Freak Flags at the Broad
|Installation view of "This Is Not America's Flag" with Hank Willis Thomas' 15,580, 2017, and self-portraits by Cindy Sherman and Genevieve Gaignard|
The Broad's ticketed Takashi Murakami show is paired with a group exhibition of works incorporating or subverting the U.S. flag. Murakami fanpersons may consider the flag show the B side, but it's an original and timely take on the nation's 246th anniversary. Witness Hank Willis Thomas' 15,580. Each star represents an American life lost to gun violence since 2017, when Thomas' cousin Songha was shot and killed in Philadelphia. It's a 2018 work, leaving the 2022 viewer to mentally multiply its puddled fabric by a factor of 5, then add 10 stars for Buffalo, 21 for Uvalde.
|Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967|
Organized by Sarah Loyer, "This is Not America's Flag" began as a post-George Floyd exhibition built around two works in the Broad collection: a 1967 Jasper Johns Flag and David Hammon's African-American Flag (1990), acquired in 2019. The show takes its title from Alfredo Jaar's 1987 digital animation in Times Square, A Logo for America. Three-quarters of the 26 objects on view are loans (unlike the Murakami show, which is mostly drawn from the Broad collection).For Johns the flag was a hand-painted pop abstraction whose politics was impossible to unsee. The 1954 original at MoMA, created at the height of McCarthy's red and lavender scares, and the Broad's Vietnam War version, each incorporate contemporary newspaper clippings.
|David Hammons, African-American Flag, 1990|
|Alfredo Jaar, A Logo for America (as installed in New York), 1987. (c) 2022 Alfredo Jaar / Artists Rights Society, New York|
|Vito Acconci, Instant House, 1980. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego|
|Nicole Eisenman, Flag Pole + Eagle in a Box, 2018|
|John Outterbridge, REVIEW/54—Outhouse, 2003. California African American Museum|
|Wendy Red Star, The Indian Congress, 2021. Joselyn Art Museum, Omaha|
|Hank Willis Thomas, America, 2021. The Broad|
|Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh, "Times: America Too," 2018. (c) Virgil Abloh and (c) Takashi Murakami|
|Diane Arbus (printed by Neil Selkirk), Boy with a Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, New York City, 1967 (negative) and 1972–75 (print)|