Pérez Art Museum Miami announced $1 Million Grant From Jorge M. Pérez and Knight Foundation for the Acquisition of Works by African American Artists

Faith Ringgold, Black Light Series #1: Big Black, 1967. Oil on canvas
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has received a $1 million grant, funded equally by Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, for the purchase of contemporary works by African American artists for the Museum’s permanent collection. The gift builds on PAMM’s long-standing commitment to exhibiting and collecting the work by African American artists. The gift was made in anticipation of the opening of the Museum’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility in December 2013, which will provide expanded exhibition space to showcase PAMM’s growing collections and develop new programming related to the diverse artists represented in the collection.

To support the planning and selection process, the Museum has put together an advisory committee, led by PAMM Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, comprised of renowned curators, art historians and artists. To date, the Museum has purchased three works for the permanent collection with the committee’s support:

Al Loving, Untitled #32, (1975): Untitled #32 is an important example of Loving’s work produced during a dynamic period in the early 1970s when he began to literally rip apart his paintings and then sew back together the pieces of his canvases.

Faith Ringgold, Black Light Series #1: Big Black (1967): Black Light Series #1: Big Black was shown in 2011 at the Museum as part of the exhibition American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s, and is part of a series of works in which the artist explored a dark palette that specifically excluded the use of white paint.

Xaviera Simmons, Untitled (Pink) (2009): Simmons’ photographs reference and challenge Western notions of the “pastoral” or “sublime.”

These new pieces join other significant PAMM collection works by African American artists such as Lorna Simpson, Carrie May Weems and Leonardo Drew. Additionally, the PAMM Collectors Council recently acquired Rashid Johnson’s Tribe (2013) following the Museum’s survey, Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks (2012). Pérez Art Museum Miami will dedicate the remaining funds from the grant to a multi-year initiative to purchase works by African American artists and raise additional funds to support collection growth in this area. 

“It is PAMM’s explicit commitment to reflect the diversity of our local community directly in everything we do, including collection development,” said PAMM Director Thom Collins. “These remarkably generous gifts provide us with an opportunity to continue to build our collection in ways that support this mission, and we are delighted by the prospect of acquiring works that represent the critical contributions that African American artists have made to contemporary culture.” 

Pérez Art Museum Miami

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