Grace Wales Bonner. Photo: Liz Johnson Artur.

The Museum of Modern Art is set to present an extraordinary exhibition called “Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers.” Curated by the London-based designer behind her eponymous fashion label, Wales Bonner, this 16th edition of MoMA’s acclaimed series promises an unparalleled display of approximately 50 works from the museum’s collection. The focus is on the rich tapestry of Black cultural and aesthetic practices, drawing inspiration from the vibrant styles, experiences, forms, and sounds of the African diaspora.

Terry Adkins. Last Trumpet. 1995. Brass and sousaphone and trombone bells, four parts, each 216 × 24 × 24″ (548.6 × 61 × 61 cm). Gift of David Booth; and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Murray Thompson (by exchange). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Terry Adkins. Courtesy of the Estate of Terry Adkins.

The exhibition boasts an eclectic lineup of artists spanning the globe and generations, including Terry Adkins, Moustapha Dimé, Agnes Martin, Man Ray, Betye Saar, and David Hammons, among others.

Wales Bonner’s meticulous research in MoMA’s Archives has led her to meticulously curate the artworks on display, revolving around themes of musicality, storytelling, and the fusion of cultural narratives. The exhibition will showcase dynamic entities deeply intertwined with performance, music, bodies, and communion, emphasizing the living essence of art.

Moustapha Dimé. Lady with a Long Neck. 1992. Wood, iron and paint, 6′ 8 1/2″ x 39″ x 12″ (204.5 x 99 x 30.5 cm). Gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar . Moustapha Dimé © 2023 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Henri Cartier-Bresson. Washington, D.C. 1957. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/4 × 10" (17.1 × 25.4 cm). Gift of John C. Waddell. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2023 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.

To complement the exhibition, MoMA will publish an artist’s book titled “Grace Wales Bonner: Dream in the Rhythm—Visions of Sound and Spirit in the MoMA Collection.” This unique volume, curated by Wales Bonner herself, weaves a fascinating tapestry of nearly 80 works from the Museum’s collection and Archives, uniting pictures, poems, music, performance, and more into a multisensory experience. Signal texts by renowned Black authors from the past century add depth and dimension to this soulful expression.

Mathias Goeritz. Message Number 7B, Ecclesiastes VII: 6. 1959. Nails, metal foils, oil, and iron on wood panel, 17 7/8 x 13 5/8 x 3 3/8″ (45.1 x 34.5 x 8.4 cm). Gift of Philip Johnson. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. D.R. © Mathias Goeritz 1959 License by L.M. Daniel Goeritz y Galeria La Caja Negra, Madrid.

Michelle Kuo, the exhibition curator, praises Wales Bonner’s ability to transform style from mere surface to profound structure. Her work delves into the depths of long histories, cultural identities, and diasporic connections, as evidenced not only in the exhibition but also in this remarkable book.

Mark your calendars for this exhibition, on view from November 18, 2023, to April 7, 2024, at MoMA’s street-level galleries.