New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has dedicated a new exhibit to “Just Above Midtown” (JAM) – a Manhattan gallery that gave visibility to Black artists in the 1970s and 80s.
The Midtown gallery, which used to be just two blocks away from the world-famous art museum, “was a place where Black art flourished and debate was cultivated,” according to the MoMA.
“Embracing artists working with abstraction and inexpensive materials, video and performance, as well as self-taught and West Coast artists,” JAM became a space for those marginalized in the mainstream art scene of the time, in particular African American artists and artists of colour.
Founded by then 25-year-old art instructor and mother of two Linda Goode Bryant in 1974, the JAM helped many now recognized figures, including David Hammons, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady and Howardena Pindell, get off the ground. Their works are also part of the MoMA exhibit.
Unlike the MoMA, which opened in 1929 and has continued to grow thanks to generous donations, the JAM struggled with costs and eventually had to shut down in 1986.
The exhibit “Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces” runs until February 18, 2023. ©dpa