In In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection, SMoCA exhibits works by Black artists that Arizona-based collectors Iris and Adam Singer have been collecting for almost two decades.
In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection
October 1, 2022–February 12, 2023
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection, currently on view at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, features forty paintings and works on paper by Black artists working globally, including works by Chris Ofili, Danielle McKinney, and Kehinde Wiley. The works are from the private collection of Iris and Adam Singer, Arizona-based collectors who, for almost two decades, have been collecting contemporary art by Black artists.
The exhibition is skillfully curated by Allison Glenn, senior curator of New York’s Public Art Fund, in collaboration with the SMoCA team, and takes the viewer on an undulating path from portraiture to abstraction, punctuated by site-specific commissions by Phoenix-based artist Merryn Omotayo Alaka. Alaka created wallpaper interventions, curated by SMoCA’s curatorial assistant Keshia Turley, that occupy monumental walls throughout the exhibition with designs inspired by West African powder glass beads. The wallpaper installations feel fresh, offering a beautifully timed sense of rhythm to the show.
The first works one encounters are by Amoako Boafo, arresting the viewer’s eye and pulling them into the gallery. In Kofi (2019), a singular sitter gazes out to the viewer, situated against a vibrant aqua-blue background. The portrait’s various applications of paint—from gestural brushwork to paint applied and pushed around the canvas with the artist’s fingers—create a lushly tactile texture to the work, evoking a rich and varied topography that only adds to the regality and noble stature of the portrait itself.
As one pushes further into the exhibition, work by Michaela Yearwood-Dan demands one’s attention. It’s All Happening (2021) is a sumptuously textured painting, thick with paint applied with a palette knife, resulting in an opulent impasto. The richly saturated pinks and reds are interrupted with swaths of deep blue—creating an exquisite tension to the abstracted, carnivalesque work.
The final chamber of the exhibition is an entire room showcasing the works of Mark Bradford—an artist whose decades-long career has had an extraordinary impact on many of the artists in the exhibition. His collaged paintings, hung in a gray room, feel almost canonical—concretely proclaiming Bradford’s place as one of today’s great artists.
In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection is on view now through February 12, 2023, at SMoCA, 7374 E 2nd St, Scottsdale.