‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light’ To Screen At The Parrish Art Museum April 9

Artist Amy Sherald. Film still courtesy of HBO.

On Friday, April 9, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will present two screenings of HBO’s newly released documentary “Black Art: In the Absence of Light,” an illuminating introduction to the work of some of the foremost Black visual artists working today.

Directed by Sam Pollard, the film is inspired by the late David Driskell’s landmark 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art.” which first opened at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Co-presented with Hamptons Doc Fest, the screenings will be followed by a prerecorded conversation between Pollard and the Parrish senior curator Corinne Erni. To maintain socially distanced seating in the Lichtenstein Theater, the museum will present two limited capacity screenings, at 6 and 8 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is required at parrishart.org. Tickets are $20, or $10 for Parrish members and free for students.

“It is an honor that the Parrish will be the first venue to host in-person screenings of Sam Pollard’s imperative film, which speaks of the relentless work and struggle of Black artists to be recognized in both the historical and present day art canon, and the key players who support them — from the Studio Museum in Harlem to Michelle and Barack Obama’s portrait commissions by Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley, to Theaster Gates’s investment in his own community through the Rebuild Foundation — and so many more,” Erni said.

“Black Art: In the Absence of Light” focuses on the extraordinary impact of Driskell’s exhibition featuring generations of Black artists who have staked a claim on their rightful place within the 21st century art world. The documentary explores contributions of Black American artists to the contemporary art world by interweaving insights and context from scholars and historians. In addition, it presents interviews from a new generation of working African American curators and artists including Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Amy Sherald, Carrie Mae Weems and Theaster Gates, whose work “Monument in Waiting” is currently on view in the museum’s outdoor sculpture installation, “Field of Dreams.”