Mississippi Museum Of Art Opens Two Exhibitions Later This Month

Broadway World / Oct 7, 2022 / by Stephi Wild / Go to Original

Mississippi Museum of Art will present two concurrent exhibitions starting October 29, 2022: Maude Schuyler Clay: Portraits of a Place and Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning.

Maude Schuyler Clay: Portraits of a Place is an exhibition of nearly 100 photographic works by the artist from the early 1980s to the present, including intimate family portraits, still-life images, landscapes, and glass plate images taken by Clay’s grandfather, Joseph Albert May. Judge May was a photo hobbyist and influence on Clay’s career. The glass plates shown for the first time in an exhibition document the agrarian lifestyle of the 1920’s Mississippi Delta. Portraits of a Place also features selections from her Highway Memorial series. A fifth generation Mississippian, Clay records local history as a visual archivist, capturing domestic, agricultural, and civic subjects unique to the Mississippi Delta-a section of the state known for an array of cultural traditions.

The exhibition is organized by MMA guest curator Phoenix Savage, Associate Professor of Art at Tougaloo College, visiting Professor of Art at Brown University, and long-time friend of Clay’s. The coordinating curator is Ryan N. Dennis (she/her), MMA Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum’s Center for Art & Public Exchange.

Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning is the first museum survey of celebrated Houston-born artist Jamal Cyrus (b.1973). The exhibition spans 15 formative years of Cyrus’s multidisciplinary practice from 2005 to 2020, assembling over 50 artworks including drawings, prints, paintings, works on both paper and papyrus, as well as sculpture, textiles, installation, and performance.

Cyrus simultaneously excavates and imagines moments in African American history in the U.S. and beyond, tracing movement within the African Diaspora as well as flashpoints in civil rights, popular culture, and Black political movements. His aesthetic language marries an enduring interest in music and record shops with an expansive array of materials and their evolving cultural contexts. From drum kits, vinyl, and conch shells to muslin, wax, papyrus, denim, and kente cloth, Cyrus forges vexing contemporary artifacts that commemorate and question iconic figures and events. The ensuing objects, installations, and actions create a patchwork lineage where the cumulative silences, edits, redactions, assassinations, and omissions become hauntingly and urgently present.

MMA is the final venue of the exhibition tour. It was previously on view at the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston (the exhibition organizer) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.