Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States (excerpt) — Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic, 12.21.2018

2. Jeffrey Gibson: This is the Day at the Wellin Museum

As Tracy Adler, the curator of Jeffrey Gibson’s This Is the Dayexhibition at the Wellin Museum said to me, Gibson could go on continuing to make his famous heavy bag pieces for the next umpteen years and his admirers would still value his practice. But clearly, Gibson wouldn’t be satisfied with becoming an artist who behaves like a glib mini-factory producing pleasing objects. His show at the Wellin showcases his breadth and depth of making, with larger-than-life-size sewn tunics (decorated with what he likes to call “powwow regalia”), extravagantly decorated masks, ceramic pots, paintings made of exquisitely patterned thread, capes, tapestries, and figures — even a short video. This is the Day feels like a very big and searching exhibition, as it is genuinely an exploration of ethnic heritage and all the ways it might be refracted by personal experience. —Seph Rodney

20. AfriCoBra: Messages to the People at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

In 1968, five artists — Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and Gerald Williams — founded the collective African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, or AfriCoBra. The group developed a striking visual complement to the Black Power Movement, including the use of what the artists describe as “coolade colors.” In a brilliant curatorial move by Jeffreen M. Hayes, PhD, these bright hues replace expectedly white museum walls in the exhibition AfriCoBra: Messages to the People, organized on the occasion of AfriCobra’s 50th anniversary. The exhibition pulls together not only the work of the founders, but also that of a few of the group’s early members: Sherman Beck, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Omar Lama, and Carolyn Lawrence. It also includes both early and contemporary works of the artists. In addition, a special section devoted to photography from the Black Archives of the HistoryMiami Museum ensures the exhibition retains a specific connection to Miami. —Alpesh Patel