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Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers

November 18, 2023 – April 07, 2024

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art announces Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers, an exhibition of approximately 50 from MoMA’s collection selected by Wales Bonner, the London-based designer of her eponymous fashion label. On view in the Museum’s street-level galleries from November 18, 2023, through April 7, 2024, the 16th installment of MoMA’s celebrated Artist’s Choice series will gather artworks with a particular focus on Black cultural and aesthetic practices inspired by the styles, experiences, forms, and sounds of the African diaspora. The works selected embody the idea of “Spirit Movers,” which, according to Wales Bonner, evoke multiple histories, inspire contemplation, and conjure new connections between people and places. Artists from around the world and across generations, including Terry Adkins, Moustapha Dimé, Agnes Martin, Man Ray, Betye Saar, and David Hammons, will be featured in the exhibition.

Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers is organized by Grace Wales Bonner with Michelle Kuo, the Marlene Hess Curator, and Dana Liljegren, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

The Artist’s Choice exhibition series is made possible through The Agnes Gund Artist’s Choice Fund endowed by Iara Lee and George Gund III, Lulie and Gordon Gund, Ann and Graham Gund, and Sarah and Geoffrey Gund.

Additional funding is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

Support for the publication is provided by the Dale S. and Norman Mills Leff Publication Fund and by The Museum of Modern Art’s Research and Scholarly Publications endowment established through the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Edward John Noble Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Perry R. Bass, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Challenge Grant Program.

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Grace Wales Bonner. Photo: Liz Johnson Artur.

Terry Adkins. Last Trumpet. 1995. Brass and sousaphone and trombone bells, four parts, each 216 × 24 × 24″ (548.6 × 61 × 61 cm). Gift of David Booth; and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Murray Thompson (by exchange). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Terry Adkins. Courtesy of the Estate of Terry Adkins.

Mathias Goeritz. Message Number 7B, Ecclesiastes VII: 6. 1959. Nails, metal foils, oil, and iron on wood panel, 17 7/8 x 13 5/8 x 3 3/8″ (45.1 x 34.5 x 8.4 cm). Gift of Philip Johnson. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. D.R. © Mathias Goeritz 1959 License by L.M. Daniel Goeritz y Galeria La Caja Negra, Madrid.

Anthony Barboza. Reggie Nicholson, Henry Threadgill Sextet, Village Vanguard, New York City. 1988. Gelatin silver print, 14 1/2 × 21 5/16″ (36.8 × 54.2 cm. Geraldine J. Murphy Fund. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2023 Anthony Barboza.

Moustapha Dimé. Lady with a Long Neck. 1992. Wood, iron and paint, 6′ 8 1/2″ x 39″ x 12″ (204.5 x 99 x 30.5 cm). Gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar . Moustapha Dimé © 2023 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Benjamin Patterson. Paper Piece. 1960. Ink on two sheets of paper with mailed envelope, sheet (.a, folded): 8 3/4 x 6 7/8″ (22.2 x 17.5 cm); sheet (.b (irreg.)): 8 3/4 x 6 7/8″ (22.2 x 17.5 cm); sheet (.c): 4 1/2 x 8″ (11.4 x 20.3 cm). The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2023 Ben Patterson.

Unidentified photographer. Benjamin Patterson’s Variations for Double-Bass, performed during Kleines Sommerfest: Après John Cage, Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal, West Germany, June 9, 1962. 1962. Gelatin silver print, 13 x 9″ (33 x 22.8 cm). The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

W. Eugene Smith. Rahsaan Roland Kirk. 1964. Gelatin silver print, 11 1/2 × 7 1/4″ (29.2 × 18.4 cm). Gift of Richard L. Sandor. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 1964, 2023 The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith.

Henri Cartier-Bresson. Washington, D.C. 1957. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/4 × 10" (17.1 × 25.4 cm). Gift of
John C. Waddell. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2023 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.

Cover of Grace Wales Bonner: Dream in the Rhythm—Visions of Sound and Spirit in the MoMA Collection, published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.