There is plenty to view at the Frist this season, with glorious exhibits featuring American Art Deco, Medieval Bologna, and South African artist Mary Sibande.
Mary Sibande's very arresting post-colonial critique titled Blue Purple Red is now showing at the Frist until January 2.
In hyperrealistic sculptures and photographs, Johannesburg-based Sibande deconstructs the roles of women in South Africa through the lenses of race, gender, and class.
Sibande’s central character, Sophie, is based on a version of herself. In early work, this avatar wears the blue and white of a South African maid’s uniform. Domestic service has historically been the only type of employment available to many Black South African women.
In her artwork, the palette then moves to purple, signifying the political awakening that came with the end of apartheid.
Red symbolizes the anger felt by many South Africans at the ongoing conditions of poverty and inequity in their country.
Sibande’s work has been exhibited in the South African pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2010); the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town (2010); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rio de Janeiro (2011); the Lyon Biennale (2013); The British Museum (2016); and The MET Breuer, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018).
She has received the Smithsonian National Museum of Art Award (2017) and other honors, including an Ampersand Foundation Fellowship and a Kidder Residency in the Arts at the University of Michigan.
Learn more about upcoming events and programs at Frist Art Museum.