Xaviera Simmons, One Day & Back Then (Standing), 2007. Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
30 Americans is a wide-ranging survey of work by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. Selected from the Rubell Family Collection, the exhibition brings together seminal figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons with younger and emerging artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Shinique Smith. Often provocative and challenging, 30 Americans focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture. It explores how each artist reckons with the notion of black identity in America, navigating such concerns as the struggle for civil rights, popular culture, and media imagery. At the same time, it highlights artistic legacy and influence, tracing subject matter and formal strategies across generations. 30 Americans consists of 76 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and videos, and includes spectacular works of art such as Leonardo Drew’s massive cotton and wax sculpture Untitled #25, several of Nick Cave’s exuberant Soundsuits, and a large-scale silhouette by Kara Walker. On view October 1 to February 12, 2012 at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washinton, DC.