Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present It’s Time, an exhibition of works by Kwesi Botchway, Genevieve Gaignard, Rodney McMillan, Wangechi Mutu, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya in conversation with works by legendary New York-based photographer Kwame Brathwaite. Anchored by Brathwaite’s influential images, the exhibition creates a cross-generational dialogue that posits an exploration of the photographer’s influence and the continuing investigation of portraiture and representation of the Black body by artists today.
The exhibition title, “It’s Time,” refers to the landmark 1962 album released by drummer Max Roach, featuring singer Abbey Lincoln. Composed of six songs in six meters, the album “It’s Time” is in some sense a metaphorical parallel to the construction of the exhibition itself, with each artist finding their own “meter.” “It’s Time” also refers to the Civil Rights Movement, in which friends and peers from the Black Arts Movement Brathwaite, Roach, and Lincoln were all actively involved. Just as artist and media theorist Brathwaite worked tirelessly in his six-plus decades of art and practice to promote “Black is Beautiful,” one of the most important American ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries, the artists included in the exhibition, in their respective practices, work to craft images that ask us to think about who we are today, what we want our society to be, and affirm that change now is possible.