Spotlight: Thelma Golden

As a black woman curator in an overwhelmingly white male art world, Golden has long fostered art that burns with racial and gender issues.” Joyce Corrigan, Artnet

Born in 1965 in Queens, New York, Golden is one of today’s most notable museum curator’s.

Golden’s childhood love of museums put her on the fast track to becoming a driving force in the art world. Her first hands-on training came as a senior in high school when she trained as a curatorial apprentice at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She went on to earn a BA in Art History and African-American Studies from Smith College in 1987. Golden’s first curatorial position was at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1987. Then, in 1991, Thelma took a position at the Whitney Museum of American Art where she remained until 1999.

Her most heralded contributions have been her 1993 Whitney Biennial collaboration. The Biennial took a controversial look at America and tough social issues such as race, gender, sexuality, AIDS, and gay rights. Just a few years later there was Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art, where 29 minority artists displayed works that illustrated the current conceptions of black masculinity. The artists were black men, such as Gary Simmons, and Lyle Ashton Harris; black women, such as Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, and Renee Cox; and a few Asian, Hispanic, and white artists to provide a multitude of perspectives. The exhibition also incorporated film, video, and media and was accompanied by an extensive catalog.

Currently, Golden is the director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem. And on the boards of Creative Time in New York and the Institute of International Visual Arts in London.

Thelma Golden, you rock!

Learn more about Thelma Golden at these great resources:
The Black List Project
TED (Ideas worth sharing) Thelma speaks on How Art gives shape to cultural change.

photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Robert Pruitt’s Women


Robert Pruitt

I finally got my butt over to Studio Museum in Harlem for the Robert Pruitt exhibit: Women. Jaw dropping would be an accurate description of my countenance as I entered the exhibit hall. Being familiar with Pruitt’s work didn’t prepare me for the overall size of his drawings. These large scale charcoal images are stunning in their use of color and detailing. The women stand captured in their individual graces along with vibes from Pruitt’s combination of other worldly elements, a play of street styles and other geeky references that keep the drawings feeling fresh and relevant.

The exhibit left Oct 27th, 2013, but there are some really kick-ass remnants like this gif from the highly addictive Museum Gifs.
Studio Museum in Harlem. 144 West 125th Street. New York, New York 10027

*Story original featured in my obsessions @ ArtNerdNewYork