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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 and David J. Haemisegger. Image courtesy of Praxis Gallery, New York, New York. © Maria Berrio.


Since opening in 2005, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art. In this effort, the museum recognizes and supports global artists of extraordinary vision, whose works spark opportunities for deep and thoughtful engagement. The Nasher’s collecting strategy emphasizes works by diverse artists who have been historically underrepresented, or even excluded, by mainstream arts institutions, and maintains a particular focus on artists of African descent. Drawing primarily on the collection built over the last 12 years, People Get Ready includes works dating from 1970 through 2018 that engage issues ranging from cultural 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, which 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.”

Artists in this major exhibition include Nina Chanel Abney, Michael Armitage, Maria Berrio, Barbara Chase-Riboud, William Cordova, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Marlene Dumas, William Eggleston, Dario Escobar, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Genevieve Gaignard, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Yun-Fei Ji, Pedro Lasch, Kerry James Marshall, Zanele Muholi, Wangechi Mutu, Ebony G. Patterson, Robert A. Pruitt, Dario Robleto, Jim Roche, Amy Sherald, Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Eve Sussman, Henry Taylor, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Carrie Mae Weems, Jeff Whetstone, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Nettie Young (Gee’s Bend).


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; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; and Karen M. Rabenau and David H. Harpole, M.D.

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