The Time magazine recently announced its coveted Times 100 list, and it included personalities from all walks of life – including art.
From the art world, the names mentioned included Kerry James Marshall, Cindy Sherman and David Adjaye. Each of them had their profiles written by equally-prominent personalities. Grant Hill, an NBA superstar and a famous art collector, called Marshall “one of the most influential artist anywhere”. Marshall is known for portraying the everyday experiences of Black people in America in his paintings. His work is not only bold but also forces people to re-assess what they know about the African-American culture. Marshall’s retrospective “Mastry” drew huge acclaim at Met Bruer in 2016 and many other exhibitions since then.
Famed photographer Cindy Sherman is known for capturing the female experience through her lens. Writing for her, filmmaker and writer Miranda July said that her work has found new relevance in a time when the old sexism is returning with “a grabbing hand”. In her most recent project, Sherman focused on the starlets of the 1920s.
Architect David Adjaye has been exhibiting the history of African-Americans through his works over the years. But as Thelma Golden (Director, Studio Museum in Harlem) pointed out, nothing exemplifies this better than the Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC. The project, which inaugurated in 2016, sought to display the long burden of discrimination and oppression faced by the Black community in the USA. At the same time, it also portrays the joys and triumphs of the Black people over the years.
The Times 100 list came in the era of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter movement. Naturally, the names it features resonated with these themes. Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leading authorities on COVID-19, found a spot. The founders of the BLM movement were also included as ‘icons’.