During this conversation, Rashaad Newsome and Amanda Hunt, Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem come together to discuss Mélange and Newsome’s multidisciplinary practice.
ABOUT RASHAAD NEWSOME
Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including: collage, sculpture, video, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Best known for his visually stunning collages housed in custom frames, Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. Using the equalizing force of sampling, he crafts compositions that surprise in their associative potential and walk the tightrope between intersectionality, social practice and abstraction. Newsome’s work opposes cultural essentialism—they lead us into a realm of uncertainty, in which the symbols presented transform, but are nonetheless made tangible.
Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a BFA in Art History at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a certificate of study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video Arts Inc. (NYC). In 2005 he studied MAX/MSP Programming at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center (NYC). He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: The Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MoMAPS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow, Russia), and MUSA (Vienna, Austria). Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), The Brooklyn Museum of Art (NYC), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), and The New Britain Museum of American Art (CT). In 2010 he participated in the Whitney Biennial (NYC), and in 2011 Greater New York at MoMAPS1 (NYC). His many honors and awards for his work include a 2014 Headlands Center for the Arts Visiting Artist Residency, a 2011 The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, a 2010 Urban Artist Initiative Individual Artist Grant, and a 2009 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant.
ABOUT AMANDA HUNT
Amanda Hunt is Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her exhibitions there have included Black Cowboy, Tenses: Artists in Residence 2015-16, Rashaad Newsome: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE, Lorraine O’Grady: Art Is…, In Profile: Portraits from the Permanent Collection, and the group exhibition A Constellation. Hunt is the curator of inHarlem: Kevin Beasley, Simone Leigh, Kori Newkirk, Rudy Shepherd, a multi-site public art initiative in four Historic Harlem Parks, on view through July 25, 2017. Hunt curated Portland2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Oregon, and was a curator at the non-profit art space LA><ART from 2011-2014. Hunt helped to produce two major initiatives in Los Angeles, including the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, co-produced by LA><ART and the Getty Research Institute, and Made in LA 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LA><ART. Hunt also served as Curatorial Assistant for the Los Angeles City Pavilion for the 9th Shanghai Biennale in 2012. She has worked at various galleries and institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hunt holds her MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.