Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America

The Museum of Modern Art announces the fourth installment of the Issues in Contemporary Architecture series, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness and anti–Black racism in the American context.

On view from February 20 through May 31, 2021, the exhibition and accompanying publication will examine contemporary architecture in the context of how systemic racism has fostered violent histories of discrimination and injustice in the United States.

Such conditions have structured and continue to inform the built environment of American cities through public policies, municipal planning, and architecture, with specific repercussions for African American and African diaspora communities.

Amanda Williams. Studies to Elsewhere: Devised Breathing. 2020. Digital collage, dimensions variable.
Image courtesy of the artist. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Projects will explore how people have mobilized Black cultural spaces, forms, and practices as sites of imagination, liberation, resistance, and refusal. Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America is organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, and Mabel O. Wilson, Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor, Columbia University, with Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.

Issues in Contemporary Architecture is an ongoing series of architecture and design
exhibitions at MoMA that focus on timely topics in contemporary architecture, with an
emphasis on the urban dimension, in order to increase public dialogue around major issues
in the field. Reconstructions will feature 10 newly commissioned works by the selected
architects, designers, and artists: Emanuel Admassu, Germane Barnes, Sekou Cooke,
J. Yolande Daniels, Felecia Davis, Mario Gooden, Walter Hood, Olalekan Jeyifous, V. Mitch
McEwen, and Amanda Williams. Individual projects will respond to narratives and conditions
found in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland,
Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Syracuse. An advisory committee composed of scholars, writers,
historians, policy makers, thinkers, and architects supported the curatorial team in
establishing the conceptual framework and the selection process for the participants and

Huff + Gooden Architects. Nonviolent direct action sit-ins, marches, and protests in Nashville, Tennessee. 2020. Still from computer generated animation.
Image courtesy of the artist. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The publication, or “field guide,” will include scholarly essays by the curators, members of
the advisory committee, and invited scholars, as well as new photographs by artist David
Hartt that were commissioned for the exhibition. Designed by Brooklyn-based Morcos Key,
the publication will also feature texts and visual materials—photographs, reproduced
drawings, digital renderings, images of models—by each of the 10 exhibition participants