Photos | MoAD Opens Spring Exhibition – Black Venus

Event: Black Venus Opening Reception
Date: April 4, 2023
Location: MoAD, San Francisco
Photos (41): Agency Moanalani Jeffrey

BLACK VENUS, curated by Aindrea Emelife is an exhibition that surveys the legacy of Black Women in visual culture – from fetishized, colonial-era caricatures to the present-day reclamation of the rich complexity of Black womanhood by 18 artists (of numerous nationalities and with birth years spanning 1942 to 1997). This exhibition is a celebration of Black beauty, an investigation into the many faces of Black femininity and the shaping of Black women in the public consciousness – then and now.

Juxtaposed against archival depictions of Black women dating back to 1793, the contemporary works on view collectively create a global, cross-generational investigation into Black women’s reclamation of agency amid the historical fetishization of the Black female body.

In BLACK VENUS, archival depictions of historical Black women pair with the vibrant, narrative portraiture by some of today’s most influential Black image-makers whose work deals with layered narratives of Black femininity.

Featured artists include Alberta Whittle, Amber Pinkerton, Ayana V. Jackson, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Coreen Simpson, Deana Lawson, Deborah Roberts, Frida Orupabo, Ming Smith, Kara Walker, Maud Sulter, Lorna Simpson, Renee Cox, Sadie Barnette, Shawanda Corbett, Tabita Rezaire, Taiye Idahor, Wangechi Mutu, Yetunde Olagbaju, Zanele Muholi

In MoAD’s ‘Black Venus,’ Artists Reclaim Their Beauty and AutonomyKQED
Black women artists re-envisioning ‘Black Venus’ at MoADSan Francisco Examiner

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