adVANCE: Modernism, Black Liberation + Black Mountain College

Curated by Marie T. Cochran, ACTIVE ARCHIVE resident
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
February 11 – May 14, 2022

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This exhibition illuminates Asheville as a city undergoing transformation, the changing Appalachian region, and modernism and abstraction as a liberating aesthetic for Black artists. ACTIVE ARCHIVE resident curator Marie T. Cochran reflects on the relationship between BMC’s modernism and progressive movements of civil and human rights.

Rooted in the modernism of celebrated Black Mountain College instructor in painting Jacob Lawrence and his colleagues and students, adVANCE bridges the past and future by acknowledging the debt that Western modernism owes to African aesthetic practices as well as its inherent progressive ideals which persist in our region. 

adVANCE: Modernism, Black Liberation + Black Mountain College celebrates the works of prolific Asheville-based sculptor Larry Paul King who presents a path forward through abstraction and modernist principles of design. King’s work will be displayed alongside selections from BMCM+AC’s permanent collection, including works by Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Joseph Fiore, Leo Krikorian, and Sewell Silman. Designer Reggie Tidwell will bookend the exhibition with digital installations commemorating the protests and calls for justice undertaken in Asheville in the summer of 2020.