The exhibition, 30 AMERICANS, that is currently on view at the CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER (CAC) in NEW ORLEANS until June 15 is attracting attention from those who usually follow the visual arts; and it is also generating excitement among those who follow all other areas of the arts!!!
It presents an exciting broad span of styles and subject matter in contemporary art. And in spite of the general-sounding title, ALL ARTISTS in the exhibition are of AFRICAN Descent.
Just as one goes to the NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL or the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL to hear musicians whose talent they follow, visitors are attending “30 Americans” to see artists they admire. And in going, discover artists they may not have heard of yet, but are intensely drawn to upon encountering their work.
This one exhibition fills the entire CAC—all three floors.
Amazing about this fine arts event is the fact that the entire exhibition is part of the private collection of one family.
The artists in the show, actually 31 in all, are: Nina Chanel Abney, John Bankston, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, Iona Rozeal Brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Noah Davis, Leonardo Drew, Renee Green, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Kalup Linzy, Kerry James Marshall, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, William Pope. L, Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Shinique Smith, Jeff Sonhouse, Henry Taylor, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and Purvis Young.
Some of them have shown in various galleries or museums in NEW ORLEANS, some have not. A few have been widely published in fine arts publications, some have not. All attracted the attention of this serious collecting family, whose overall philosophy has been to collect “ the most interesting art of their time.”
Explaining the title of the exhibition in the catalog, they RUBELL Family says;
“As the show evolved, we decided to call it “30 Americans”, rather than “African Americans” or “Black Americans” because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all.”SUNO Professor in the MASTER OF ARTS In MUSEUM SCIENCE Dr. SARA HOLLIS has the Full 411 on the 30 AMERICANS exhibition in the current issue of the NEW ORLEANS TRIBUNE.