News & Events
Two Bicentennial Series masterworks to be exhibited in 2018
Andrews' Bicentennial Series was a six year project, begun in 1970 in anticipation of the American bicentennial of 1976. Each year was dedicated to the production of a single monumental painting, with dozens of drawings and painting studies made in the planning process. Two major works from the series will be shown this coming year, the McNay Museum will exhibit Sexism, 1974; and the Ulrich Museum will exhibit Symbols, 1970.
Hyperallergic highlights the protest history of the BECC and Ad Hoc Women's Committee
By Caroline Wallace
April 27, 2017
Wallace's essay documents the BECC's and Ad Hoc's protests and negotiations with the Whitney Museum, and analyzes their strategies for the current moment of activism and resistance. Wallace's takeaways: 1) Be persistent and clear, 2) Use counter-exhibitions and demonstrations to show rather than tell your views, and 3) Aim for change at the center, not the margins, of institutions.
The Telegraph features Benny Andrews and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in its coverage of African American artists at London Frieze
By Colin Gleadell
October 3, 2017
Benny Andrews is in good company in Colin Gleadell's look at 20th Century African American artists at Frieze London. Andrews, Jack Whitten, Martin Puryear, William T. Williams, and Melvin Edwards are all standouts at the fair.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Opens at the Tate Modern in London
July 12, 2017
The Tate Modern's exhibition Soul of a Nation highlights the powerful contribution of African American artists working in the era of Civil Rights and Black Power. The exhibit showcases 150 works created by 60 artists between 1963 and 1983. Benny Andrews' Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?, 1969, is featured in the exhibition alongside works by other exceptional artists like Barkley L. Hendricks, Emory Douglas, Emma Amos, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Jack Whitten, and William T. Williams.
1971: A Year in the Life of Color
By Darby English
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Darby English's new book explores color, cultural politics, and modernism through the context of two exhibitions in 1971: Contemporary Black Artists in America at the Whitney and The DeLuxe Show in Houston. English brings new perspective to the Whitney show, which Andrews and the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC) famously protested.
Hyperallergic Reviews 'Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art'
By Brian Howe
September 24, 2016
Reviewed during its first run at the Nasher Museum, Southern Accent, which includes Andrews' artwork, recently began its second run at the Speed Museum in Louisville.
"The harder you look for a clear, monolithic South, the less likely you are to find one, and therein lies the brilliance of Southern Accent ... In a land with a history of violence so heinous it obliterates nuance, a land still reckoning with unpardonable crimes, and a land that is lushly layered with projections, the exhibit is an exploded diagram of how it feels to be Southern from the inside, with all the diversity, idiosyncrasy, and conflict that it entails"
Hyperallergic Features Benny Andrews in Review of Collage: Made in America at Michael Rosenfeld
By Melissa Stern
"In the rear of the gallery, one entire wall is filled by the monumental “Circle (The Bicentennial Series)” (1973) by Benny Andrews, a huge, searing indictment of racism in America. [...] It’s an overtly angry and political work of art, one that has continuing resonance today."
Benny Andrews included in Roberta Smith's New York Times Review of "The Human Image: From Velázquez to Viola" Richard L. Feigen & Co
"The Human Image: From Velázquez to Viola"
By Robert Smith
February 10, 2017
"Velázquez, Hyacinthe Rigaud, and Thomas Eakins represent social order with sober, strikingly realistic, even sympathetic portrayals of gentlemen across several centuries. Benny Andrews wrenching painting-collage Study for Portrait of Oppression (Homage to Black South Africans), from 1985, reminds us that the costs of such order are often dehumanizing."
Read the review
New York Times Includes Benny Andrews' Bicentennial Series at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in Its List of "10 Things to Do Now in NYC"
"Notes on 2016, From Four Decades Ago"
By Holland Cotter
December 16, 2016
"[Benny Andrews] would have had strong views on the resurgent racism and sexism of this election year. And he basically expressed those views some 40 years ago in six fantastically caustic groups of paintings and drawings called 'The Bicentennial Series,' . . . Truly art for now."
Read the review
New York Times Reviews "The Bicentennial Series" at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
By Holland Cotter
November 25, 2016
"This is the message of the 'Bicentennial Series' as a whole: Far from being a fantasia on what makes American great, it's a vision - as the election was - on what makes America America."
Matana Roberts at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
November 12, 2016
Award-winning composer, saxophonist, and mixed-media practitioner Matana Roberts performed at the Benny Andrews exhibition, The Bicentennial Series, at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. Her new piece, written for a chorus of seven saxophones is called "its all a damn game," and was created in conversation with Andrews' artwork and writing.
Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power
By Susan E. Cahan
Duke University Press, 2016
Mounting Frustration chronicles African American artists' struggle for inclusion in the museum system and the historical canon during the 1960s and 70s. Cahan offers a detailed account of Benny Andrews' work co-founding the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC), protesting exclusionary museum exhibitions, and negotiating for a greater voice for African Americans in New York's art world.