Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art


Purvis Young Horses, Figures and Railroad Tracks on Ebony, c. 1994 Paint on paper 17 × 11 in., diptych Courtesy Skot Foreman, New York, NY Photo: Marc Bernier.

Exhibition, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA 13, until 8 March 2015.

This is an exhibition that explores the ways contemporary artists use the magazines Ebony and Jet as resources and inspiration in their practices, often representing a commonality between people of diverse backgrounds. Considering Ebony and Jet as journalistic material and important documenters of black life, as a metaphor for African-American culture, and as theoretical spaces for black thought and exchange, the presentation examines their material and cultural legacy, as perceived by artists. While much of the artwork utilises imagery and text as source material, other works take the concept of these iconic publications and their institutional histories as a starting point.