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Norman Lewis (1909-1979)


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Dan Mask, 1935
pastel on sandpaper
18 1/8" x 12 1/2", signed and dated

Musicians, 1943
oil on canvas
40 1/4 x 18 inches, signed and dated

Industrial Night, 1952
oil on canvas
40" x 52", signed and dated

Untitled, 1953
ink and gold metallic paint on paper
26" x 39 3/4", signed and dated

Night Walk #2, 1956
oil on canvas
66" x 34", signed

The Gremlins, 1961
oil on canvas
50" x 64 1/8", signed and dated

Promenade, 1961
oil on canvas
50" x 64 1/4", signed and dated

Aspiration, 1966
oil on canvas
37 1/2 x 60 1/8 inches, signed and dated

Untitled, 1968
oil on laid paper
30 7/8" x 42 7/8", signed and dated

Ebb Tide, 1975
oil on canvas
47 3/4" x 80 1/8", signed and dated

Eye of the Storm (Seachange XV), 1977
oil on canvas
50" x 72", signed and dated


Exhibitions

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New & Noteworthy

MRG now represents the Estate of Norman Lewis

March 2015

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Art & Auction, March 2015

by Hilarie M. Sheets

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ArtForum, January 2015

by Robert Pincus-Witten

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The New York Times, January 21, 2005

by Grace Glueck

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The New York Times, December 7, 1986

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Prints & Publications


Artist Information

“For many years, I, too, struggled single-mindedly to express social conflict through my painting.  However, gradually I came to realize that certain things are true: The development of one’s aesthetic abilities suffers from such emphasis; the content of truly creative work must be inherently aesthetic or the work becomes merely another form of illustration; therefore, the goal of the artist must be aesthetic development, and in a universal sense, to make in his own way some contribution to culture.”[1]

Known for his calligraphic abstract compositions, Norman Lewis (American, 1909-1979) was a vital member of the first generation of abstract expressionists. He was the sole African American artist of his generation who became committed to issues of abstraction at the start of his career and continued to explore them throughout his lifetime. Lewis’ art derived energy from his vast interests in music – both classical and jazz - as well as nature, ancient ceremonial rituals, and social justice/equality issues central to the civil rights movement.

A native of New York City, Norman Wilfred Lewis was born to St. Kitts immigrants Diana and Wilfred Lewis. The Lewis family lived in Harlem, and as a youth, Lewis held various jobs throughout his schooling but knew he wanted to be an artist from the age of ten. In 1929, Lewis found work as a seaman on a freighter and spent several years traveling throughout South America and the Caribbean, meeting local people and witnessing firsthand the poverty of Bolivia, Uruguay, Jamaica, and elsewhere. Upon his return to the United States, Lewis settled back in New York City.

In the early 1930s, Lewis met artist and educator Augusta Savage, who ran an arts school in Harlem and was involved with lobbying the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to hire more black artists. From 1933 to 1935, he took classes at the Savage School of Arts and Crafts and attended Columbia University Teachers College. Lewis’s deep commitment to social and economic equality led him to join the Artists Union, which was organized to protect the rights of artists and workers. A regular at 306, a cultural center in Harlem that attracted musicians, writers and young artists, Lewis was a co-founder of the Harlem Artists Guild (HAG) in 1935. In 1936, he began working for the WPA’s Federal Arts Project, teaching classes. Lewis’s art at the time was grounded in social realism and focused on the lives and struggles of black Americans, but in the 1940s, he began to explore abstraction. While he remained active in the struggle for civil rights throughout his life, Lewis was skeptical about the power of art to effect change, explaining in a 1968 interview, “one of the things in my own self education, was the discouraging fact that painting pictures of protest didn't bring about any change.”[2]

In 1945, Alain Locke included Lewis’s work in the exhibition The Negro Artist Comes of AgeA National Survey of Contemporary American Artists, and the following year, Lewis joined the growing number of New York abstract artists represented by Willard Gallery. From his first solo show at Willard in 1949 to the mid-1950s, Lewis’s reputation steadily grew, and he developed his own individual style consisting of calligraphic, fluid forms suggesting groups of figures engaged in kinetic activity. Traveling in the same circles as prominent abstractionists, Lewis befriended Ad Reinhardt, Jackson Pollack, Charles Seliger, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning. In 1950, he was the only black artist to participate in the famous closed-door sessions defining abstract expressionism held at Studio 35, organized by de Kooning and Kline and moderated by Museum of Modern Art Director, Alfred J. Barr. A year later, MoMA included his work in the exhibition Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America.

