Jean-Michel Basquiat, American, 1960 - 1988. Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1982-83. Oil on wood, 20 x 20 in. Courtesy of Rubell Museum 

Being Human: Contemporary Art from the Rubell Museum

May 14, 2022 - August 28, 2022

Temporary Exhibition Gallery Hodge Gallery

This exhibition explores the diverse world of contemporary art through the lens of the Rubell Museum’s collection. Art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries generally defy categorization and the “-isms” common in previous stylistic movements. However, the works selected from the Rubell Collection for this exhibition share the common theme of depicting the complexity of experiences that make us human.  Through painting, sculpture, and photography, these artworks ignite emotional responses to various issues, including gender, race, sexuality, embodiment, identity, love, life, and death. By contemplating the past, present, and future, artists interpret their own and others’ existence through a thought-provoking visual vocabulary that transcends the limits of language.

Not meant to be an exhaustive or universal picture of contemporary art, Being Human highlights some of the best works and artists from the Rubell Museum, located in Miami, Florida, some of which will be seen at the FIA for the first time. Nor is this exhibition meant to fully capture what it means to be human, but rather to show some of the ways artists have dealt with complex realities, pointing out willful or inadvertent blindness to what’s all around us. In an era of doubt, confusion, and disconnect, this exhibition presents unique perspectives, not necessarily providing answers, but offering the way art provokes contemplation, understanding, compassion, and introspection.

The Rubell Family Collection was established in 1964 in New York City, shortly after its founders Donald and Mera Rubell were married. It is now one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections. In addition to displaying internationally established artists, they also actively acquire, exhibit, and champion emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art.

Organized by the Flint Institute of Arts and the Rubell Museum

Sponsored by

   Friends of Modern Art

From the Exhibition

  • Amoako Boafo, Ghanian, born 1984. Red Rose, 2019. Oil on canvas 81 1/2 x 61 1/2 in. Courtesy of Rubell Museum

  • Genesis Tramaine, American, born 1983. Mother. Saint. Rebekah, 2020. Painting 72 x 72 in. Courtesy of Rubell Museum