The American flag under scrutiny

The American flag under scrutiny

From 21 May to 25 September 2022, The Broad in Los Angeles presents “This Is Not America’s Flag”, an exhibition that shows how various artists have explored the meaning of the American flag today.

Source: The Broad · Image: Hank Willis Thomas, America, 2021. Mixed media including U.S. flags. The Broad Art Foundation. © Hank Willis Thomas. Photography by: Flying Studio, Los Angeles, Courtesy the artist and Kayne Griffin, Los Angeles

“This Is Not America’s Flag” was conceived during the summer of 2020, after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and, above all, George Floyd provoked a wave of protests in the United States, questioning the inclusivity and meaning of national symbols such as the anthem and the flag. The exhibition, which owes its title to Alfredo Jaar’s iconic work, “A Logo for America” (1987), provides, according to the museum, “a critical discourse on the symbol’s meaning, the complexity and contradictions of contemporary national identity, and artists as active citizens”.

The exhibition draws on two well-known works from The Broad’s collection: one of Jasper Johns’ celebrated “Flags,” painted in 1967, and “African-American Flag” by David Hammons, created in 1990. Also included are works by more than twenty artists, including Laura Aguilar, Nicole Eisenman, Jeffrey Gibson, Hammons, Jaar, Johns and Hank Willis Thomas.

“Our dual pandemics of racism and COVID-19 lay bare many myths embedded in modern American identity. This Is Not America’s Flag contemplates the state of national symbolism, shines light on U.S. history and present, and questions perceptions, asking vital questions about what we stand for as individuals and as a society”, said Joanne Heyler, Founding Director of The Broad.

At the same time as “This Is Not America’s Flag”, The Broad presents “Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow”, Murakami’s first monographic exhibition at the museum. #2022 #theartwolf

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