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COLLECTIONS | INSTITUTIONAL HISTORIES

PUBLISHER
The Museum of Modern Art, New York/The Studio Museum in Harlem

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9.5 x 12 in. / 184 pgs / 200 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2022 p. 35   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781633451377 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $63.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, 10/09/22–02/18/23

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THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK/THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM

Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

Edited with text by Thomas J. Lax, Lilia Rocio Taboada. Text by Eric Booker, Brandon Eng, Kellie Jones, Yelena Keller, Marielle Ingram, Legacy Russell. Interview with Linda Goode Bryant by Thelma Golden.

Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

An archival dive with fresh interpretations of the legendary New York gallery and cultural laboratory that catalyzed collaboration among Black artists and their counterparts of diverse backgrounds

Just Above Midtown, or JAM, was an art gallery and self-described laboratory for experimentation led by Linda Goode Bryant that foregrounded African American artists and artists of color. Open from 1974 to 1986, it was a place where an expansive idea of contemporary art flourished and debate was cultivated. The gallery offered early opportunities for artists recognized as pivotal figures in late-20th-century art—including David Hammons, Butch Morris, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady and Howardena Pindell—as well as a nonhierarchical approach to art that welcomed artists without stylistic proscription.
Published in conjunction with the first museum exhibition to focus on this visionary gallery and its ongoing impact, Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces showcases rarely seen material from JAM’s history—artworks, ephemera and photographs—that collectively document the gallery’s communal and programmatic activities. This richly illustrated, jacketed paperback catalog includes essays that contextualize JAM and consider its legacy, a conversation between Goode Bryant and Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, a complete exhibition chronology written by MoMA and Studio Museum staff with nearly 50 annotated entries, and excerpts from oral histories with JAM staff and artists conducted especially for this project.
“I walked in and I was like, Yes! And I remember thinking, ‘I don’t care if I never show there, I’m so glad to know it exists.’ It was like it gave my brain another dimension. I had something to look to.” –Janet Olivia Henry, JAM volunteer and artist
”JAM has always been like a snowball on a hill, always gaining momentum. I’m still connected with all the things that happened there. Just Above Midtown—as much as it is a physical entity, it’s also a spiritual entity. It has never not been a part of my thinking as an artist, or a part of my life as an artist, or a part of my momentum as an artist.” –Randy Williams, artist and educator


Featured image is reproduced from 'Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Artnet

Folasade Ologundudu

The significance of doing a show at MoMA—which, although nearby, might as well have been miles away from JAM when it was operating—proved compelling.

New York Times: Arts

Aruna D'Souza

The process of creating the exhibition has been one of Goode Bryant constantly pushing the museum to work differently and the museum finding creative ways to support JAM’s values and its artists. That desire to transform what is into what could be is intrinsic to her way of working.

Harper's Bazaar

Stephen Mooallem

What set JAM apart, though, wasn’t just the gale-force talent that blew through the gallery; it was the way so many of the people connected to it seemed to view art as an exquisitely jagged, intensely personal, inherently social part of life.

New York Times: Arts

Holland Cotter

Bryant understood that the urge to creativity was real; that an indispensable condition for nurture is generosity; and that generosity is a practice of interdependence — an energy exchange from which all parties profit. MoMA’s scrappy, artful document of a show is a salute to that idea, one that honors a past and encourages a when-in-doubt-do-it future.

New York Magazine: The Cut

Cassidy George

JAM was a feeling of possibility more than it was a destination and an incentive to experiment more than a platform to sell work. It was an artistic community where process trumped product and mutual aid replaced capital with a barter system of creative exchange and healthy debate.

Smithsonian

Nina Raemont

What resulted from this artist-first mission was some of the most notable avant-garde art of the 20th century.

NPR: WNYC

Provide[s] a venue for Black artists to show at a level of visibility readily available to their white peers, and allowed them to pursue work in whatever medium and mode suited them.

ARTnews

Alex Greenberger

Promises to expand our understanding of art history and actually succeeds in doing so.

Artsy

Ayanna Dozier

Remarkable for its ability to capture and redistribute a spirit of rebellion—the ethos that drove Bryant and others to make and give space to art that resisted market and institutional trends.

