Curated by Kate Averett and Alice Sebrell
April 9 – August 13, 2021
BMCM+AC presents the exhibition I Am A Citizen of the World, featuring historic works from BMC artists alongside contemporary responses from artists working locally and across the globe.
Black Mountain College’s identity was formed by its uniquely global influences, with students, faculty, and staff hailing from over 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Mediterranean. First and second-generation immigrants carried with them their traditions, perspectives, and languages. Students were encouraged to participate in world affairs and to advocate for the greater good. To be a part of Black Mountain College was to be a citizen of the world.
Artists working today embrace increasingly global networks to unpack fraught notions of citizenship and national identity by imagining frameworks to implicate and navigate systems of violence, break down borders, and grapple with evolving notions of self. The contemporary responses featured in this exhibition ask us to examine our preconceived ideas of citizenship and our responsibility to one another.
This exhibition features historic works by BMC artists including Josef and Anni Albers, Leo Amino, Ruth Asawa, Ilya Bolotowsky, Jack Tworkov, Jean Varda, and more. Contemporary responses include works from Iván Argote, Onicas Gaddis, Steve Locke, Mateo López, Sherrill Roland, Southern Equality Studios (Liz Williams and Al Murray), Javier Téllez, and Grace Villamil.
With thanks to The Windgate Foundation and lenders at The Johnson Collection, LaMontagne Gallery; the private collections of Matt Chambers and John Cram, Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull.
Images: Josef Albers, Variant / Adobe, 1947, oil on blotting paper, 16 3/4 x 22 1/2 in. Collection of Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull. | Mateo Lopez, Level (Truth), 2019, paint on ashwood board, 20 x 20 x 3/4 inches. Collection of Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull. | Steve Locke, Homage to the Auction Block #28 – daylight, June 2020, gouache on panel, 12 x 12 inches. LaMontagne Gallery.