Suzanne Jackson has had a storied life. A dancer and poet, raised in pre-statehood Alaska, trained in theater design at Yale, she ran the storied Los Angeles space Gallery 32 in the late 1960s, where she showed work by David Hammons and held a fundraiser for the Black Panthers. On September 14, The Arts Club of Chicago will open a solo presentation of Jackson’s work, including pieces from the previous twenty-five years and a new installation. In recent years, the artist has pioneered a system of painting, made purely of free-floating acrylic paint with no canvas supporting it—resulting in haunting, ethereal abstractions.
Curated by SAIC professor Romi Crawford, this group exhibition at Gray Gallery showcases artists whose work examines “black space,” or zones of Black cultural experiences. Featuring work by Chicago artists including Dawoud Bey, McArthur Binion, Tony Lewis and Amanda Williams, Crawford leaves the notion of “black space” open-ended. The exhibition, which opens September 9, spans media, from painting and photography to video and performance, and even includes a contemporary recording by the Staples Jr. Singers, which was co-produced by the curator.