30 Americans showcases many of the most important contemporary artists from across the United States. Created from the 1970s to present, the artworks, including paintings, installations, sculptures, and videos, are aesthetically and thematically diverse. This provocative exhibition explores how artists shed light on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity.
30 Americans presents compelling art from three generations of African-American artists collected by the Rubell Museum in Miami, Florida. While the Rubell collection does not encompass a comprehensive representation of African American art in the United States, it does provide a sampling of important paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and installations that reveal some of the complexities of African-American culture as well as a tension inherent in artistic expression: a tension between the freedom to articulate individual experiences and the powerful social, cultural, and economic forces that shape that freedom. Being American is only one aspect of these artists’ identities, and their understanding of what it means to be American is as varied as the artworks on view.
The artists in 30 Americans ask viewers to reconsider their own identity and to contemplate our place in this country. We invite you to consider the artworks in this exhibition not only as part of a national conversation, but also as an opportunity to reflect on the issues that shape our community.
Image: KEHINDE WILEY, Equestrian Portrait of the Count Duke Olivares, 2005, oil on canvas, 108 x 108 in. (274.3 x 274.3 cm), Rubell Family Collection, acquired in 2005