Great Force is an exhibition that uses painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance to examine the reality of race in the United States. It will feature new commissions and recent work by an intergenerational group of 21 established and emerging artists, including Pope.L, Sable Elyse Smith, Charlotte Lagarde, and Tomashi Jackson.

Borrowing its title from a quote by novelist and social critic James Baldwin, “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do,” Great Force will explore how contemporary artists contend with persistent black-white racial bias and inequality in the U.S.

For the duration of Great Force, the ICA will convene community discussions about race, representations of the oppressed and the empowered, and how art can become a tool in pursuit of visibility.

The exhibition is curated by ICA Assistant Curator Amber Esseiva, an alumna of VCUarts. Great Force will be on view at the ICA at VCU from October 2019 through January 2020.