Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition

Gallery Tour

Sundays, 1 pm

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.

The Phillips Collection continues to vigilantly monitor the news and information about COVID-19. As a precautionary measure and in adherence with recommendations by the District of Columbia Health Advisory, we have postponed or canceled all museum-sponsored public events until further notice. 


45-60 min. introduction to Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition


Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition presents works by African American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries together with examples by the early 20th century European artists with whom they engaged. This exhibition explores the connections and frictions around modernism in the work of artists such as Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Renee Cox, Wassily Kandinsky, Norman Lewis, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others. European modernist art has been an important, yet complicated influence on black artists for more than a century. The powerful push and pull of this relationship constitutes a distinct tradition for many African American artists who have mined the narratives of art history, whether to find inspiration, mount a critique, or claim their own space. Riffs and Relations examines these cross-cultural conversations and presents the divergent works that reflect these complex dialogues.