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Sweet Funk—An Introspective

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Blossom, 2007 Steel, Zoopoxy, Silk Leaves, Wood, Piano W/Midi System © Courtesy of the artist and Michael Klein Arts
Sweet Funk—An Introspective
Curated by: Eugenie Tsai

200 Eastern Parkway
11238-6052 Brooklyn
NY
US
September 23rd, 2011 - January 8th, 2012
Opening: September 23rd, 2011 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
brooklyn
EMAIL:  
information@brooklynmuseum.org
PHONE:  
718-638-5000
OPEN HOURS:  
Wed, Fri-Sun 11-6; Thu 11-10
TAGS:  
installation, sculpture

DESCRIPTION

In this focused selection of 13 pieces, New York-based artist Sanford Biggers challenges and reinterprets symbols and legacies that inform contemporary America. The exhibition is Biggers’ first museum presentation in New York, and it will also mark the Brooklyn debut of Blossom (2007), a large-scale multimedia installation that incorporates references ranging from lynchings to Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Recently acquired by the Brooklyn Museum, Blossom also alludes to the ideologically tinged landscapes of artists such as Alfred Bierstadt and Frederic Church.

Among the other, thematically related pieces is Cheshire (2008), a sculpture that references both the disembodied smile of the eponymous cat and the caricatured grin associated with blackface minstrelsy. Kalimba II (2002), named after an African percussion instrument, incorporates a piano bisected by a wall; a bench invites visitors to sit down and play half of the keyboard, initiating a dialogue/duet with an unseen visitor on the other side of the wall. As with Blossom, Lotus (2007) combines references to Buddhism and to slavery: a lotus etched in glass contains in each petal diagrams of human bodies placed in the cargo hold of an eighteenth-century slave ship. Biggers has been creating installations and performances for more than a decade.

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