In Memory of Sequoia Whitfield

Sequoia Whitfield. Courtesy The National Gun Violence Memorial.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is deeply saddened by the death of Sequoia Whitfield, who was killed in a shooting on August 12, 2020. Sequoia, 19, was a student at Vashon High School and participated in the school’s art…

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<em>Amy Sherald</em>, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 11–August 19, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
Amy Sherald, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 11–August 19, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

Art at Home: Remix Portrait

Amy Sherald is an American artist known for her photograph-based portraits. While she is perhaps most known for her painting of former first lady Michelle Obama, Sherald has been creating portraits of individuals from the African American community for decades. Sherald’s body of work is unique in that…

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Kahlil Robert Irving submitted this image to represent his current situation.
Kahlil Robert Irving submitted this image to represent his current situation.

Artist Notes from a Pandemic: Kahlil Robert Irving

The following interview took place prior to the protests over the killing of George Floyd.

What is different now? Are not the racial divisions within our society just more deeply outlined than before? How are attitudes toward stay-at-home mandates based on privilege? Isn’t the expectation of…

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Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8 – December 31, 2017. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8 – December 31, 2017. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

Art at Home: Collaging the Self

Growing up, Mickalene Thomas was conscious of the lack of depictions of black people in art history and even in the media of her time. As a result, she drew particular inspiration from black celebrities such as singer/actress Eartha Kitt and black characters such as Whoopi Goldberg’s Celie in…

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Bethany Collins. Courtesy the artist.
Bethany Collins. Courtesy the artist.

Artist Notes from a Pandemic: Bethany Collins

Bethany Collins moved from one part of Chicago to another in March. “Moving day during a pandemic is definitely worse,” she tells me. But her new neighborhood offers a more walkable part of the city and a daily walk has become part of the quarantine regimen. Collins and I laugh…

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Nicola Tyson, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, January 27 – April 16, 2017. Photo: David Johnson.
Nicola Tyson, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, January 27 – April 16, 2017. Photo: David Johnson.

Art at Home: Automatic Drawing

Upon first glance, British-born artist Nicola Tyson’s portraits may call to mind words like ‘ghoulish’ and ‘child-like.’ While viewers may be able to discern a human figure, the bodies and features are so distorted that it’s impossible to determine what the subjects look like. This is because Tyson…

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"I ask him to send me a picture that reflects the situation he is in." Courtesy Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

Artist Notes from a Pandemic: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Even though CAM has been closed since March, a conversation with Paul Mpagi Sepuya makes me think even more about exhibitions without an audience. Sepuya’s summer survey in St. Louis is now documented in a gorgeous monograph, a selection from thirteen years of the artist’s photographic explorations within…

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Sanford Biggers, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8–December 30, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
Sanford Biggers, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8–December 30, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

Art at Home: Code Quilting

Sanford Biggers’s work has long focused on African and African American material culture and history. Biggers’s interest in quilting is rooted in the rich tradition of African American quilting, especially those produced by the women of Gee’s Bend—a small, isolated Black community in Alabama. Although each quilter has…

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