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People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection

September 01, 2018 – January 06, 2019
Maria Berrio, Syzygy (detail), 2017. Collage with Japanese paper and watercolor on canvas, 80 × 96 inches (203.2 × 243.8 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum. Gift of Nancy A. Nasher (L'79, P'18, P'22) and David J. Haemisegger (P'18, P'22). Image courtesy of Praxis Gallery, New York, New York. © Maria Berrio.

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Genevieve Gaignard, Compton Contrapposto (detail), 2016. Chromogenic print, 32 × 48 inches (81.3 × 121.9 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Jennifer McCracken New (T’90, L’94) and Jason G. New (L’94), 2018.6.2. Image courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. © Genevieve Gaignard.
Genevieve Gaignard, Compton Contrapposto (detail), 2016. Chromogenic print, 32 × 48 inches (81.3 × 121.9 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Jennifer McCracken New (T’90, L’94) and Jason G. New (L’94), 2018.6.2. Image courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. © Genevieve Gaignard.

Since opening in 2005, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art centered on diversity and inclusion. The museum’s emphasis is on artists historically underrepresented, overlooked, or excluded from art institutions, with a particular focus on artists of African descent. In this effort, the museum supports global artists of extraordinary vision, whose works spark opportunities for thoughtful engagement. Drawing primarily on the collection built over the last 12 years, People Get Ready includes works dating from 1970 through 2018 that address issues ranging from identity to social justice and environmentalism.

The title of the exhibition is derived from the 1965 gospel-influenced soul song by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. Informed by the civil rights movement and his grandmothers’ preaching, the lyrics speak of hope, faith and redemption in the face of hardship. “People Get Ready” was sampled and reinterpreted that same year as a ska track by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and then again in 1977 as his reggae hit “One Love/People Get Ready,” demonstrating its historical import and cross-cultural appeal.

People Get Ready extends into The Collection Galleries in Wilson Pavilion, integrating some contemporary art among historical works in the collection. In doing so, connections across time, space and culture become possible and present the opportunity for challenging dialogue. In the Modern Gallery, the related mini-exhibition People Get Ready: Southern Lens explores southern culture through the museum’s rapidly growing photography collection. An early breakthrough work by Fred Wilson, Colonial Collection, anchors the Arts of Africa Gallery, among traditional works of art from the continent. A painting by Kehinde Wiley is now on view in the European Gallery; a work by Pedro Lasch reflects upon works in the Art of the Americas Gallery; a photograph by Eve Sussman brings a new dimension to the Medieval Gallery.

Artists in this major exhibition include Nina Chanel Abney, Emma Amos, Michael Armitage, Radcliffe BaileyMaria Berrio, Barbara Chase-Riboud, William Cordova, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Marlene Dumas, William Eggleston, Dario Escobar, Mounir Fatmi, Genevieve Gaignard, Hassan Hajjaj, Lyle Ashton HarrisBarkley L. Hendricks, Yun-Fei Ji, Rashid JohnsonPedro LaschAnnie LucasKerry James Marshall, Zanele Muholi, Wangechi Mutu, Ebony G. PattersonFahamu PecouLia PerjovschiRobert A. Pruitt, Colin QuashieDario Robleto, Jim Roche, Amy Sherald, Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Leonid SokovEve Sussman, Henry Taylor, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Carrie Mae Weems, Jeff Whetstone, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

People Get Ready is organized by Trevor Schoonmaker, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum.

Featured Featured exhibition

People Get Ready: Southern Lens

Opening September 01, 2018

This installation complements People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection, drawing from the museum’s rapidly growing photography collection and featuring several recent acquisitions. The images…

Support

People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection is supported by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Fund for Exhibitions; JoAnn and Ronald Busuttil; Jennifer McCracken New and Jason G. New; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; and Karen M. Rabenau and David H. Harpole, M.D.

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