January 19, 2019

Sadie Barnette @ Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

Sadie Barnette: PHONE HOME
Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco
January 16 - April 14, 2019

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco is the site of a new installation entitled PHONE HOME by internationally-renowned artist Sadie Barnette. Glittering in gold and platinum, the work of Sadie Barnette illuminates relics of a past deeply rooted n West Coast aesthetics and politics. A former Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Sadie Barnette presents this installation as an example of a continuous exchange between two centers of Black artistic production.

The title, “PHONE HOME,” evokes a spectrum of communications, from outer space to the familial, across galaxies or borders. The site-specific installations on the first-floor columns offer an interactive listening station and library. Part self-portrait and part manifesto, the sparkling library tethers disparate genres and knowledge systems into a constellation of cultural transmissions and collective memory. The domestic becomes monumental in Sadie Barnette’s gestures of adornment.

Antiquated technology, “candy-coated” in holographic car paint, acts as both shield and beacon, as the inflection of prismatic light envelops vestiges of her childhood in the Bay Area. With bejeweled offerings of Black power politics and celestial revelry, PHONE HOME provides a refuge for those seeking moments of comfort in the reflection of their own light.

This exhibition is curated by Emily Kuhlmann, Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs and Soleil Summer, Exhibitions Associate.

Whether in the form of drawing, photography or large-scale installation, Sadie Barnette’s work relishes in the abstraction of city space and the transcendence of the mundane to the imaginative. Born and raised in Oakland, California, she earned her BFA from CalArts and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally and is in the permanent collections of museums such as LACMA, Berkeley Art Museum, the California African American Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem (where she was also Artist-in-Residence), Brooklyn Museum and the Guggenheim. She is the recipient of Art Matters and Artadia awards and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and Vogue. She lives in Oakland, CA and is represented by Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. 

685 Mission Street (at Third), San Francisco, CA