The Washington Post

Obama family visits Corcoran Gallery’s ‘30 Americans’

The first family from left, Sasha Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, President Obama and Malia Obama walk together to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, on Jan. 29, 2012. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

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.

View Photo Gallery: The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s newest exhibition, “30 Americans,” comprises works owned by Donald and Mera Rubell, who hope to single-handedly change the D.C. art scene.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat