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Dec 14, 2020 By Karina Corona
Scratch Pad: December
Brought to you by sponsor
Even COVID can’t stop culture. Here are some releases and exhibitions worth checking out.
By Karina Corona Dec 14, 2020
Published in Perspective
Brought to you by sponsor

WHERE TO GO

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio"

Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

Runs through January 3, 2021History is flawed. What we know about art and artists is far too often dependent on what the person behind the camera sees; how someone on the other side of a computer interprets a gesture or phrase; on the voyeur observing the muse and moment. That is, unless you’re Grace Jones.

In a new exhibit devoted to “the armada of Grace,” fanfiction, study, and biography collide to travel through her career—from “disco queen to dub cyborg, Jamaican to French, runway model to nightclub performer, Black to white, feminine to masculine.” The result, per the gallery? “Both a historical background and contemporary perspective to Grace Jones’ image-making … and the art of self-reinvention.”

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100 Drawings from Now

The Drawing Center, New York
Runs through January 17, 2021


This one was truly born of the moment at hand—putting the spotlight on works informed by months of profound unrest, the global pandemic, the economic crisis, and calls by millions for social justice.

Selected works from the exhibit will be sold, with proceeds of the sales supporting The Drawing Center and participating artists. Visits to The Drawing Center are by appointment only.

Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Runs through January 18, 2021


After nine decades in the business, calling Carmen Herrera’s career prolific would be an understatement. The first MFAH exhibition devoted exclusively to the internationally celebrated Cuban American artist, who turned 105 in May, follows her inspired work to reset the boundaries of geometric abstraction.

The exhibition showcases more than 30 works from the 1960s to the present, including paintings, drawings, prints, wall structures, and objects. Advance timed tickets recommended. We welcome all visitors at any time.

WHAT TO READ

Black Futures, Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

(One World, December 2020)

What does it mean to be Black? Art curator Kimberly Drew and New York Times Magazine staff writer Jenna Wortham explore the question in a book that’s part archive, part personal memory map. The collection of images, essays, memes, conversation, recipes, and other ephemera highlight the “gorgeous world” that Black creators have cultivated and continue to cultivate.

Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps, Annie Atkins

(Phaidon, December 2020)

After getting her start on The Tudors TV series, designer Annie Atkins has made a career of building worlds—one intricately designed, rigorously researched, and visually stunning graphic prop at a time.

Though rarely seen up-close by viewers, her painstakingly detailed invitations, letters, tickets, posters, and packaging play an essential role in bringing the fantasy to life. And now readers can get a look at some of the quiet but shining stars, like Atkins’ 18 hand-drawn maps of the Japanese archipelago in Isle of Dog.

WHAT TO WATCH

Legendary (2020)

HBO MaxParis is Burning, Madonna, and Pose all brought voguing and the underground Harlem ballroom scene to the mainstream. Next in line: Legendary, a nine-episode reality competition.

Featuring the Houses of Escada, Ebony, Ninja, Gucci, West, St. Laurent, Lanvin, and Balmain, the jaw-dropping fashion and dance competition is as vibrant as the scene, with each collective facing off for a chance at $100,000.

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