kehinde wiley



30 Americans at the Corcoran is a beautiful, emotional, overwhelming and highly satisfying exhibit. Last night’s opening was also one of the best I’ve ever been to at the Corcoran. The crowd was also more ethnically and racially diverse than I’ve ever seen at a Corcoran party. Coincidence?

I think that the positive energy that the Rubells emit is part of it, but it’s also the artists’ work and the story it tells about America and who we are today. The demographic changes of the last decades and those yet to come, don’t always square with what we see reflected in the traditional/institutional art world be it artists, gallery and museum professionals, art historians and critics, collectors and others.

To see 60-plus works from 31 African-American artists that span several generations drives home the sense that we need more shows like 30 Americans and we need to support ways for paths to those possibilities to be created, navigated and supported for all artists who don’t have access to them because of race, ethnicity, class, or economic status.

30 Americans at the Corcoran Gallery of Art opens to the public on October 1st and runs through February 2012.