- Kehinde Wiley
- "Equestrian Portrait of the Count-Duke Olivares"
For most of the 20th century and the early 21st century, African-American artists were relegated to second-class status, with little representation in museums and public collections across the country. In recent years, however, efforts by artists, collectors and curators are making a difference as museums shift their focus away from mostly white, male artists to showcase artists from around the world, including women.
- Jacob Lawrence
- "The Rebels"
Two stunning new exhibitions at the McNay Art Museum bring together the work of African-American artists from the 1920s to the present. Gathered primarily from the groundbreaking collection of San Antonio residents Harriet and Harmon Kelley, “Something to Say” features more than 50 works by iconic 20th-century artists as well as younger emerging talents. Organized by René Paul Barilleaux, head of curatorial affairs at the McNay, “Something to Say” is the museum’s first survey of modern and contemporary African-American art.
Rounding out the exhibition are works from the local collections of Guillermo Nicolas and Jim Foster, John and Freda Facey, and the McNay. The exhibition illustrates the breadth of African-American art — from the dignified portraits of Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Charles Alston (artists heavily influenced by Mexican muralists and printmakers) to the subversive work of Kara Walker, whose cut-out silhouettes detail the violent history of race and sexuality in America. Covering nearly a century, “Something to Say” is presented in five parts, with categories such as “Reflections,” “Interiors” and “Essentials” showcasing everything from pensive portraits to domestic scenes and abstract works.
- Isaac Julien
- "Baltimore Series (Angela in Blue No. 1)"
- "Sacrifice #2"
Together, the two exhibitions take up the whole of the McNay’s Tobin Exhibition Galleries and make the point that African-American art is American art. As you make your way through both exhibitions and reach the gallery’s back wall, a majestic, life-size painting by Wiley, Equestrian Portrait of the Count-Duke Olivares, depicting an African-American male on a galloping horse, dominates the room.
‘Something to Say’ & ‘30 Americans’
$15-$20, 10am-4pm Wed, 10am-9pm Thu, 10am-4pm Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun, 10am-4pm Tue through May 6, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org.