How might we think about art and its histories from the perspective of a “global majority”? Spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, Kee looks at the relationships that formed between Black and Asian artists at critical historical junctures—from civil rights struggles in the United States and the development of South Korea amid US military occupation in the 1960s and 1970s to debates over multiculturalism and critiques of globalization in the 1990s and 2010s. Through geometry, a language of magnitudes and alignments, the idea of an “Afro Asia” opens up new ways of seeing how artworks shape our cultural, social, and political lives.
Coinciding with the release of Joan Kee’s new book The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art beyond Solidarity, this evening features a lively conversation between Kee and two of her most valued interlocutors, Michelle Kuo and Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi. Book signing and reception to follow the program.
Joan Kee is a Ford Foundation Scholar-in-Residence at The Museum of Modern Art. She is a professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan and the author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekwha and the Urgency of Method and Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America.
Michelle Kuo is The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where her exhibitions include New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century (2019), Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman (2020), Amanda Williams: Embodied Sensations (2021), Refik Anadol: Unsupervised (2022), and Signals: How Video Transformed the World (2023, with Stuart Comer).
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi is the first Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture. He leads the Africa group in the Museum’s Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP), MoMA’s internal research and exchange initiative devoted to art in a global context. His projects at MoMA include the exhibition Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound (2022).
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