The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time at Brooklyn Museum, May 14, 2021 – March 20, 2022

The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time draws examples from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned collection of contemporary art to contemplate the profound disruption that occurred in 2020. Borrowing its title from an aeronautical term that refers to the pull of the current that is left in the wake of a large and powerful object, the exhibition examines the placement and displacement of power that runs throughout American history and continues today. In the slipstream of 2020, the confluence of the devastating effects of the pandemic, civil unrest across the United States, a contested Presidential election, and unchecked climate change will continue to shape conversations about the state of the nation and world. The exhibition seeks to hold space for individuals to find their feelings of fear, grief, vulnerability, anger, isolation, and despair—as well as those of joy, determination, and love—reflected in the art.

Centering artists of color, The Slipstream features works created by multiple generations of artists dating from the 1960s to the present day. More than sixty artworks, in a variety of mediums and styles, are organized in seven sections around themes such as collective power, family ties, spiritual well-being, relationships to nature, and the simple rituals of daily life.” — Brooklyn Museum   

Derek Fordjour (American, born 1974). Blue Horn, 2017. Oil pastel, charcoal, acrylic, cardboard, and carved newspaper mounted on canvas, 60 × 40 in. (152.4 × 101.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Tiffany Hott, 2019.31. © Derek Fordjour. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Shinique Smith (American, born 1971). Gravity of Love, 2013. Ink, acrylic, paper, and fabric collage on wood panel, 84 × 84 × 2 1/4 in. (213.4 × 213.4 × 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Alfred T. White Fund, 2013.29.1. © Shinique Smith. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Mark Bradford (American, born 1961). Jheri Now, Curl Later, 2001. Mixed media on canvas, 72 × 84 in. (182.9 × 213.4cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of the Contemporary Art Council and purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Kozinn, 2001.85. © Mark Bradford. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Hew Locke (Scottish, born 1959). Koh-i-noor, 2005. Mixed media, 116 × 86 × 25 in. (294.6 × 218.4 × 63.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Charles Diamond and bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange, 2007.54. © Hew Locke. (Photo: FXP Photography)
Mounir Fatmi (Moroccan, born 1970). Maximum Sensation, 2010. Fifty skateboards, plastic, metal, textile, 5 × 8 × 31 11/16 in. (12.7 × 20.3 × 80.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchase gift of Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia and John and Barbara Vogelstein, 2010.67. © Mounir Fatmi. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Byron Kim (American, born 1961). Sunday Painting 2/18/07, 2007. Acrylic and gouache on canvas mounted on panel, 14 × 14 in. (35.6 × 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of the Contemporary Art Council in honor of Eugenie Tsai and Patrick Amsellem, 2011.37.1. © Byron Kim/Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York/SHANGHAI. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944). Black Block, 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, 207 × 133 1/2 in., 67 lb. (525.8 × 339.1 cm, 30.39 kg). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., by exchange, 2013.7a–b. Courtesy of the artist’s gallery. © El Anatsui. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Jack Whitten (American, born 1939). Black Monolith II (For Ralph Ellison), 1994. Acrylic, molasses, copper, salt, coal, ash, chocolate, onion, herbs, rust, eggshell, razor blade on canvas, 58 × 52 in. (147.3 × 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum; William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2014.65. © Jack Whitten
Karon Davis (American, born 1977). Nicotine, 2016. Plaster, cloth, oil paint, synthetic hair, clothing, wire, shredded bills, coffee cup, wood, mirror, cigarette, 50 1/2 × 50 1/4 × 31 in. (128.3 × 127.6 × 78.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchase gift of Beth Rudin DeWoody, 2018.2.
Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee, born 1972). WHEN FIRE IS APPLIED TO A STONE IT CRACKS, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, glass beads, and artificial sinew, 78 × 78 in. (198.1 × 198.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum; William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2020.20. © Jeffrey Gibson. (Photo: John Lusis)
Jonathan Lyndon Chase (American, born 1989). Loose Chain, 2020. Spray paint, glitter, plastic diamond, and acrylic on canvas, 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum; 2020.29. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)
Arthur Jafa (American, born 1960). Still from akingdoncomethas, 2018. Single-channel video (color, sound): 1 hour, 41 min. Brooklyn Museum; Gift of the Contemporary Art Committee and William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2018.22. © Arthur Jafa
Diedrick Brackens (American, born 1989). when no softness came, 2019. Cotton and acrylic yarn, 96 × 96 in. (243.8 × 243.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchased with funds given by The LIFEWTR Fund at Frieze New York 2019, 2019.12. (Photo: courtesy of Various Small Fires L.A.)

“The concept of the slipstream provides a vantage point from which to contemplate what has just passed while still feeling its pull, and to consider meaningful ways to move forward,” says Eugenie Tsai. “The exhibition underscores the Brooklyn Museum’s longstanding commitment to building a collection that reflects diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, and to presenting art that centers the stories of people of color. We are very grateful to our benefactors for making it possible to represent these narratives, since many of the exhibition’s artworks have been generously gifted to the Museum.” 

The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time is curated by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, with Joseph Shaikewitz, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum.

Images courtesy Brooklyn Museum.