2021 Atlanta Biennial

2021 Atlanta Biennial

February 18, 2021 – May 30, 2021

Since its inception in 1985 and revival in 2016, the exhibition has addressed the deep vernacular traditions at work in the art of the Southeast. The 2021 Atlanta Biennial does this while simultaneously confronting the social issues caused by COVID-19, racism, inequality, and the essential role artists play in our understanding this moment and movement.


Atlanta Contemporary publicly announced the curators, Dr. Jordan Amirkhani (Main Galleries) and TK Smith (Project Spaces) in February of 2020 one month prior to the mandated shelter-in-place announcements throughout the country. Though the intent to commission new work by artists from around our city and region remain, both curators quickly recognized their challenge in navigating the anxiety, grief, and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and how best to elucidate these collective sentiments.

In keeping with the long-established vision of the Atlanta Biennial, Dr. Amirkhani states: “'this exhibition invites the weight of these cultural murmurations to seep and sow against the range of material and conceptual methods of response available to artists in 2020 ... for what is at stake in this exhibition is whether or not representations can provide adequate responses to the fluctuating conditions and complexities of life lived in the United States.”

All studio visits occurred via Zoom with walk-throughs of the galleries accomplished over Facetime. In short, this was not business as usual. Yet, at the core of this work, the artists, curators, and staff endure the emotional, mental, and physical oppression of this time. We can all agree: the future is uncertain yet as TK Smith promises: “[this exhibition] leaves viewers with new ways of understanding and coping with the ephemerality of material life.”

Art is essential.

The full list of artists is as follows:

Of Care and Destruction
Curated by Dr. Jordan Amirkhani

Davion Alston
Born Landstuhl, Germany
Lives Atlanta, GA

Lillian Blades
Born Nassau, Bahamas
Lives Lexington, KY

William Downs
Born Greenville, SC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Shanequa Gay
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives College Park, GA

Myra Greene
Born New York, NY
Lives Atlanta, GA

Jesse Pratt López
Born Cali, Columbia
Lives Atlanta, GA

Courtney McClellan
Born Greensboro, NC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Michi Meko
Born Florence, AL
Lives Atlanta, GA

Eleanor Neal
Born Gary, IN
Lives Atlanta, GA

Yanique Norman
Born Spanish Town, Jamaica
Lives Stonecrest, GA

Lucha Rodríguez
Born Caracas, Venezuela
Lives Atlanta, GA

Hasani Sahlehe
Born St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Lives Augusta, GA

Zipporah Camille Thompson
Born Charlotte, NC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Tori Tinsley
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

Regina Agu
Born Houston, TX
Lives Chicago, IL*

Marianne Desmarais
Born Gulfport, MS
Lives New Orleans, LA

Nekisha Durrett
Born Washington, DC
Lives Washington, DC

Katie Hargrave
Born Chicago, IL
Lives Chattanooga, TN

Meredith Lynn
Born Boston, MA
Lives Tallahassee, FL

L. Kasimu Harris
Born New Orleans, LA
Lives New Orleans, LA

Donté K. Hayes
Born Baltimore, MD
Lives Kennesaw, GA/Cliffwood, NJ

LeAndra LeSeur
Born Bronx, NY
Jersey City, NJ*

Michelle Lisa Pollissaint
Born Delray Beach, FL
Lives Miami, FL

Saba Taj
Born Raleigh, NC
Lives Durham, NC

Melissa Vandenberg
Born Detroit, MI
Lives Richmond, KY

José Villalobos
Born El Paso, TX
Lives El Paso, TX

Christina Renfer Vogel
Born Atlantic City, NJ
Lives Chattanooga, TN

What Editions
Founded by Cora Lautze & Julian Wellisz
New Orleans, LA

Featuring:
Abdi Farah
Dapper Bruce Lafitte
Akasha Rabut
Ashley Teamer

Virtual Remains
Curated by TK Smith

Danielle Deadwyler
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

Shane Dedman
Born Palm Beach, FL
Lives Atlanta, GA

Adam Forrester
Born Columbus, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

Artemus Jenkins
Born Baltimore, MD
Lives Atlanta, GA

Featured Images

IMAGE #1: Tori Tinsley, 'Island with Two Lava Pits and Table,' 2020; Acrylic, cardboard, papier-mâché, plaster of Paris, wood, aqua-resin; 91 x 89 x 23 inches (dimensions variable)
IMAGE #2: Hasani Sahlehe, 'Won't Have to Cry No More,' 2020; Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 48 inches
IMAGE #3: Eleanor Neal, 'Transcending Ambiguity,' 2020; Ink, graphite, and oil pastel on paper, 37 x 42 inches

Location

Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4, Gallery 5, Gallery 6, Chute Space, Sliver Space gallery map


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