COLLECTIONS | INSTITUTIONAL HISTORIES

PUBLISHER
The Museum of Modern Art

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9 x 10.5 in. / 488 pgs / 300 color.

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Pub Date
Active

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2019 p. 7   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781633450349 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $82.00

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In stock

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THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

Among Others: Blackness at MoMA

Edited with text by Darby English, Charlotte Barat. Text by Mabel O. Wilson, et al.

Glenn Ligon, "Untitled (How It Feels to be Colored Me)" (1991) is reproduced from 'Among Others: Blackness at MoMA.'

This expansive collection of essays on nearly 200 works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art is the first substantial exploration of MoMA’s uneven historical relationship with black artists, black audiences and the broader subject of racial blackness. By addressing these subjects through the consideration of works produced either by black artists or in response to race-related subjects, Among Others confronts two kinds of truth: one plainly factual and informative, the other moral. It is equal parts historical investigation and truth-telling about the Museum’s role in the history of the cultural politics of race.

The richly illustrated volume begins with two historical essays. The first, by Darby English and Charlotte Barat, traces the history of MoMA’s encounters with racial blackness since its founding—from an early commitment to African art and solo exhibitions devoted to the work of artists such as William Edmondson and Jacob Lawrence in the 1930s and 1940s to its activities during the Civil Rights Movement to the controversial Primitivism show of 1984 and beyond. The second essay, by Mabel O. Wilson, scrutinizes the Museum’s record in collecting the work of black architects and designers. Following these essays are nearly 200 plates, each accompanied by an essay by one of the over 100 authors who hail from a range of fields.

Darby English (born 1974) is Adjunct Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Carl Darling Buck Professor at the University of Chicago, where he teaches modern and contemporary art and cultural studies. He is the author of How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (2010), 1971: A Year in the Life of Color (2016) and To Describe a Life (2019).



Contributing authors include: Esther Adler, Margaret Aldredge-Diamond, Sean Anderson, Carol Armstrong, Julie Ault, Quentin Bajac, Charlotte Barat, Dawoud Bey, Giampaolo Bianconi, Klaus Biesenbach, Gregg Bordowitz, Jessica Bell Brown, Linda Goode Bryant, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Kaira M. Cabañas, Andrianna Campbell, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Sophie Cavoulacos, Mary Weaver Chapin, Christophe Cherix, Lisa Collins, Stuart Comer, Roberto Conduru, Lynne Cooke, John Corbett, Kate Cowcher, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Emily Cushman, Edwidge Danticat, J. Michael Dash, Samuel R. Delany, Leah Dickerman, Liz Donato, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Adrienne Edwards, Peter Eleey, Anthony Elms, Darby English, Starr Figura, Jacqueline Francis, Samantha Friedman, Diana Fuss, Samba Gadjigo, Ellen Gallagher, Lucy Gallun, Kristen Gaylord, Hanna Girma, Robert Gober, Karen Grimson, Rachel Haidu, Irena Haiduk, Claudrena N. Harold, Phillip Brian Harper, Jenny Harris, Jodi Hauptman, Cannon Hersey, Heidi Hirschl Orley, Harmony Holiday, Laura Hoptman, Amanda Hunt, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Ashley James, Ana Janevski, Martha Joseph, Bouchra Khalili, Byron Kim, Michelle Kuo, Abigail Lapin Dardashti, Thomas J. Lax, Glenn Ligon, Ron Magliozzi, Cara Manes, Roxana Marcoci, Kerry James Marshall, Courtney J. Martin, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Mia Matthias, Sarah Hermanson Meister, Kobena Mercer, Carmen Merport Quiñones, Richard Meyer, Jocelyn Miller, Anne Monahan, Anne Morra, Fred Moten, Sasha Nicholas, Tavia Nyong'o, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Kirsi Peltomäki, Luis Pérez-Oramas, Paulina Pobocha, Antonia Pocock, Ross Posnock, Richard J. Powell, Martin Puryear, Christian Rattemeyer, Yasmil Raymond, Hillary Reder, Jodi Roberts, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Schlenzka, Abbe Schriber, Christina Sharpe, Kelly Sidley, Lowery Stokes Sims, Robert Slifkin, Jenni Sorkin, Katerina Stathopoulou, Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Greg Tate, Lanka Tattersall, Phil Taylor, Hervé Télémaque, Ann Temkin, Akili Tommasino, Ana Torok, Luc Tuymans, Anne Umland, Sarah Van Beurden, Niko Vicario, Susan Vogel, Anne M. Wagner, Kara Walker, Kenneth W. Warren, Deborah Willis, Sharon Willis, Leslie Wilson, Mabel O. Wilson, Edith Wolfe, Sebastian Zeidler."

Darby English is Consulting Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Mabel O. Wilson is Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation where she directs the program for Advanced Architectural Research.

Glenn Ligon, "Untitled (How It Feels to be Colored Me)" (1991) is reproduced from 'Among Others: Blackness at MoMA.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

ARTnews

Alex Greenberger

As museums across the world reevaluate their histories while acknowledging past instances of racism and sexism, Among Others, an anthology about the Museum of Modern Art’s maligned ways of dealing with blackness over the decades, serves as a critical tome.

