New Symphony of Time
Mississippi Museum of Art
Jackson, Mississippi
Organized primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection, “New Symphony of Time” is an exhibition of more than 170 works by 119 artists that expands and illuminates the boundaries of Mississippi’s narrative.
Mississippi, as a real place and also as a metaphor for the basic and universal struggles of our country, has inspired artworks that express the need to understand our concrete realities of living with each other in this moment, as well as our deep connection to those gone before us and our legacies to those who follow.
Exploring the themes of ancestry and memory; migration, movement, and home; shared humanity; the natural environment; and liberty for all, the exhibition is inspired by Margaret Walker’s epic poem, “This is My Century: Black Synthesis of Time.” Phrases from Walker’s poem are used throughout the exhibition to frame thematic areas that evoke ancestral wisdom, the strength of sheer survival, and the power of imagination to create a more just, empathetic world. While each section follows a particular narrative thread, certain ideas resonate throughout, such as personal and collective memory, history and the connection to place, and the roles artists play in pursuit of civil rights and racial equity.
The exhibition features by such prominent artists as Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Romare Bearden, Albert Bierstadt, Elizabeth Catlett, Jeffrey Gibson, Titus Kaphar, Glenn Ligon, Deborah Luster, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Hank Willis Thomas. Mississippi artists include the state’s first native-born professional artist, James Tooley, Jr., and Richmond Barthé, McArthur Binion, Dusti Bongé, Marie Hull, Sam Gilliam, Gwendolyn A. Magee, George Ohr, and Eudora Welty.
Image: Alex O’Neal, Self-mourning, Dying Dream Façade, 2017. acrylic and collage on canvas, 36 x 35 in. Loan courtesy the artist