Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America (2020)
Join us as we celebrate the opening of “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,” an exhibition originally conceived by Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019) for the New Museum, and presented with curatorial support from advisors Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director of the New Museum, Glenn Ligon, artist, and Mark Nash, Professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz. This conversation will convene all four curatorial advisors to discuss the exhibition, its genesis and development alongside the advisors’s friendships and professional relationships with Okwui Enwezor.
Naomi Beckwith is the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and formerly a curator at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Beckwith’s numerous exhibitions include, “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” and “30 Seconds off an Inch,” both considering the resonance of black culture across contemporary art internationally. She has championed rising artists like Rashid Johnson, Keren Cytter, The Propeller Group and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye as well as works to expand the scholarship around established artists such as Howerdena Pindell. Beckwith has contributed to numerous scholarly and periodical publications including Artforum International, Nka, Frieze, The New York Times and W Magazine—and served on the jury of the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. She holds an M.A. with Distinction from Courtauld Institute of Art and was a Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum. A multiple grantee, and now trustee, of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Beckwith is a also recipient of the New Leadership award for ArtTable and was name as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2020 by The Root.
Glenn Ligon is an artist living and working in New York. Throughout his career, Ligon has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across bodies of work that build critically on the legacies of modern painting and conceptual art. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In 2011 the Whitney Museum of American Art held a mid-career retrospective of Ligon’s work, Glenn Ligon: America, organized by Scott Rothkopf, that traveled nationally. Important recent shows include: Des Parisiens Noirs at the Musées d’Orsay, Paris; Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions (2015), a curatorial project organized with Nottingham Contemporary and Tate Liverpool; and Blue Black (2017), an exhibition Ligon curated at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. His work has been included in major international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2015 and 1997), Berlin Biennale (2014), Istanbul Biennial (2011, 2019), Documenta XI (2002), and Gwangju Biennale (2000).
Mark Nash is an independent curator, film historian, and filmmaker with a specialization in contemporary fine art moving image practices, avant-garde and world cinema. He holds a PhD from Middlesex University and an MA from Cambridge University. Nash has taught, held fellowships, and leadership positions at various colleges and universities: Birkbeck College, University of London, at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York University, at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore’s Centre for Contemporary Art, Harvard, and the Royal College of Art in London. He is currently a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he founded the Isaac Julien Lab with his partner and long-time collaborator, Isaac Julien. As a curator, Mark Nash has frequently collaborated with Isaac Julien on numerous film and art projects. He also collaborated regularly with the late Okwui Enwezor, including on Documenta11 and on The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, both in 2002, and on ‘The Arena’ project at the Venice Biennial 2015. More recently, he curated moving image exhibitions Viva L’Italia at the Museo Civico Archeologico (2017) and The Coming Community (2018), both for Artefiera Bologna, which focused on the legacy of 1970s socialist culture in Bologna.