A More Inclusive View of MoMA’s Sculpture Garden


In this new series, The Artists, an installment of which will publish every day this week and regularly thereafter, T will highlight a recent or little-shown work by a Black artist, along with a few words from that artist, putting the work into context. Today, we’re looking at a piece by Carrie Mae Weems, known for her powerful images of African-American identity, whose new project, “Resist Covid Take 6!,” of which this work is a part, uses the mediums of advertising and photography to raise public awareness of Covid-19 among people of color.

Name: Carrie Mae Weems

Age: 67

Based in: Syracuse, N.Y.

Originally from: Portland, Ore.

When and where did you make this work? 2014, Museum of Modern Art garden, New York City.

Can you describe what’s going on in it? People holding hands.

What inspired you to make it? I was one of 10 artists commissioned by MoMA to photograph Philip Johnson’s famed sculpture garden. After a bit of research, I decided to reconstruct a series of similar events that included a diverse group of people, something lacking in past events held there.

What is the work of art in any medium that changed your life? Two books: Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937) and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” (1952).

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