Radically Ordinary: Scenes from Black Life in America Since 1968

Ripin Gallery
July 11–December 23, 2018

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, in honor of what he accomplished, and in recognition of change yet to come, Radically Ordinary: Scenes from Black Life in America Since 1968 explores the representation of black life since the most turbulent year in our country’s modern history. Drawn primarily from the collections of the AMAM and the Clarence Ward Art Library, the exhibition presents more than 80 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, artist’s books, and videos that rage against what writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls “the danger of a single story.” They privilege a kaleidoscopic array of images and narratives drawn from everyday life, where the ordinary seems radical in the face of trauma that has been rendered tragically ordinary. The exhibition features work by Derrick Adams, Romare Bearden, McArthur Binion, Sue Coe, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Genevieve Gaignard, Kalup Linzy, Rodney McMillian, Howardena Pindell, Martine Syms, and Kara Walker, among others, and includes a number of recent acquisitions that will be on view at the AMAM for the first time.
This exhibition was organized by Andrea Gyorody, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, with assistance from Octavia Bürgel (OC ’19) and Emma Laube (OC ’17).
Images: Derrick Adams (American, b. 1970)
Woman in Optimum Blue and Man in Tidal Blue2017
Pigment print
Carl Gerber Contemporary Art Fund, 2017.45.1-2