In conjunction with Posing Beauty, this VMFA collection-based exhibition features works by African American artists. These representations of the human figure or aspects of the body explore how we perceive and express personal and cultural identity. The selection of paintings and sculptures from the 1970s to the present features an array of perspectives and styles that underscore the complex factors informing ideas of race and gender. Many of the 21st century artists—such as iona rozeal brown, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Robert Pruitt—mix national, international, historical, and pop-culture references with personal stylistic preferences to produce images that provoke more questions about identity than they answer. The selection of photographs offers a survey of 20th- to 21st-century work—from James VanDerZee to Carrie Mae Weems to Hank Willis Thomas—while also highlighting the work of lesser-known artists, such as Richmond native Louis Draper, who played a primary role in founding the first African American photography collective, Kamoinge, in New York in 1963. Many of these works will be on view at VMFA for the first time.

Curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Free with Posing Beauty ticket. Admission to Posting Beauty is now FREE on Thursdays.