Curated by Kate Averett and Alice Sebrell

April 9 – August 14, 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, Diamond Brand Gear, and lenders at The Johnson Collection; LaMontagne Gallery; the private collections of Matt Chambers and John Cram, Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull.

Explore the Exhibition

Curator Tour

From our Partners

Exhibition Playlist

Black Mountain believes that in a shaken world of ideas, music as a world of inner order can help towards developing that community for which we all toil. – Black Mountain College Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 3. February 1943.

Credits: Josef Albers, Variant / Adobe, 1947, oil on blotting paper, 16 3/4 x 22 1/2 in. 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. | Exhibition documentation by Michael Oppenheim photography. | Virtual Tour produced by Liz Williams for Southern Equality Studios, a project of the Campaign for Southern Equality.