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Art Museum Preview: Fall 2019

Back to school, back to art

American artist Pope.L has spent decades crafting a provocative art practice to address race, gender and politics through a wide range of disciplines, especially performance, installation art and interventions in public spaces. These have included chaining himself with sausages to a Chase ATM, eating copies of the Wall Street Journal, and a series of public crawls, such as The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street (intermittently carried out from 2000 to 2009), in which Pope.L put on a Superman suit and dragged himself along Broadway from Lower Manhattan all the way up to Harlem.

This fall, a major exhibition of Pope.L’s work, “Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration,” will encompass three institutions: the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Public Art Fund. MoMA’s presentation “member: Pope.L, 1978 – 2001,” will inaugurate the museum’s new, performance-friendly architectural expansion.

Highlights of these complementary exhibitions will include a monumental new installation, Choir, and a new performative work, Conquest. We’ll also see Pope.L’s early performances, documented through archival materials and live actions.

See “Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration” at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art this Fall.

<p "="">Here is an animation still of the DC Comics character Dr. Manhattan facing the viewer.
American Artist, Blue Life Seminar (still), 2019
Here is a digital image of text on a screen about Philando Castile.
American Artist, Sandy Speaks (detail), 2017. AI chat platform. Photo courtesy of Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, NY.

A nom de guerre turns American Artist’s identity into a question of anonymity and visibility. Artist writes, “American Artist’s legal name change serves as the basis of an ambivalent practice—one of declaration: by insisting on the visibility of blackness as descriptive of an American artist, and erasure: anonymity in virtual spaces where ‘American Artist’ is an anonymous name, unable to be googled or validated by a computer as a person’s name.”

“American Artist: My Blue Window” at the Queens Museum follows American Artist’s 2018 – 2019 Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists. The immersive multimedia installation will explore race, policing, technology and radical politics.

See “American Artist: My Blue Window” at the Queens Museum, October 6, 2019 – February 23, 2020.

Steve Brodner, the inimitable illustrator, political satirist and longtime SVA faculty member, will be honored this fall with the 31st Masters Series Award and Exhibition. "The Masters Series: Steve Brodner" will be a comprehensive retrospective of his celebrated career and include never-before-seen political art and illustration work set along a timeline covering the past five decades. The exhibition will be on view from October 5 through November 2 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery. Get to know Steve Brodner in our Fall 2017 issue of SVA ContinuEd, at our 2017 Art & Activism event, and in our recent faculty updates posted here.

A version of this feature appeared in our Fall 2019 issue of SVA ContinuEd, available now by visiting or calling our office. Follow our updates and stories on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages!

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