Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk—An Introspective

In this focused selection of 13 pieces, New York-based artist Sanford Biggers challenges and reinterprets symbols and legacies that inform contemporary America.

Art Exhibition previously on at Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, United States.
From Friday 23 September 2011 to Sunday 08 January 2012

Blossom, 2007 image Calenda (Big Ass Bang!), 2004 image Cheshire (video), 2007 image Cheshire (video), 2007 image Cheshire, 2008 image Kalimba II, 2002 image Lotus, 2007 image Seen, 2009 image Shuffle (The Carnival Within) image

Published by Brooklyn Museum on Thursday 26 May 2011.
Contact the publisher.

The exhibition is Biggers’ first museum presentation in New York, and it will also mark the Brooklyn debut of Blossom (2007), a large-scale multimedia installation that incorporates references ranging from lynchings to Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Recently acquired by the Brooklyn Museum, Blossom also alludes to the ideologically tinged landscapes of artists such as Alfred Bierstadt and Frederic Church.

Among the other, thematically related pieces is Cheshire (2008), a sculpture that references both the disembodied smile of the eponymous cat and the caricatured grin associated with blackface minstrelsy. Kalimba II (2002), named after an African percussion instrument, incorporates a piano bisected by a wall; a bench invites visitors to sit down and play half of the keyboard, initiating a dialogue/duet with an unseen visitor on the other side of the wall. As with Blossom, Lotus (2007) combines references to Buddhism and to slavery: a lotus etched in glass contains in each petal diagrams of human bodies placed in the cargo hold of an eighteenth-century slave ship. Biggers has been creating installations and performances for more than a decade.

Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk–An Introspective is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by Toby D. Lewis.

Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday celebrates the exhibition
Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk-An Introspective on November 5
DJRichMedina The Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday attracts thousands of visitors to free programs of art and entertainment each month. November’s event features programs inspired by the work of artist Sanford Biggers. Highlights include:

5-7 p.m. Music: Two Brooklyn-based groups, Navegante and NinjaSonik, merge pop, punk, electro, hip-hop, and latin.

6 p.m. Film: To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, 1990, 102 min.). Danny Glover stars in this award-winning drama about a mysterious and charming drifter who moves in with a Los Angeles family and reminds them of their Southern roots. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

6 p.m. Performance: Kanene Holder presents 400 Years of GRRRRRR, her interactive, one-woman show on racial history and representation in America. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Curator Talk: Terry Carbone on Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art: What happens when two unlikely objects are combined in a sculpture? Make one and find out. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

7 p.m. Artist Talk: Matthew Buckingham on his installation The Spirit and the Letter. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

8 p.m. Artist Talk: Sanford Biggers on Sweet Funk-An Introspective. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

8-10 p.m. Dance Party: DJ Rich Medina hosts a tribute to Fela Kuti and American Afrobeat.

9 p.m. Book Club: Paul Beatty discusses his book White Boy Shuffle. Book signing to follow.

9-10 p.m. Performance: Soulful songstress Imani Uzuri performs selections from her latest album, The Gypsy Diaries.

Throughout the evening, a cash bar will offer beer and wine, and the Museum Café will serve a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and beverages. The Museum Shop will remain open until 11 p.m.

Museum admission is free from 5 to 11 p.m. and includes entrance to all galleries and events. Programs are subject to change without notice. Some Target First Saturday programs have limited space and are ticketed on a first-come, first-served basis. Lines for free tickets often form thirty minutes in advance. For more information, visit Museum galleries are open until 11 p.m. Parking is a flat rate of $4 from 5 to 11 p.m.