Despite a decade of artistic achievement and consistently favorable reviews, Lewis never received the kind of recognition and financial success his white colleagues enjoyed, and it was only in the late twentieth century that his work began to occupy a central place in the canon of American art. Lewis himself was aware of this disparity and of the related expectation in the art world at the time that African American artists document “the black experience.”

 

Throughout his career, Lewis pursued his unique artistic vision while also remaining committed to his political beliefs. He was a founding member of the Spiral Group, and from 1965 to 1971, he taught for HARYOU-ACT, Inc. (Harlem Youth in Action), an antipoverty program designed to encourage young men and women to stay in school. In 1969, Lewis joined Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Clifford Joseph, Roy DeCarava, Alice Neel, and others in picketing the infamous Harlem on My Mind show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. That same year, he, Bearden, and Ernest Crichlow co-founded Cinqué Gallery, dedicated to fostering the careers of emerging artists of color. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1972), a Mark Rothko Foundation Individual Artists Grant (1972), and a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1975), Lewis had his first retrospective exhibition in 1976 at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

Since his death in 1979, his work has been celebrated in numerous exhibitions; significant recent museum group exhibitions include Abstract Expressionist New York at the Museum of Modern Art (2010); From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis (2014, curated by Norman Kleeblatt) at The Jewish Museum (NYC);  Postwar-Art between the Pacific and Atlantic, 1945-1965, (2016, curated by Katy Siegal and Okwui Enwezor) at the HausDerKunst (Munich);  The Color Line: African American Artists and the Civil Rights in the United States (2016, curated by Daniel Soutif) at Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; and Abstract Expressionism, curated by David Anfam for the Royal Academy of Arts, London, England (2016).  

In 1998, The Studio Museum in Harlem presented Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946-1977 and most recently, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) organized Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis, his first comprehensive museum overview. Curated by Ruth Fine, this landmark survey which was accompanied by an award winning monograph featured new scholarship from Fine along with essays by David Acton, Andrianna Campbell, David C. Driskell, Jacqueline Francis, Helen M. Shannon and Jeffrey C. Stewart. On March 20, 2016, CBS Sunday Morning celebrated this exhibition with a feature anchored by correspondent Jim Axelrod.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has championed the work of Norman Lewis for over twenty-five years; Lewis’s paintings and works on paper were an integral part of the gallery’s celebrated annual African American Art: 20th Century Masterworks series (1993-2003), and they have been the subject of four solo shows: Norman Lewis: Intuitive Markings, Works on Paper, 1945-1975 (1999), Norman Lewis: Abstract Expressionist Drawings, 1945-1978 (2009), Norman Lewis: Pulse, A Centennial Exhibition (2009) and Norman Lewis: A Selection of Paintings & Drawings (2016). Given Lewis’s centrality to shaping the contours of abstract expressionism, his work was also essential to the gallery’s 2011 exhibition Abstract Expressionism: Reloading the Canon.

Norman Lewis is represented in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC); The Newark Museum (NJ); Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY); Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC); and The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY).

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Norman W. Lewis.


[1] Norman Lewis in his 1949 application for a Guggenheim Fellowship printed in Norman Lewis: From the Harlem Renaissance to Abstraction, Kenkeleba Gallery, 1989, 63.

[2] Oral history interview with Norman Lewis, 1968 July 14, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/oralhistories/transcripts/lewis68.htm (accessed February 2009).

 

 

Selected Museum Collections

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Bermuda National Gallery, Hamilton, Bermuda
Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA
The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation, San Antonio, TX
Lafayette College, Easton, PA
James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY
The Museum of African American Art, Tampa, FL
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Norton Museum of Art,West Palm Beach, FL
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

1936
Harlem Artists Guild, New York, NY; 1937

1937
Harlem Art Center, New York, NY; 1938, 39

1949
Willard Gallery, New York, NY; 1950, 51, 52, 54, 57, 61, 64

1976
Norman Lewis: A Retrospective, The Graduate School, University Center, City College, New York, NY
Boys High School, Brooklyn, NY

1985
Norman Lewis: The Black Paintings, Robeson Center Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

1989
From the Harlem Renaissance to Abstraction, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY

1993
Norman Lewis Returns, Paintings from the Harlem Renaissance, Cotton Exchange Gallery, Augusta, GA
Norman Lewis, Berman/Daferner Gallery, New York, NY

1994
The Second Transition: 1947-1951 Abstractions, A.F.T.U. Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

1997
Norman Lewis: Social Realism to Abstraction 1933-48, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY
Norman Lewis, Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ

