2015 Spring Art Exhibition Guide – DC, NYC & LA

Mark your calendars and make sure to check out great art from a host of multi-cultural artists on exhibit in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

We are excited to announce our list of must see exhibitions this Spring. These works are going to stimulate your senses and make you think. After you attend one of the exhibitions be sure to let us know your thoughts!

Washington D.C.


Wangechi Mutu,
The Storm Has Finally Made It Out of Me Alhamdulillah/, 2012 , Collage on linoleum, 76 x 116 1/2 x 4 inches

Image courtesy of African Art Museum

1). The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists

40 contemporary African artist show their works under the theme: heaven, purgatory and hell for Dante’s, The Divine Comedy. The works includes a variety of mediums and combines well-known and emerging artists.

April 8 – August 2, 2015

African Art Museum, 9
50 Independence Avenue, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20560

Guest-curated by internationally acclaimed critic and scholar Simon Njami, with assistance at the National Museum of African Art from curator Karen Milbourne, this monumental exhibition explores the themes of Dante’s epic poem with new commissions and cutting-edge artworks by more than 40 contemporary artists from 18 African countries as well as the African diaspora.

The exhibition occupies all four levels of the museum and covers nearly 20,000 square feet. It features inspirational painting, video projection, installation, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, film, photography and collage by internationally recognized and emerging contemporary artists, including Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wangechi Mutu, Julie Mehretu, Berry Bickle, Pélagie Gbaguidi, and Aida Muluneh—whose photographs are the signature work in the exhibition.

2). Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tale of Slavery and Power

ON VIEW THROUGH May 29, 2015

University of Maryland
David Driskell Center
214 Cole Student Activities Bldg.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

The exhibition features about 60 works; along with Walker’s signature black paper cutout silhouettes, an array of prints, a wall installation, and a video will also be showcased.

Kara Walker is one of the most successful and widely known contemporary African American artists today, remarkable for her radical engagement with issues of race, gender, and sexuality, and for the media with which she pursues her studies. Her work pries apart and examines the injustices that African Americans have faced throughout the long and tumultuous history of the United States. She explores power relationships in American society through the vehicle of representations of slavery, race, sexuality, violence, and gender set in the antebellum South. The works, which are inventive and painful, but also satirical and humorous, were selected for the show to display the range of approaches Walker has taken in exploring the legacy of slavery for contemporary American identity.

3).Shirin Neshat: From Photography to Cinema

May 18 to September 20, 2015

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
700 Independence Ave, SW
Washington D.C. 20560

“Shirin Neshat: Facing History,” a major exhibition of the work of the Iranian-born, New York-based video artist, photographer and filmmaker, runs May 18–Sept. 20 at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It is the first exhibition to place Neshat’s work in the context of the history of modern Iran, a significant influence in her work.

“This exhibition breaks new ground in illuminating the cultural and political influences that have informed her creative life,” said Melissa Chiu, the Hirshhorn’s director, who organized the exhibition with Melissa Ho, an associate curator at the museum. “Neshat imaginatively engages with contemporary realities, conveying deep conviction with a powerful and authentic voice.”

For the past two decades, Neshat has explored complex issues that exist at the intersection of gender and politics, particularly as reflected in the changing status of women in Iran.


APRIL 1 – 30, 2015

ReCreative Spaces>

1613 Rhodes Island Ave, N.E.
Washington, D.C.

“BLACK LIVES/WHITE LIGHT” is an exhibition featuring White artists responding to the Black Lives Matter Movement. This all-media, national show will survey the ways White artists have engaged and supported the fight to preserve and protect Black Lives. Works selected by Curator Sheldon Scott and Assistant Curator Deirdre Darden.

New York City


Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, Exhibition View

Image courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

February 20–May 24, 2015

Brooklyn Museum>

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works

April 3–September 7, 2015

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)>

NEW YORK, NY 10019

In conjunction with the exhibition One Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North, Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemison (American, b. 1981) presents her new multipart commission Promise Machine. In her work across media, Jemison explores ideas of improvisation, repetition, and the fugitive in black history and vernacular culture.



April 10 – May 16, 2015

Jack Shainmann Gallery>

524 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist living and working in New York City. His work focuses on themes related to perspective identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. He often incorporates recognizable icons into his work, many from well-known advertising and branding campaigns. On advertising, in an interview with Time, Thomas says, “Part of advertising’s success is based on its ability to reinforce generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity which are generally false, but [these generalizations] can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes true, and sometimes horrifying.”

Los Angeles (L.A.)


Falling Leaves, 1978, Color pohotograph, ink on paper, Triptych: 20 X 16 in. each, Photo: Randy Vaughn-Dotta
Image courtesy of Hammer Museum


GRIDWORK 1974 – 1989

ON VIEW UNTIL May 24, 2015

Hammer Museum>

10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Highly regarded as both a leading practitioner of conceptualism and an influential educator at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles-based artist Charles Gaines is celebrated for his photographs, drawings, and works on paper that investigate how rules-based procedures construct order and meaning. Working serially in progressive and densely layered bodies of works, Gaines explores the interplay between objectivity and interpretation, the systematic and the poetic. His groundbreaking work of this period serves as a critical bridge between the first generation conceptualists of the 1960s and 1970s and those artists of later generations exploring the limits of subjectivity and language. Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989 is the first museum survey of the early work of a career that now spans four decades and includes rare and never-before-seen works, some of which were presumed lost.


Well, it’s bye-bye/If you call that gone

MARCH 14 – APRIL 18, 2015

Los Angeles, CA 90038

Well, it’s bye-bye / If you call that gone, an exhibition of recent work by New York-based artist Glenn Ligon. Taking its name from the lyrics of blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell’s song “What’s the Matter Now,” this exhibition will present three distinct bodies of work: a selection of “Come Out” paintings, a neon sculpture, and Ligon’s seminal silkscreen painting, “Hands” (1996). This marks the artist’s fourth solo presentation at the gallery.

Jessica Stafford Davis

Author: Jessica Stafford Davis

The Agora Culture launched in July, 2013 with a private reception in Mclean, Virginia for Mequitta Ahuja, a world-renowned mixed media artist. Subsequently, she co-curated her first exhibition, “Women as Color Light and Form”, with the Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, Maryland. The exhibition was a part of Network Exhibition Sondheim awards for the 2013 Artscape festival, America’s largest free arts festival. Jessica currently serves on the board at The Washington Project of the Arts and the George Mason University School of Art Council.

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