The Obama family took in an art exhibit on Sunday at a museum that is practically in their backyard: The Corcoran Gallery of Art. The president walked a few short blocks with wife Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia to the Corcoran, where they saw the show “30 Americans,” an exhibition of contemporary African-American artists.
Washington Post art critic Phil Kennicott reviewed “30 Americans” when the show opened in September.
The title, identifying the 31 artists represented as simply 30 Americans, cleverly hints at the inevitable confusion contained therein: Do the artists belong to a coherent group, is it a group that can be identified by race or skin color, and is this a liberating, restricting, or simply an ineluctable category? ... Almost every work on display is in some ways an argument with the basic organizing principle of the exhibition. Far from being simple exemplars of African American art, the works in ‘30 Americans’ range from parodies of that idea to direct confrontations with efforts to categorize, define and contain racial identity.
Artists in the show include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, and Kehinde Wiley, among others. “30 Americans” is on view until Feb. 12. See more photos of the exhibition in the gallery below.