1998
Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946-1977, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
1960’s: Paintings and Works on Paper, June Kelly Gallery, New York, NY
Norman W. Lewis: 25 Highly Important Paintings, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

1999
Norman Lewis: Intuitive Markings: Works on Paper, 1945-1975, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Norman Lewis, G.R. N’Namdi, Chicago, IL

2002
Norman Lewis: Linear Abstractions, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2004
Norman Lewis: Master Paintings from 1944-1975, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2008
Norman Lewis, Twilight Sounds, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO

2009
Norman Lewis: Abstract Expressionist Drawings, 1945-1978, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Norman Lewis: Pulse, A Centennial Exhibition, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

2015
Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX; Chicago Cultural Center; Chicago, IL

2016
Norman Lewis: A Selection of Paintings and Drawings, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

1934
Exhibition of Fine & Applied Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1939
Salon of Contemporary Negro Art, New York, NY
Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TN
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

1940
Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851-1940), Tanner Art Galleries, Chicago, IL; Library of Congress, Washington, DC

1941
American Negro Art, Downtown Gallery, New York, NY

1942
Artists League of America, American Contemporary Galleries, New York, NY

1944
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
G Place Gallery, Washington, DC
Painting in the United States, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

1945
The Negro Artist Comes of Age, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY
South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, IL

1949
13th Annual Exhibition, American Abstract Artists, New York, NY
Studio 35, New York, NY

1951
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1952
10th American Drawing Annual, Norfolk Museum, Norfolk, VA

1955
Carnegie International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

1956
American Artists Paint the City, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
United States Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Patterns of American Culture; Contribution of the Negro, Museum of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

1958
Nature in Abstraction, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1967
The Evolution of Afro-American Artists; 1800-1950, City College, New York, NY

1969
Homage to Martin Luther King, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1970
Black Artists: New York/Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1971
Black Artists: Two Generations, The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble, France

1976
Two Centuries of Black American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

1978
New York/Chicago: WPA and the Black Artist, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

1983
Celebrating Contemporary American Black Artists, Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, Hempstead, NY

1985
Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800-1950, The Art Museum Association of America, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

1988
Black New York Artists of the 20th Century, Selections from the Schomburg Center Collections, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, New York, NY

1989
The Blues Aesthetic: Black Culture and Modernism, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, NC; Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

1991
The Search for Freedom: African-American Abstract Painting, 1945-1975, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY
The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art Traveling Exhibition, Beech Institute/King Tisdell Museum, Savannah, GA

1992 
Kandinsky and the American Avant-Garde, Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL; The Phillips    Collection, Washington, DC; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Myth-Making: Abstract Expressionist Painting from the United States, Tate Gallery, London, England
The WPA Era: Urban Views & Visions, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

1993
Lines and Myths: Abstraction in American Art, 1941-1951, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Charles Alston and Norman Lewis, Innovators of the African-American Aesthetic, Isobel Neal Gallery, Chicago, IL
Alone in a Crowd, Prints of the 1930s-1940s by African-American Artists - From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams, American Federation of the Arts, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; The Equitable Gallery, New York, NY; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; New York State Museum, Albany, NY; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston, SC; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; The St. Louis Museum, St. Louis, MO; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
On Paper: The Figure in Twentieth Century American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

1994
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Counterpoints: American Art: 1930-1945, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Works on Paper, Berman-Daferner Gallery, New York, NY
On Paper: Abstraction in American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
Norman Lewis and His Contemporaries, G.R. N’Nambi Gallery, Birmingham, MI
Reclaiming Artists of the New York School: Toward a More Inclusive View of the 1950s, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, New York, NY
Empowerment: The Art of African American Artists, Krasdale Gallery, White Plains, NY
25 Years of African-American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; The Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA; The Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; The Scottsdale Art Center, Scottsdale, AZ; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX; The New York State Museum, Albany, NY; The Mexican Museum, San Francisco, CA; Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA; Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY; The Lowe Art Gallery, University of Miami, Miami, FL

1995
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks II, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

1996
Exploring the Unknown: Surrealism in American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
City of Ambition: Artists & New York, 1900-1960, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks III, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Other Artists of the 50s, Kendall Campus Art Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL
Acquiring Art in the 90s: The Inside Story, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

1997
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks IV, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TN
Civil Progress: Images of Black America, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
Dark Images-Bright Prospects: The Survival of the Figure in WWI, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
Surrealism and American Art, 1932-1949, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Revisiting American Art: Works from the Collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

1998
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks V, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Art by African-Americans in the Collection of the New Jersey State Museum, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
Essence of the Orb, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

1999
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks VI, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
Linear Impulse, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
African American Artists, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2000
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery: The First Decade, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks, VII, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL
African American Artists II, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2001
1950-1965: Abstraction on Paper, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks, VIII, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Texas Southern University Museum, Houston, TX
Abstract Expressionism-Expanding the Canon, Gary Snyder Fine Art, New York, NY
2001 Collector's Show, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

2002
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks, IX, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY; Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA
African American Artists III, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2003
African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks, X, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Beauford Delaney & Norman Lewis, Abstractionist Visions, Works on Paper, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY
Abstract Poet: Danny Simmons & Norman Lewis, Tubman African American Museum of Art, Macon, GA
Challenge of the Modern: African American Artists, 1925–1945, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
African American Masters: Highlights of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, New York Historical
Society, New York, NY; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN; The Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, FL; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; The Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT

2004
Mood Indigo: The Legacy of Duke Ellington - A Look at Jazz and Improvisation in American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Embracing the Muse: Africa and African American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Romare Bearden and Company, Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY

2005
Stroke! Beauford Delaney, Norman Lewis & Alma Thomas, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Another View: New York School, Opalka Gallery, The Sage Colleges, Albany, NY
African American Art Printmakers: The Legacy Continues, Aljira, Newark, NJ
Eye Contact: Painting and Drawing in American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

2006
Building Community: The African-American Scene, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2007
Decoding Myth:  African American Abstraction, 1945-1975, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York,  NY
New Acquisitions: Recent Gifts to the BNG Collection, Bermuda National Gallery, Hamilton, Bermuda,

2008
African American Art: 200 Years, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
Action/Abstraction:  Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Abstract Expressionism: A World Elsewhere, Haunch of Venison, New York, NY
Beyond the Canon: Small-Scale American Abstraction, 1945-1965, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY

2009
Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection, David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Action / Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art: 1940-1976, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Abstract Expressionism: Further Evidence (Part One: Painting), Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

2010
Afro Modern: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England
Unconscious Unbound:  Surrealism in America, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
Abstract Expressionist New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

2011
Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
SPIRAL: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Evolution in Action, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2012 
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance Civil Rights Era and Beyond, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; The Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL; National Academy Museum, New York, NY; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Signs and Symbols, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
INsite/INchelsea: The Inaugural Exhibition, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2013
Abstract Expressionism / In Context: Seymour Lipton, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2014
Beyond the Spectrum: Abstraction in African American Art, 1950-1975, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
RISING UP/UPRISING: Twentieth Century African American Art, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue from the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr., Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC

2015
Night Visions: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
I Got Rhythm: Art and Jazz since 1920, Stiftung Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
In the Line of Duty, Collecting African-American Art and Beyond. The Williams Robinson Family Collection of African-American Art, Lafayette College Art Galleries, Easton, PA

2016
The Color Line: African American Artists and the Civil Rights in the United States, Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Modern Heroics: 75 Years of African-American Expressionism, The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain
Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and Atlantic 1945-1965, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2017     
Roaring into the Future: New York 1925-35, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, NY
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern, London, England; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement, Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, Detroit, MI
Blue Black, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO, curated by Glenn Ligon
Expanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, February 3 - May 8, 2018
Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
Solidary and Solitary: The Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

2018
Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet to Matisse and Beyond, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY
Augusta Savage: Artist-Community-Activist, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, FL

Blue Black: Curated by Glenn Ligon
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO
June 9 - October 7, 2017
http://pulitzerarts.org/

Roaring into the Future: New York 1925-35
Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, Utica, NY
June 18 - October 9, 2017
http://www.mwpai.org/

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
Tate Modern, London, England
July 12 - October 22, 2017
http://www.tate.org.uk/

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
February 2 - April 23, 2018
http://crystalbridges.org/

Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
September 7, 2018 - February 3, 2019
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org

Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement
Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, Detroit, MI
July 23 - October 22, 2017
http://www.dia.org/

Lichtenstein’s China
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
August 17, 2017 - February 4, 2018
http://www.clevelandart.org/

10 Americans: After Paul Klee
Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
September 15, 2017 - January 7, 2018
http://www.zpk.org/en/exhibitions/

The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
February 3 - May 6, 2018
http://www.phillipscollection.org/events/2018-02-03-exhibition-after-klee

Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War
Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
November 3, 2017-January 8, 2018
https://www.hkw.de/en/index.php