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Five reasons you should see Solidary and Solitary at the Snite Museum

| Friday, October 26, 2018

One of the most exciting art exhibitions this year is currently on show at the Snite Museum on campus. “Solidary and Solitary The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection” presented by the Helis Foundation features work by prominent black artists working in abstraction spanning seven decades. Here are five reasons (if I must be brief) as to why you should see this.

1. Some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art have work in this exhibition.

This nationally traveling exhibition on view in the Snite Museum through Saturday, Dec. 15 consists of 51 works by modern and contemporary artists of African descent, many of whom were historically overlooked by art collectors, critics, scholars, galleries and museums. Often art lovers would have to make a trip to Chicago for a visit to the Art Institute or the Museum of Contemporary Art but you are now only minutes away from unending inspiration.

2. Is it a flower? …

No, it’s baseball caps.

The range of materials used to create art objects in this exhibition is unconventional and impressive. The artists offer refreshing spins on more traditionally understood art forms such as painting and sculpture, pushing composition to new limits, and providing new entry points into materiality, representation of human figure and intertextuality of written and visual forms.

3. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be inside the house of an art collector?

Courtesy of the Joyner and Giuffrida Collection you don’t have to wonder anymore and can experience the delight of being in galleries filled with art. The exhibition presents the vast and intentional collection of Pamela Joyner and Fred Giuffrida who have been instrumental in filling the void in scholarship and institutional collection of work by black artists.

4. Get your creative juices flowing plus, it’s a history lesson at the same time

Not only is this exhibition visually stunning, but there is also immense depth and research to the technical and thematic aspects of the work presented. From Norman Lewis, Sam Gilliam and post-war sculptor Melvin Edwards to contemporary practitioners such as Glenn Ligon and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the exhibition resists easy categorization, yet also addresses historical and contemporary experiences from the perspective of black artists.

5. Looking for a Friday evening plan?

Bring friends, bring a date, see it alone — this exhibition is built for it. Come to the opening reception for Solidary and Solitary this Friday, Oct. 26 from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. There will be light refreshments, jazz performances and a cash bar, with brief remarks by the collectors Pamela Joyner and Fred Giuffrida. There is also great programming around the exhibition with a collectors talk moderated by Corey Robinson class of 2017, lectures, conversations and a salon-style experience.

Whatever your motivations are to see this exhibition, I’m certain you will not regret it.


Roseline Olang’ Odhiambo

class of 2017

Oct. 23

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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