May 10 – October 1, 2023
Lonnie Holley: If You Really Knew is Birmingham, Alabama-born artist and musician Lonnie Holley’s first and most robust major exhibition in the South. The exhibition provides an intimate and focused look at the prolific career of Holley, spanning decades of his work. The exhibition showcases 70 works, including foundational "sandstone" sculptures, new works on paper, and quilt paintings that depict faces. Holley's influence on Southern art is highlighted throughout the exhibition, featuring works from a cohort of artists he championed, including Miami native Purvis Young, Thornton Dial, Mary T. Smith, and Hawkins Bowling. Lonnie Holley: If You Really Knew offers a thought-provoking and emotionally moving experience, inviting visitors to reflect on the artist's themes and motifs. This exhibition is curated by Adeze Wilford, MOCA Curator.
About Lonnie Holley
Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s work is in permanent museum collections throughout the country, on display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio. Lonnie Holley: If You Really Knew is made possible with support from Blum & Poe, and is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture. We are also grateful to The N'Namdi Family. Special thanks to guest curator Alison M. Gingeras, for her contributions conceiving this exhibition.