What We're Reading: ‘It’s All Art’: Legendary Gallerist Linda Goode Bryant on Why She Doesn’t Like the Term Social Practice, and How Feeding People Is a Creative Act
Artnet News author Folasade Ologundudu is conducting a four-part series, "featuring Black artists across generations who work with social practice." The first interview in the series is with Linda Goode Bryant, "a mother of two, artist, activist, and filmmaker," whose, "exhibition 'Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces' will debut at the Museum of Modern Art in New York almost half a century after Linda Goode Bryant first opened the doors of the gallery that inspired the show just a few blocks away, on West 57th Street."
"[Bryant] is a tenacious self-starter, devoted mother, generous friend, and fierce advocate who has spent her life and career working to share the stories and positively impact the lives of those who have experienced racism, poverty, and displacement."
"Over the past decade, several institutions have asked Bryant to stage an exhibition about JAM, but she always replied that she didn’t do 'dead art shows.' She resisted the notion of a historical show that placed living artists who’ve continued to create new work in conversation with a project that existed decades before. But the significance of doing a show at MoMA—which, although nearby, might as well have been miles away from JAM when it was operating—proved compelling."
"Is the acclaim being bestowed upon Black artists today too little, too late? One would be remiss not to mention that recent museum solo shows for artists such as 79-year-old Pindell and 87-year-old Lorraine O’Grady, who showed at JAM decades ago, feel backhanded after all these years. Bryant knows full well that Black creativity and talent exist outside white institutions and have never needed their permission or validity."