The Met Breuer mounts recent acquisitions from Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, West Asia, and North Africa alongside mainstays of postwar American art, sketching a potential reorientation of art history.
The troubling story fits a tired orientalist theme: Europeans and Americans know more, and care more, about the culture and heritage of West Asia and North Africa than their own inhabitants.
Over the past few years, Libya has been making archaeology headlines not for the exciting new discoveries there, but for the ruthless cultural destruction.
Arab Express: The Latest Art from the Arab World was a unique and timely exhibition at the Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum. The show was curated by the museum’s Nanjo Fumio and Kondo Kenichi, who also wrote essays for the catalogue, along with excellent contributions from Arab art historians Nada Shabout and Salwa Mikdadi. The exhibition featured 34 Arab artists (including one collective), 11 of them female, and covered ten Arab countries. It included 18 photographers, five video artists, nine artists that use new-media performance and installation, and only three painters.
Artist Leon Reid IV has a way with images. When he’s not remixing the urban environment, he’s playing with the context of art institutions that commission his work, which he always injects with a political or social message. His latest print series, Recent History, is a little of both.