Home Interior Design New show pays homage to Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice fund with works by Titus Kaphar, Faith Ringgold and more

New show pays homage to Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice fund with works by Titus Kaphar, Faith Ringgold and more

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I’m still quoting a joke that arts philanthropist Agnes Gund made six years ago. Speaking of her black grandkids, she mentioned a pillow she embroidered with the words, “If I had known grandkids were so fun, I would have had them first.”

The president emeritus of the Museum of Modern Art spoke the line during an event at the New York institution inaugurating the Art for Justice Fund, a project of the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors that she generously supports and has been created to combat the racist scourge of mass incarceration in America. With only 4.25% of the world’s population, the United States houses one-fifth of the world’s prisoners at an annual cost of approximately $81 billion. (About those grandchildren, black minors are four times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts.)

Julie Mehretu, rubber gloves (2018). Photo by Tom Powell. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery and Ford Foundation Gallery.

Now, the “No Justice Without Love” exhibition at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York celebrates the end of the six-year lifespan of the initiative, which focuses on bail reform, reform of sentencing and the development of reintegration possibilities for former prisoners. .

It features major personalities such as Tite Kaphar, Julie MehretuAnd Faith Ringgoldalongside rising artists like Jesse Krimes and Sherrill Roland, as well as collectives like For Freedoms and the People’s Paper Co-op. Some of the performers, including Krimes and Roland, were once incarcerated; Krimes Just Launched the Center for Art and Advocacy, dedicated to mentoring formerly incarcerated people, with money from the Art for Justice Fund.

Bayete Ross Smith, still from How a white mob destroyed a town and got away with itof the Red Summers 2021. Courtesy of the artist and the Ford Foundation Gallery.

Curated by Daisy Desrosiers, Director and Chief Curator at the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, the exhibition includes works that variously visualize the system of mass incarceration and its large-scale effects.

Some focus on infrastructure, at different scales. At the entrance to the show, for example, a video animation by Paul Rucker, Proliferation (2009), which shows the United States as seen from a satellite, with dots of light of different colors mapping the growth of the prison system, to music by Rucker. A 19-foot-tall print by Maria Gaspar reproduces the exterior of the Cook County Jail at full size; next to it hangs a minimalist sculpture of Roland that traces the lines of mortar between the cinder blocks that make up the walls of cells like the one where he spent more than 10 months for a crime he did not commit.

Other works approach the situation more obliquely: for example, the painting by Titus Kaphar from 2019 From a tropical space, in which two black women appear with strollers with white spaces where the children should be, as if stolen from them. The Krimes Quilt marion (2021), meanwhile, depicts an outdoor scene of the type to which an imprisoned person might wish to return, made in part from used clothing collected from incarcerated people.

The show was partly intended to answer the question “How do you organize a show on a fund?” In partial response is an “Appeal and Response” section, dedicated to acknowledging cultural practitioners who have received support from the fund, in the form of letters, artwork, audio and video. After the show closes, it will remain available on the Art for Justice website.

See more images from the show below.

Jesse Krimes, marion (2021). Courtesy of the artist and the Ford Foundation Gallery.

Mary Gaspar, Eyes unblinking, waiting (2023). Courtesy of the artist and the Ford Foundation Gallery. Photo by Sebastian Bach.

Sherrill Roland, 168.803 (2021). Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and Ford Foundation Gallery.

The People’s Paper Co-op in collaboration with Kill Joy and PPC Fellows: Faith Bartley, Nashae Cooper, Tinika Hogan, Ivy Johnson, Janaya Pulliam, My inner power (2021). Courtesy of People’s Paper Co-op.

Titus Kaphar, From a tropical space (2019). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

No justice without loveis on view at the Ford Foundation Gallery, 320 E 43rd St, New York, through June 30.

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