New York Times

Roberta Smith

This book is exemplary for its combination of new research, interpretive analysis and quantities of information. Given free rein in the Museum of Modern Art’s archives, the authors mined the untold story of the museum’s fraught relationship with race in general and black artists and their work in particular.

ARLIS/NA Reviews

Deirdre Spencer

This detailed, well-documented account of MoMA’s history of collecting and exhibiting black art reveals historically problematic curatorial attitudes towards black art and artists.

Culture Type

Victoria L Valentine

“Among Others: Blackness at MoMA” considers the institution’s complex history with black artists, black audiences, and art about blackness.

Galerie

Lucy Rees

Published by the Museum of Modern Art, this 484-page book seeks to reexamine the history of its collection by highlighting the role of black artists, the black community, and art about blackness [...] The book is a part of the museum’s overall efforts to present the trajectory of art history with a more global view and the long overdue acknowledgement of African American cultural contributions.

CAA (College Art Association)

Martha Scott Burton

Among Others is a three-part publication that analyzes the museum’s tumultuous historical relationship with Black artists and Black audiences, its role in shaping the cultural politics of race, and the shortcomings of its collection, programs, and practice [...] I recommend this publication for scholars interested in the genealogy and variants of primitivism, for academics teaching museum studies courses, and for creative professionals curious about collection research and critical historiographies. Above all, Among Others will be indispensable to culture workers of organizations of all sizes who are taking a hard look at their institutional history and seeking to make structural and sustainable change.

Los Angeles Times

Carolina Miranda

A phone book-sized tome that serves as a frank examination of that institution’s legacy in displaying, acquiring and otherwise engaging work by Black artists [...] On its own, “Among Others” won’t fix MoMA’s structural issues. But it’s a beginning. Hopefully it inspires similar accounts at other museums.

Among Others: Blackness at MoMA

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/29/2019

In 'Among Others,' Sam Gilliam addresses ontology, the artwork and the body

In 'Among Others,' Sam Gilliam addresses ontology, the artwork and the body

"10/27/69 (1969) reminds us of what it means to be a living, breathing human body in our world's space and time," Jessica Bell Brown writes in Among Others: Blackness at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art's ambitious and searching 488-page investigation of its own uneven historical relationship with black artists, black audiences and the broader subject of racial blackness. Bell Brown goes on to describe the highly physical process of making this and other draped pieces, while noting that Gilliam's work may also be read in light of tensions around contemporaneous events like the Civil Rights Movement. She concludes that "the achievement of this and other drape paintings is their destabilization of the choreography of the body inside the white-cube gallery. These paintings ask us as viewers to be in them as much as they call out to be seen. In this sense, by forcing viewers to reckon with imposing forms and with their own bodies in actual space, abstractionists such as Gilliam called attention to ongoing debates about the ontological status of the artwork and of the body, and about art's supposed disengagement from urgent political matters of liberation, equality and power." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/8/2019

Howardena Pindell's atomized innovation shines in 'Among Others: Blackness at MoMA'

Howardena Pindell's atomized innovation shines in 'Among Others: Blackness at MoMA'

Howardena Pindell's "Untitled #7" (1973) is reproduced from Among Others: Blackness at MoMA—launching today with a panel discussion featuring Pindell, editor Darby English, Ann Temkin, Fred Wilson and moderator Steven Nelson at MoMA PS1. "To say that Howardena Pindell's 'Untitled #7' satisfies traditional conventions of drawing, where the artist's hand guides a mark-making tool over paper, is on appearance a bit of a stretch," Jessica Bell Brown writes. "In this complex work, just over ten by eight inches, Pindell has slickly reimagined the properties of the art form by infusing her drawing with collage and printmaking elements. She began this picture with a 'soft' grid of thread set on mounts recycled from the frame shop at MoMA, where she was working as a curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books. She then turned to the detritus from paper templates she had made for large-scale paintings she was working on, using a three-hole punch to make stencils as conduits through which to squeeze acrylic paint. She kept the punched-out chads from these stencils and later numbered each one with ink. In 'Untitled #7,' Pindell playfully sprinkled a few of these chads at a time onto her makeshift grid of thread, spraying them with 3M photo adhesive as they fell. These 'dots' of paper were accordingly fixed in place in random order, building up an uneven field of atomized space." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/1/2020

Celebrate Black History Month with 'Among Others'

Celebrate Black History Month with 'Among Others'

Betye Saar’s “Black Girl’s Window” (1969) is reproduced from Among Others: Blackness at MoMA, editors Darby English and Charlotte Barat’s 488-page exploration of MoMA’s unbalanced relationship with black artists, black audiences and the broader subject of racial blackness over the better part of the last century. "We who are alive can say the least of anyone about the future of The Museum of Modern Art,” English and Barat write. “But we can envision it and work toward what the mind’s eye sees—a MoMA future in which the black artist is not a special occasion or subject, but just one artist among others.” continue to blog


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