Four Bronx-Focused Exhibitions On View This Spring
Four Exhibitions at The Bronx Museum of the Arts Explore the Bronx’s Vibrant Communities, Industrial Neighborhood, and Surprising Natural Landscapes
Bronx-focused Exhibitions Highlight Museum’s Permanent Collection and Ongoing Artist Explorations of the Borough’s Neighborhoods and Landscapes
Opening today, The Bronx Museum of the Arts will present four concurrent exhibitions that highlight the diverse communities, cityscapes, and natural beauty of the Bronx. Two solo exhibitions by artists Martine Fougeron and Valeri Larko will present a series of works that document the industrial hubs and landscapes of the borough. Two additional exhibitions draw from the Museum’s permanent collection, including Spotlight: John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres, which features a series of sculptures produced between 1985 and 1998 that depict residents of the South Bronx. The other, Beyond the Veil: Works from the Permanent Collection, highlights works by contemporary artists examining issues of identity and culture that reflect our diverse communities.
Martine Fougeron: The South Bronx Trades
April 6 to June 26, 2016
Martine Fougeron: The South Bronx Trades features a series of photographs by French-born, New York-based photographer Martine Fougeron that explore the industries and manufacturing enterprises of Port Morris and Hunts Point in the South Bronx. Beginning in 2011, Fougeron has documented a wide range of industries for her series, from steel production and auto parts shops to artisanal bakers, printers, boat builders, and fishmongers. Together, the photographs celebrate the artistry and everyday heroics of these specialized workers, revealing the unseen workers and often-unheralded communities of the borough.
Bronx Focus: Paintings by Valeri Larko
April 6 to June 26, 2016
Since the 1980s, New York-based artist Valeri Larko has documented the decaying industrial landscapes in the tri-state region. Drawing inspiration from the collision between nature and man-made infrastructures evident in forgotten side streets, waterways, and derelict factories, Bronx Focus focuses on the industrial areas in the Bronx.
The works in Bronx Focus serve as a record of the vibrant graffiti culture displayed in structures throughout the borough and on the verge of extinction. Other paintings showcase glimpses of the salt marshes and creeks that have managed to thrive within the urban landscape, and remind viewers of a Bronx that coexists as both a city and nature reserve. This exhibition has been organized by Heather Reyes, Manager of Exhibitions and Collections at the Bronx Museum.
Spotlight: John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres
April 6 to July 4, 2016
This exhibition of sculptures brings together works produced by artists John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres between 1985 and 1998. This series conveys both artists’ commitment to representing their local communities, beginning with the casts that Ahearn created in the South Bronx of local residents at Fashion Moda, an alternative gallery that thrived in the South Bronx during the 1980s and early 1990s. It was during this period that the artists met, when Torres volunteered as a model and later became Ahearn’s long-time collaborator.
All of the sculptures in the exhibition, both those produced by the artists individually and in collaboration with one another, are drawn from in the Bronx Museum Permanent Collection, including a suite of busts recently donated by Krasdale Foods, Inc. that were originally exhibited at their Community Gallery in the early 1980s. Transforming the everyday man, woman, and child into monumental works of art, these casts demonstrate the trust and respect that both Ahearn and Torres established with South Bronx residents.
Beyond the Veil: Works From the Permanent Collection
April 6 to May 30, 2016
Beyond The Veil, a group exhibition of highlights from the Bronx Museum’s Permanent Collection, brings together works from contemporary artists including Huma Bhabha, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Leonardo Drew, and Jamel Shabazz, and explores the varied nuanced histories at play in broader cultural debates on identity. The exhibition draws its title and inspiration from W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal text Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (1920), which illuminates the discontent of ethnic and racial minorities within the context of American democracy and maintains a sense of urgency in our era. The works in the exhibition, largely by artists of African, Asian, and Latin American descent, convey the complex mediation between the self and the other, between one’s allegiance to tradition and the appeal of globalism.
The exhibition also features a new series of paintings by Tim Rollins & K.O.S. made in collaboration with students from I.S. 218 in the Bronx and based on Du Bois’s Darkwater.