A collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art

16 December 2016 - 30 April 2017

In collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA), the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presents Dimensions of Black, an exhibition of works by African American artists drawn from the Museum’s own holdings. SDAAMFA is committed to educating residents and visitors of San Diego about the history and artistic contributions of African American culture through exhibitions and interpretive programs. This mission finds resonance in MCASD’s own collection, which includes numerous works by leading African American artists of our time. The collaboration will also present a series of accompanying programs throughout the exhibition.

Many pieces in the exhibition were created by artists working with abstraction, such as Sam Gilliam’s works that expand upon color field painting, or Jack Whitten’s signature, process-based canvas. Martin Puryear’s dense, tar-coated sculpture shares affinities with early assemblage work by Daniel LaRue Johnson. Other artists such as Lorna Simpson and David Hammons consider the body, reflecting on identity, race, and gender. Photographs by Carrie Mae Weems and Mark Steven Greenfield address the racist underpinnings of humor, while Robert Colescott exaggerates the realities of institutional racism to the point of parody. And still, works by Charles Gaines and Gary Simmons highlight the conceptual and subjective associations between historic images and events. With over 30 pieces from the 1960s to today, the exhibition traverses crucial interests and perspectives that have shaped the art of our time.

Dimensions of Black: A Collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art with generous underwriting support from Gail and George Knox, and Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

MCASD Downtown / Jacobs Building, 1100 & 1001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, California 92101


11 AM – 5 PM daily. Closed Wednesday.
The Museum is free on the third Thursday of every month from 5-7 PM.

Related Links:

Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems are UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts MFA Alumni. For more about their work, please visit:

Lorna Simpson

Carrie Mae Weems

Image Credit:
Lorna Simpson, Guarded Conditions, 1989
18 color Polaroid prints, 21 engraved plastic plaques, and plastic letters, overall dimensions: 91 x 131 in. (231.1 x 332.7 cm).
© 2011 Lorna Simpson

Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Museum purchase, Contemporary Collectors Fund, 1990.12.1-28.

Image is courtesy of Artist Lorna Simpson and Salon 94, New York. Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann.