Exhibition

  • Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America
    Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke, J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, David Hartt, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch McEwen, and Amanda Williams
    Artists
    Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson
    Curators
    The Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Feb 20, 2021 to May 31, 2021
  • GRANTEE
    The Museum of Modern Art
    GRANT YEAR
    2020

Olalekan Jeyifous, “…other seasonal occupancy neighborhoods,” 2020. Courtesy the artist. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America is the first exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art to critically engage with and observe how narratives of Blackness and anti-Black racism have informed the architecture, urbanism, and landscape of ten cities in the United States. The exhibition consists of four distinct yet interrelated public initiatives: an exhibition of new models, drawings, photographs and videos produced by ten US-based architects, designers and artists; a community workshop series with schools of architecture in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York; an academic symposium; and an illustrated publication or “field guide” with architectural projects and scholarly essays. The exhibition and publication explore and demonstrate how individuals and communities have mobilized Black cultural spaces, forms, and practices as sites of imagination and liberation, resistance, and refusal.

Sean Anderson is associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, his second book, In-Visible Colonies: Modern Architecture and its Representation in Colonial Eritrea (Routledge, 2015), was nominated for an Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Book Prize in Nonfiction. At MoMA, he has organized the exhibitions Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016–17), Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959­–89 (2017–18) and manages the Young Architects Program (YAP) as well as the Issues in Contemporary Architecture series.

Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor in Architecture and a professor in African American and African diasporic studies at Columbia University. She also serves as the associate director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and codirects Global Africa Lab. She has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Books, 2017), and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press, 2012). With her practice Studio &, she is a collaborator in the architectural team currently developing designs for the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. She is a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?), a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.

Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a permanent collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity, and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit. Central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves.