Work by Dutch artist Meschac Gaba is currently on display in two traveling exhibitions. How the light gets in: migration in contemporary art is now on display at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University from August 5, 2019 — January 8, 2020. The Studio Museum in Harlem: Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem is now on view at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, MI from September 13 — December 8, 2019. This exhibition will travel to Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA (January 17 — April 12, 2020), Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA (May 9 — August 2, 2020), and Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT.
About Meschac Gaba
Meschac Gaba was born in Benin in 1961. Since the mid-1990s, Meschac Gaba has investigated constructions of cultural identity along with systems of trade as they relate to exchanges between Africa and the Western world. From 1996 – 1997 he studied at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. This is where Gaba inaugurated his major work, Museum of Contemporary African Art, in 1997.
Meschac Gaba in How the light gets in: migration in contemporary art at Johnson Museum of Art
how the light gets in is an exhibition about the movement of people across the globe and the welcome cracks that develop in our notions of borders and nation states—“that’s how the light gets in,” Leonard Cohen sang in his 1992 song “Anthem”: “Ring the bells that still can ring/Forget your perfect offering/There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.”
The exhibition brings together an international group of 58 artists and artist teams and collectives, ranging in age from their twenties to their nineties and representing 29 countries of birth and residence. Their work engages with themes of migration, immigration, displacement, and exile. Drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, and video will be installed in all of the Museum’s temporary exhibition galleries,
contemporary collection gallery, lobbies, and on the facade and grounds. how the light gets in presents mainly post–9/11 artworks that address conditions of mobility, vulnerability, and the loss of and yearning for home. The featured works reject aestheticizing suffering and aim to restore the dignity of people who migrate, putting parallel spotlights on the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the human consequences of US immigration policy, especially along its southern border.
The Studio Museum in Harlem: Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, MI
This exhibition is a major traveling exhibition comprised of over one hundred works by nearly eighty artists from the 1920s to the present. Black Refractions is accompanied by a new publication of the same title co-published by the American Federation of Arts and Rizzoli Electa. The exhibition includes Meschac Gaba’s Lipstick Building, 2004.