Walker Art Center

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Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art

This groundbreaking exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of performance art by black artists working from the perspective of the visual arts from the 1960s to the present. While black performance has been largely contextualized as an extension of theater, visual artists have integrated performance into their work for more than five decades, generating an important history that has gone largely unrecognized until now.

Presenting a rich and complex look at this important facet of contemporary art, the exhibition chronicles the emergence and development of black performance art across three generations, beginning with Fluxus and conceptual art in the early 1960s through present-day practices.

Featuring more than 100 works by some 36 artists, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art includes video and photo documentation of performances, scores and installations, interactive works, and artworks created as a result of performative actions. A dynamic range of performances, actions, and discussions accompany the exhibition’s run at the Walker. Catalogue available. Radical Presence contains mature subject matter.

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Curator: Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH)

Walker coordinating curator: Fionn Meade

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Funding

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art is organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

The exhibition is supported by generous grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the patrons, benefactors and donors to CAMH’s Major Exhibition Fund. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition is made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc.

The Walker Art Center’s presentation is made possible by generous support from Angela and Tom Wicka.