The NCMA is introducing two new exhibitions this spring, showcasing the groundbreaking careers of African American artists Michael Richards and Ruth E. Carter.
Michael’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen (the first African American pilots in the US military) “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian,” has been on continuous display in the Global Contemporary galleries since 2003. From March 4 to July 23, 2023, the museum will add the “Are You Down?” traveling exhibit to his collection.
The late artist merged spiritual and historical references with popular culture in his work and often used his body to cast the figures for his sculptures. The exhibition will feature another version of the “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian” sculpture plus recently conserved artworks from 1990 to 2000.
Ruth, an Academy Award-winning costume designer, has designed pieces for films such as “Black Panther,” “Malcom X,” and “Selma.” Along with sketches and illustrations, Ruth’s exhibition, “Afrofuturism in Costume Design,” features 60+ original garments from popular movies. Her work will be on view April 1-August 6, 2023.