Gordon Parks. Jean-Michel Basquiat. Lorna Simpson. Kehinde Wiley. Nina Chanel Abney. These names loom large in the past and present of art—as do many others in the collection of musical and cultural icons Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys. Expansive in their collecting habits, the Deans, both born and raised in New York, champion a philosophy of “artists supporting artists.” The first major exhibition of the Dean Collection, Giants showcases a focused selection from the couple’s world-class holdings. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation spotlights works by Black diasporic artists, part of our ongoing efforts to expand the art-historical narrative.
“Giants” refers to several aspects of the Dean Collection: the renown of legendary artists, the impact of canon-expanding contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi. Immense pieces—including the largest ever by Mokgosi—are paired with standouts such as Parks’s seminal photographs, Wiley’s revolutionary portraits, and Esther Mahlangu’s globe-bridging canvases. The term also evokes the strength of the bonds between the Deans and the artists they support, and among the artists themselves. Along with examining these links and legacies, the exhibition will encourage “giant conversations” inspired by the works on view—critiquing society and celebrating Blackness.
Giants is open from February 10, 2024 through July 7, 2024 in the Great Hall on the first floor of Brooklyn Museum.
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200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
1-minute walk from Eastern Parkway - Brooklyn Museum