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Complex Exchange: Figuring Black Futures Today

  • Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium 1300 1st Avenue Seattle, WA, 98101 United States (map)

Complex Exchange features presenters and practices that reference black experience and lives of people of color from a local context. Join in this series of conversations with Seattle community members from a variety of disciplines to tackle themes inspired by the exhibition Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas on view at the Seattle Art Museum, and Everyday Black at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM).

This year’s series will include two programs, one hosted at each institution. This program will feature designer and photographer Jessica Rycheal, dancer and choreographer Nia-Amina Minor, and Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange, President of Seattle Central College. Leilani Lewis will moderate.

Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas brings together three generations of prominent contemporary American artists, whose work challenges a Western painting tradition that underrepresents people of color. The vibrant and monumental paintings by these artists offer bold perspectives on Black culture and representation. Presented together for the first time, the figurative paintings of Colescott, Marshall, and Thomas are shaped by distinctive historic events, unique in style, and united in questioning the narratives of history through Black experience.

Everyday Black is a captivating collection of portraits of a diverse group of Seattle community members by contemporary photographers Zorn B. Taylor and Jessica Rycheal. This show offers insightful meditations on identity and chosen community as the artists explore what it means to belong. Taylor and Rycheal present snapshots that beautifully bear witness to the everyday lives of black community members in Seattle and beyond.

Free; RSVP requested.

Image: Les Demoiselles d’Alabama: Vestidas, 1985, Robert Colescott, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 92 in., Seattle Art Museum, General Acquisition Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Art Acquisition Fund, Margaret E. Fuller Purchase Fund, and Patricia Denny Art Acquisition Fund, 2016.12, © 2017 Estate of Robert Colescott / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo: Nathaniel Willson.