identity in a practice that is rooted in his individual experience
Rashid Johnson Makes Things to Put Things On
How does an artist contribute his own personal story in the face of prevailing historical narratives? In this film, Rashid Johnson discusses the fluid nature of black identity in America and its escapist tendencies, from the Afrocentric politics of Marcus Garvey to the cosmic philosophy of Sun Ra. Johnson's invented secret society—"The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club"—is a framework through which the artist humorously upends, through repetition and juxtaposition, conventional expectations of historical influence and legacy.
Press release: Miami Art Museum Brings Rashid Johnson's First Major Solo Exhibition to South Florida
This September, Miami Art Museum will present "Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks," the first major solo exhibition for Johnson, a preeminent artist of his generation. Johnson’s practice encompasses photography, sculpture, painting and video and explores diverse questions relating to the self, identity, metaphysics and art, rooted in his individual experience.
In New York–based artist Rashid Johnson's first major solo museum exhibition, he explores the complexities and contradictions of black identity in a practice that is rooted in his individual experience.