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Posted inArt

Finding Room to Breathe (and Feel) at Art Basel Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH — One of the things I find hardest about art fairs — particularly those held in convention centers and large exhibition halls — is their aesthetic. Bright, clinical white everywhere, with temporary walls set at perfect right angles and the gridwork of pipes and rafters floating high above. It’s hygienic enough to make you swoon over even the most banal abstraction.

Posted inArt

Mickalene Thomas and the Seduction of Beauty

Mickalene Thomas’s current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum is a visual marvel. Bright colors, shimmering rhinestones, chaotic patterns, and bold-faced women abound. And not separately, mind you — Thomas has a proclivity for mashing up up into exquisitely rendered wholes that take the cut-and-paste aesthetic to a nearly explosive endpoint. If there’s one thing her work doesn’t lack, it’s energy.

Posted inArt

Global Africa Project Dissects the Idea of Africa

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.