Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, has a delightful summer show, titled “Interstice & Emphasis: Artists from the Aljira Collection.” The exhibition, now on view till September 24, features artwork acquired over the institution’s 27-year tenure. The work on view is neither groundbreaking nor provocative, but it is appealing and downright charming at some moments, with the overall tenor of the show being low-key. As the song goes, it’s summertime and the living is easy.
The Museum of Art and Design, New York’s The Global Africa Project makes an audacious claim: to present the art, design, architecture, and craft of the contemporary African diaspora. Given that Africa is the world’s second largest continent, with a population of over one billion dispersed among 54 distinct countries—never mind the millions of people of African descent living elsewhere—any attempt to survey its production and influence seems impossible. However, the curators — Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, formerly director of the Studio Museum in Harlem and currently the Charles Bronfman Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, and Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at Maryland Institute College of Art — have embraced the unwieldiness of the notion of “Africa,” creating an exhibition that intentionally raises more questions than it answers.