Art In America review of "The Dirty South"

A COSMOS OF SOUTHERN BLACK EXPRESSION: “THE DIRTY SOUTH” AT THE VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS by TK Smith





“The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse” surveys the past hundred years of artistic expression by Black artists who have lived or worked in the American South. The exhibition claims that the culture and aesthetics of Southern hip-hop constitutes an American art form. It firmly situates the musical genre within the lineages of interdisciplinary Black cultural production, including and referencing forms not often recognized by museums, such as Black fashion, architecture, and contemporary music genres. The more than 140 works in the exhibition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond through September 6, are united by what curator Valerie Cassel Oliver calls the “sonic impulses” of Black expression, which this intergenerational group of artists expresses as the compulsion to be not just seen but also heard and felt. (read more)

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