Since 1969, the Studio Museum in Harlem has been supporting contemporary artists and, in that time, their artists-in-residence programme has helped form the canon of Black and diasporic art in the US. Adding to their cohort, the Studio Museum recently announced their newest members who will begin their 11-month residency next month.
Widline Cadet, Genesis Jerez, Texas Isaiah, and Jacolby Satterwhite have been selected as this year’s group of artists to receive the prestigious residencies. Typically, selected artists are emerging and at the start of their career, but this year, the museum broke from their usual structure in awarding Satterwhite, an established artist, a residency position that will promote mentoring and generational exchange. The 2020-21 residency programme also differs slightly this year as it will be held digitally to accommodate for COVID-related restrictions.
The residency offers recipients “a year to experiment” as Studio Museum associate curator for exhibitions Legacy Russel put it to The New York Times. Isaiah, a Brooklyn-born artist working in California and New York, and Cadet, born in Haiti and now living in New York, are both photographers. Jerez, on the other hand, is a painter who often reflects on her Dominican upbringing. Satterwhite, who is based in New York as well, is known for his video works but has more recently moved toward installation and sculptural works.
The Studio Museum’s iconic programme was the vision of artist William T. Williams and over the decades, that vision has bolstered nearly 150 artists of African and Afro-Latinx heritage, many of which have gone on to lead in the art world. Some of the residency’s most notable alumni are Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2011-12), David Hammons (1980-81), Titus Kaphar (2006-07), Simone Leigh (2010-11), Kerry James Marshall (1985-86), Julie Mehretu (2000-01), Wangechi Mutu (2003-04), Mickalene Thomas (2002-03), and Kehinde Wiley (2001-02).
Of the selection, Russell stated:
“In the face of a challenging, historical, and most seismic period of global transition, Texas Isaiah, Genesis Jerez, Widline Cadet, and Jacolby Satterwhite set forward new and radical propositions of Afro-diasporic futures and world-building, advancing urgent explorations of visibility, figural representation, and refusal in new directions and to monumental heights in a moment that demands it.”
Later this year, “This Longing Vessel” will kick off featuring the works of E. Jane, Naudline Pierre, and Elliot Reed, the Studio Museum’s 2019-20 artists-in-residence. Opening on December 10th, the exhibition will run through March of next year at MoMA PS1 since the Studio Museum remains closed due to renovations.