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Sunday, May 9, 2021

‘Black Studies’ Exhibit at Mr. Silverstein Galleries

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From there, the exhibit, titled “Black Studies,” included more than 160 works, many of which were physically very small — in size, shape and overall effect. Most of the works were bright, fluorescent colors with a particularly New York sensibility, ranging from the more familiar “Black” to the less common “Native” to the sort of ramshackle imagery characteristic of “Midnight Flowers.”

Now through Sunday, Nov. 12, at Mr. Silverstein, there is a temporary repeat exhibit.

The show’s curator, Karri Pfeifer Schein, a black scholar and writer who co-directed Brooklyn Public Library’s inaugural Black History Month lecture series, examined the works in two parallel ways. “The way I thought about this show was not about any particular art history,” she said. “It was to look at the art in a way that doesn’t include anything like the image or that feels like a reversal. And it should be an analysis of the contemporary.”

She said she was struck at a glance at the faces of the artists represented at the show — at least 29 of them are women, more than a third of them black — “what’s going on in that community now? How so many artists are being projected in a sort of shocked reaction to that?”

She added, “[For] anyone who hasn’t been able to see these artists for a few years, especially in New York, it seems very time-suspended.”

And, of course, it also became time-suspended for Mr. Silverstein himself.

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