Regarding the Figure presents works from The Studio Museum in Harlem’s permanent collection that explore the practice of portraiture and figuration as a means of celebrating personal and collective histories, ideas and identities. Ranging in date from the late nineteenth century to the present, and representing some forty artists from Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) to Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983), the works present diverse and at times unexpected methods of figuration, from the traditional (the portrait bust) to the experimental, and show subjects who come from the realms of both the celebrated and the anonymous. More than fifty paintings, drawings, photographs, works on paper and sculptures attest to the power that can come from representing the black body and the responsibilities that may attend these representations.
Regarding the Figure is organized by the curatorial team of Eric Booker, Connie H. Choi, Hallie Ringle and Doris Zhao.
Simone Leigh, Providence, 2017