W Magazine

Stephanie Eckardt

Bryant stuck to her guns, convinced New York artists could use a look at work that pushed beyond Western abstraction and expanded notions of what could be considered art materials.

New Yorker

Hilton Als

In the catalogue, there are wonderful photographs of Black powerhouses like Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack (who funded a show at jam) stopping by the gallery to commune with the work.

Art Newspaper

Anisa Tavangar

The gallery ethos recognised its divergence from the art industry, embraced collectivism and improvisation, and, of course, provided the space and time needed to create something sweet and delicious.

New York Times: Arts

Holland Cotter

The book captures the JAM vibe, and its lead essay by Thomas (T.) Jean Lax, one of the MoMA show’s curators, that gets my vote as best of the year.

Brooklyn Rail

Megan Liberty

A well-researched resource on the institution that reprints all the archival materials, and includes quotes from curators, artists, and historians.

Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CHEEYEON PARK | DATE 1/30/2023

Artbook @ MoMA PS1 presents the book celebration and signing of 'Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces'

Artbook @ MoMA PS1 presents the book celebration and signing of 'Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces'

Monday, January 30, at 4 PM, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore presents the book celebration and signing of Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces, published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The Studio Museum in Harlem on the occasion of the exhibition at MoMA on view through February 18, 2023. Please join us for a round table conversation with Linda Goode Bryant, Kimberly Varella, Thomas (T.) Jean Lax and Lilia Rocio Taboada. Pre-order SIGNED books here and RSVP for the event here. RSVP is required due to limited capacity. This event will also be livestreamed on IG @artbookps1.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/29/2023

The power of Black presence in 'Just Above Midtown'

The power of Black presence in 'Just Above Midtown'

Featured spreads are from MoMA's superb document, Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces—the first major excavation of JAM, Linda Goode Bryant's 1974–86 gallery and "laboratory for experimentation" centered around Black artists. To be celebrated with a panel talk Monday, January 30, at Artbook @ MoMA PS1, this historic volume is filled with artworks, documentary photographs, archival documents, ephemera, essential timelines, essays, an interview between Linda Goode Bryant and Thelma Golden and statements by the artists, volunteers, collectors and cultural collaborators who made JAM an NYC landmark. In her interview with Golden, Goode Bryant sums it up: "Every day, I'm bowled over by the resourcefulness, imagination and creativity of Black folk. And I've always just wanted to be around that, to be part of that, to support that. There's so much that we're faced with that can cause us to doubt ourselves or to think we don't exist except as the flip side of a black-and-white coin. And I just go, 'No, look at our beauty and amazingness. How can you even doubt that?' I feel that these days—and I'm ancient now, so it could be generational—there's a notion that Black exists in the absence of white, and that's bullshit. Black exists in the presence of Blackness. We exist—what we are, who we are, our power—in our presence, not in the absence of white folks." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/29/2023

The power of Black presence in 'Just Above Midtown'

The power of Black presence in 'Just Above Midtown'

Featured spreads are from MoMA's superb document, Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces—the first major excavation of JAM, Linda Goode Bryant's 1974–86 gallery and "laboratory for experimentation" centered around Black artists. To be celebrated with a panel talk Monday, January 30, at Artbook @ MoMA PS1, this historic volume is filled with artworks, documentary photographs, archival documents, ephemera, essential timelines, essays, an interview between Linda Goode Bryant and Thelma Golden and statements by the artists, volunteers, collectors and cultural collaborators who made JAM an NYC landmark. In her interview with Golden, Goode Bryant sums it up: "Every day, I'm bowled over by the resourcefulness, imagination and creativity of Black folk. And I've always just wanted to be around that, to be part of that, to support that. There's so much that we're faced with that can cause us to doubt ourselves or to think we don't exist except as the flip side of a black-and-white coin. And I just go, 'No, look at our beauty and amazingness. How can you even doubt that?' I feel that these days—and I'm ancient now, so it could be generational—there's a notion that Black exists in the absence of white, and that's bullshit. Black exists in the presence of Blackness. We exist—what we are, who we are, our power—in our presence, not in the absence of white folks." continue to blog


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