Kunbi Oni's article on Modernism and African Identity in "Post"

The names, cultures, and nationalities of African artists who influenced Picasso have historically been omitted from scholarship. Yet Picasso's interest in African masks is well-known. In her essay published by Post, MFA Photo faculty and MoMA staff member Kunbi Oni charts the implications—and possibilities—that closer attention to the makers of such masks could shed on modern art.

The following is an excerpt from Kunbi's article, "Closing the Gap: Picasso and Narrating More Specific African Identities in Modernism:"

“'I want to understand the Primitive sculptures in terms of the Western context in which modern artists ‘discovered’ them.' Today, more than three decades later, we are more than ready to reconsider how we engage with the twentieth-century “traditional” African objects embedded within the modernist narrative...

We know that “none of the African pieces Picasso saw in his first few years of fascination with ‘art nègre’ were more than just decades old,” and that they came from a set of cultures in the region of West Africa...Applying this small detail makes it possible to deepen our scholarship and to broaden our scope—and thus, potentially, to provide us with a new way of telling the story of modernism..."

To view the full text, visit the "Post" website here.

Kunbi Oni is an Administrator in the General Counsel's office at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts with more than 10 years of experience teaching Art History to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Instructions on Parting by Amy Jenkins premieres at MOMA

Alumni Amy Jenkins upcoming film, Instructions on Parting (2018), will make it's world debut at MOMA on Febuary 16th, 2018.

“Instructions on Parting” weaves breathtaking artistic footage with cinema verite to tell an elegiac story about transformation, grief, and the essential nature of the collective human journey. Using personal home videos, Jenkins presents an intimate portrait of the cyclical nature of life and death. As she navigates the emotional transition into motherhood, she must also make sense of the untimely passing of several members from her immediate family.

For more details and to purchase your tickets for the screening please click here.

Amy Jenkins’ approach to art-making is multidisciplinary; the installations she creates combine video, sculpture, performance, writing and audio to create immersive environments. Crossing the static bounds of space and object, her projected video creates a poetic space that emulates thought and memory. The video in three-dimension becomes malleable, altering the boundaries of the physical and illusory.

Over the years she has worked with the moving image combined with sculpture in a number of ways, both with miniature objects and with large architectural elements. Consistent in all of her installations is the focus on a sense of place and the psychological aspects of interiors, whether physical in structure or of an individual's psyche. Performance, her own and her family’s, is also an important reoccurrence in Jenkins’ work. Jenkins’ content can be challenging and revealing; familial relationships, home, sexuality, and the male/female identity are themes she frequents. Visceral and emotional, these personal narratives offer a window into intimate life, where the commonplace becomes surprising and unexpected.

Stills from Instructions on Parting

Stills from Instructions on Parting