Revisiting 5 + 1
November 10, 2022 - March 31, 2023
Revisiting 5 + 1
November 10, 2022 - March 31, 2023
DIGITAL COLLABORATION with Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and UMass-Boston: Frank Bowling and 5+1
Examining a critical moment at the junction of abstract art, racial and gender politics, and student activism at Stony Brook University, Revisiting 5+1 is a reflection on the historic 1969 exhibition of abstract art 5+1, presenting works by the original artists, alongside a new selection of major works by Black women working in abstraction.
Revisiting 5+1 features work by the six artists in the 1969 exhibition (curated by and including artist Frank Bowling) each of whom created vivid experimental abstract paintings and sculptures. Alongside Bowling, the show presents major work by Melvin Edwards, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Al Loving, Jack Whitten, and William T. Williams, showcasing their early practices of the 1960s and ‘70s. In collaboration with Distinguished Professor of Art Howardena Pindell, Revisiting 5+1 adds a related yet distinct group of six Black women artists, who were also trailblazers in abstraction. Alongside Pindell, the exhibition features works by Vivian Browne, Mary Lovelace O'Neal, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, and Mildred Thompson, including a never before shown 1971 film by Saar.
This exhibition provides new insight into the significance of the dynamic university context, demonstrating the important history of university-based exhibitions organized by Black artists. At a time when Black artists working in abstraction encountered barriers in both the White mainstream art world, which valued works in abstraction but not those by Black artists, and the Black Arts Movement, which rejected abstract art as apolitical, university galleries provided a unique platform outside the confines of the mainstream art world for engaging with ongoing debates around the relation between art and racial politics.
The accompanying catalog includes archival photographs of 5+1 by Adger Cowans and from the Frank Bowling Archive, four scholarly essays, and profiles of artists included in the exhibition, an interview with Howardena Pindell, as well as a tribute to Pindell’s achievements by Lowery Stokes Sims. The illustrated catalog is designed by Rebecca Sylvers, Miko McGinty, Inc.
Frank Bowling, Bunch, 1979/2012, acrylic on collaged canvas, Acrylic on collaged canvas 75 x 27 in (190.5 x 68.6 cm). Private collection. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates. Photographed by Jeffrey Sturges. © 2022 Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London.
Revisiting 5+1 is curated by Stony Brook University Art History PhD candidates Elise Armani, Amy Kahng, and Gabriella Shypula in consultation with Distinguished Professor of Art Howardena Pindell. Katy Siegel, Distinguished Professor and Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art, and Karen Levitov, Director and Curator of the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, served as advisors to the project, with significant support from Georgia LaMair Tomczak, Public Programs Manager of the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery.
The exhibition is supported by the State University of New York System Administration’s Office of Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development and Stony Brook University's Office of the President. Additional support is provided by a Humanities New York grant. A generous donation is provided by Hauser & Wirth Gallery, with additional funding from Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. Support is also provided by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Stony Brook University College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Institute of Stony Brook, Art Department, Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Department of Africana Studies. The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery's 2022–2023 schedule is supported by a generous grant from the Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation.
Howardena Pindell, Plankton Lace #2, 2020, Mixed media on canvas, 76 1/2 x 85 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.
Revisiting 5+1 is presented in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in conjunction with the exhibition Frank Bowling's Americas, on view at the MFA Boston from October 22, 2022 - April 9, 2023, and traveling to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from May 13 - September 10, 2023. A digital component and display case are presented in collaboration with the MFA Boston and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
For the original 5 + 1 catalog, click here.
William T. Williams (b. 1942), Hawk's Return, 1969–70, acrylic on canvas, 109 x 85 1/2 inches / 276.9 x 217.2 cm; © William T. Williams; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
OPENING RECEPTION: Wednesday, November 16, 5-7pm
Black History Month Reception & Performance by Lil Buck at the Staller Center for
RECEPTION: Saturday February 4, 7-8pm, Zuccaire Gallery
ART IN FOCUS LECTURE: Dr. Courtney J. Martin, Paul Mellon Director of the Yale Center
for British Art and Stony Brook Alumna
Wednesday, January 25, 1pm
Sponsored by the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, presented in collaboration with the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery and Stony Brook University Libraries' Art in Focus series, and made possible by support from the John H. Marburger III Fund of Stony Brook University.
TOUR of Revisiting 5+1 with the co-curators: Tuesday, February 7, 4:30pm
Location: Zuccaire Gallery
Revisiting 5+1 ALUMNI PANEL of the 60s & 70s: Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 5:30pm
Location: Stony Brook University, Student Union, Ballroom
Sponsored by Stony Brook University Alumni Association and Department of Africana Studies. This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
ARTIST TALK featuring Revisiting 5+1 artists Howardena Pindell and Adger Cowans in conversation with the exhibition co-curators
and a Brooklyn Rail host
Friday, February 10, 1pm
Hosted by the Brooklyn Rail's New Social Environment series. Sponsored by the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, presented in collaboration with the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery and Stony Brook University Libraries' Art in Focus series, and made possible by support from the John H. Marburger III Fund of Stony Brook University.
ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: Howardena Pindell and Athena LaTocha
Monday, March 20, 2023, 4:30-5:30 pm
Staller Recital Hall
Welcome by President Maurie McInnis. Remarks by Associate Dean Mary Jo Bona.
Reception following in Zuccaire Gallery Lobby
Howardena Pindell is Distinguished Professor of Art at Stony Brook University where she has taught for forty-three years. Athena LaTocha is an accomplished artist who received her MFA from Stony Brook in 2007. The event honors the legacy of Professor Howardena Pindell as she transitions to Toll Professor. Moderated by Associate Professor of Art History Sohl Lee. Co-hosted by the Art Department and the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery in connection with Revisiting 5+1 . Supported by the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook.
Revisiting 5+1 at the Zuccaire Gallery. Photos by Dario Lasagni.