6 Reasons to Head Back to Boston's Galleries and Museums

By Madison Duddy | October 20, 2020 | Culture

Since March, museum doors remained closed to keep local communities safe. After a six-month hiatus, many in the Boston area are reopening with plenty of new exhibits to excite local art enthusiasts.


Adam Pendleton: Elements of Me
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Through Nov. 15, 2020

Famously known for his “Black Dada” concept, the New York based artist uses abstract and avant garde images with blackness to create paintings, collages, videos and installations. As a Black artist, Pendleton portrays Black and brown experiences through his art. His Elements of Me exhibit explores the relationship between blackness and geometric shapes—mainly the circle, square and triangle—while incorporating ideas of race and representation. 25 Evans Way, gardnermuseum.org


No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake
MIT List Visual Arts Center
Through Feb. 14, 2021

Nyland Blake’s eclectic, colorful and provocative mixed-media works take inspiration from the feminist and queer liberation movements and intolerance towards interracial and same-sex couples. The virtual exhibit No Wrong Holes includes work the New York based artist produced while living on the West Coast during the 1980s and the HIV/AIDS epidemic and in the 1990s and their cultural-identity struggles. For those who are interested in hearing from Blake himself, RSVP on the museum’s website for the virtual discussion, on October 26, between Blake and the curator Jamillah James. listart.mit.edu


Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Through May 16, 2021

Jean-Michel Basquiat pioneered the 1980s artistic movement that brought street art and graffiti to the walls of galleries and museums. Using paint, sculpture, drawing, video, music and fashion, his works became vital in popularizing hip-hop culture. The exhibit, which features some of Basquiat’s most famous pieces like Hollywood Africans, is the first to present his work in relation to hip-hop and the first to present the works alongside his fellow Black and Latinx artists and friends. 465 Huntington Ave., mfa.org


From Where I Sit: Permanent Collection Seating
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton
Through Feb. 20, 2021

Sitting may be a mundane activity, but a group of 17 artists for the Fuller Craft Museum made the seats, themselves, works of art. With over 20 chairs, benches and stools made from items like recycled traffic signs, champagne corks and fabricated steel, From Where I Sit: Permanent Collection Seating shows that even the most ordinary items, with the help of detailed craftsmanship, can inspire and elicit reactions of awe. 455 Oak St., fullercraft.org


Rebecca Hutchinson: Midnight Blooms
Danforth Art Museum, Framingham
Through Feb. 28, 2021

Have you ever stood in a floral forest? Rebecca Hutchinson’s exhibit Midnight Blooms leaves viewers looking up at towering sculptures covered in blue, white and purple flowers. The sculptures, made from handmade paper, fired and unfired porcelain paper clay, and recycled materials, portray the connection between humanity and nature. Focusing on ideas of survival and nature’s resilience, the exhibit showcases the beauty of flowers that bloom at night. These flowers are more aromatic and lighter colored than daytime blooming flowers and create a harmonious atmosphere of solitude for viewers. 17 Vernon St., danforth.framingham.edu


William Kentridge: KABOOM!
Institute of Contemporary Art
Nov. 18-May 23, 2021

Originally from Johannesburg, William Kentridge has deep connections to colonialization and apartied in South Africa. In its United States museum premiere, KABOOM! tells the story of the 2 million African porters who carried loads of supplies for the British, French and Germans in World War I. Underpaid and overworked, around 95,000 of the porters died. While his works range from drawing, performance, film, opera and theater, the 65-year-old’s latest exhibit at ICA is a multimedia installation. It combines drawings, moving images and texts all projected onto a scale model of the stage from his most famous performance, The Head & the Load. 25 Harbor Shore Dr., icaboston.org

Tags: art

Photography by: From top, photo: by Stewart Clements Photography and Design; courtesy of MIT List Visual Arts Center; courtesy of © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; by Dean Powell; courtesy the Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University; Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
© William Kentridge