Binghamton University Art Museum to open fall exhibitions with ‘not but nothing other: African-American Portrayals, 1930s to Today’

Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012) Harriet, 1975, Linocut (12 x 9 ¾ in.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Image Credit: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012) Harriet, 1975, Linocut (12 x 9 ¾ in.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012) Harriet, 1975, Linocut (12 x 9 ¾ in.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Photography: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Binghamton University Art Museum will open its fall exhibitions with not but nothing other: African-American Portrayals, 1930s to Today at a reception from 5−7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Binghamton University Art Museum. The opening will feature a poetry reading by local resident Brenda Cave-James. The exhibition will remain on display until Saturday, Dec. 7.

The exhibition presents an array of depictions of and by Black Americans, providing a wide-ranging survey of how artists over the last 90 years have responded to the challenge of picturing African-American selfhood in paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photographs. Key eras of creative production, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Civil Rights and Black Power era, as well as our present moment, are represented by artworks drawn from the holdings of prominent U.S. public collections, along with works from the Binghamton University Art Museum. Lenders include the Art Bridges Foundation, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Fisk University Galleries.

not but nothing other” features some of the most significant artists of the last 100 years, including pioneers such as Romare Bearden and Aaron Douglas, breakthrough figures of the 1970s such as Emma Amos and Barkley Hendricks, and contemporary innovators such as Glenn Ligon and Kerry James Marshall. From portraits of artists and intellectuals to re-imaginings of historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, from realistic renderings to conceptual experiments, these works evidence the ongoing struggle to affirm Black identity within an America still marked by the history of segregation. Gathered together in this exhibition — the first time such an extensive of selection of artists of color has been shown at the University Art Museum — these works attest to the rich artistic legacies of self-representation bequeathed to the present by multiple generations of African-American creators.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the University Art Museum is hosting a wide range of public programs. Events over the course of the fall semester will include presentations and conversations by Ruben Santiago-Hudson ’78, Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Fred Moten and Willie Cole.

Performances by youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton, the University Gospel Choir and original music compositions by Binghamton University students will also take place in the Art Museum. The sculpture Falling Man (1973) by the late Ed Wilson, who taught at Binghamton University for more than three decades, will be unveiled at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, during Homecoming 2019 weekend.

Details for these and other programs can be found on the Binghamton University Art Museum webpage under Events.

The exhibition was organized by Tom McDonough, associate professor of art history at Binghamton University. Generous support for this project is provided by Art Bridges.

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit binghamton.edu/art-museum.

Posted in: Arts & Culture