The Museum of Modern Art announces a new exhibition this week entitled Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner- Spirit Movers. The award fashion designer, filmmaker, and publisher has partnered with the Museum to curate an impactful collection of work. The gallery will display this exhibit from November 17th, 2023 through to April 7th, 2024.
The exhibition consists of 50 unique and inspiring pieces, aiming to be an immersive experience with visual and auditory aspects meant to fill the space. This collection comes as the 16th installment of the MoMA’s “Artist’s Choice” series, sponsored by The Agnes Gund Artists Choice Fund. This exhibition pays tribute to Black cultural experiences and influence. The concept of “Spirit Movers” is meant to capture stories of resilience and tradition, bringing people together through a collection of shared experiences. The art was curated by Grace Wales Bonner along with Michelle Kuo, the Marlene Hess Curator, and Dana Lijergren, Curatorial Assistant from the Department of Painting and Sculptures Each piece threads a line of connection through the multifaceted history of the African Diaspora. Artists such as Terry Adkins, Moustapha Dimé, Agnes Martin, Man Ray, Betye Saar, and Favid Hammons will be featured in the collection. Each artist was chosen for their innate understanding of storytelling and their ability to move audiences through art.
The work, brought together in this space, creates a fascinating narrative through art and music. Pieces featured were constructed of other mediums like Moustapha Dimé’s Lady with a Long Neck (1992), carved from wood into a striking portrayal of Sufi Spirituality and Islamic traditions, and Terry Adkins’ Last Trumpet (1995), a sculpture made out of wind instruments.
The personal connection from Wales Bonner is evident with her thoughtful curation. She writes about her enthusiasm towards the new project, “I hope the exhibition and associated publication resound with the spirit of the contributing artists and continue to conjure new dreams and new visions.”
With the launch of the new exhibit, the museum will also release an artist’s book called Grace Wales Bonner- Dream in the Rhythm- Visions of Sound and Spirit in the MoMA Collection. Encasing the artistic, literary, and musical works from a myriad of Black figures and creatives, the book will display 80 works from the Museum’s collections and archives, as poems, pictures, and photographs fill the pages. The book captures a revered and raw image of Black cultural movements throughout time. It is an experience that plays with the senses to create a fully formed understanding of each creator and their work. Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Robin Coste Lewis among many other featured artists, musicians, composers, and authors.