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30 Americans: The Rubell Family Collection


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30 Americans: The Rubell Family Collection

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) will showcase some of the most significant African American artists of the past 40 years in 30 Americans: The Rubell Family Collection, scheduled for October 6, 2018 – January 13, 2019.

The exhibition opens with a FREE community celebration and preview of the exhibition on Friday, October 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

This ground-breaking exhibition explores race, gender, and historical identity in a contemporary context while highlighting diverse media, subject matter, and perspectives. Artists included here represent the core of an expanding number of talented individuals who are contributing their voices to the history of art in this country. Many of the works on view reveal not only the country’s changing view of race and class during the past 200 years, but also address the persistence of racism, violence, and marginalization in America today. 

The paintings and sculptures are part of the Rubell Family Collection, established in 1964 in New York City by Mera and Don Rubell. It is now one of the world’s largest, privately owned, publicly accessible contemporary art collections. To form their collection, the Rubells visited studios, spoke with artists in depth about their work, and received guidance from gallerists, curators, and the greater art community.

“By presenting 30 Americans, the Tucson Museum of Art affirms its mission in connecting art to life,” said TMA’s Chief Curator Dr. Julie Sasse.  “We are proud of the museum’s drive to present a wide demographic of artistic expression. This exhibition is relevant, timely, and profoundly assertive and brave.”

The 30 Americans exhibit will include works by:

Nina Chanel Abney
John Bankston
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Mark Bradford
Nick Cave
Robert Colescott
Noah Davis
Leonardo Drew
Renée Green
David Hammons
Barkley L. Hendricks
Rashid Johnson
Glenn Ligon
Kalup Linzy
Kerry James Marshall
Rodney McMillian
Wangechi Mutu
William Pope.L
Rozeal
Gary Simmons
Xaviera Simmons
Lorna Simpson
Shinique Smith
Henry Taylor
Hank Willis Thomas
Mickalene Thomas
Kara Walker
Carrie Mae Weems
Kehinde Wiley
Purvis Young      

In support of 30 Americans, TMA formed a Community Advisory Committee who met regularly to discuss works of art, how to present the exhibition to a wide variety of audiences, build local connections, identify community partners, and support training for TMA staff and volunteers.

Bank of America, one of the exhibition’s main sponsors, is also helping to lead a “Courageous Conversation” panel discussion event at the museum featuring leaders from other Tucson organizations as part of its Diversity & Inclusion effort to encourage open discussion as a way to foster deeper learning and understanding.

Later Event: October 12
Electric Desert