Collection 1980s–Present


The Sum of All Parts

Nov 14, 2020–May 20, 2024


Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), with Angel Abreu, Jose Burges, Robert Delgado, George Garces, Richard Lulo, Nelson Montes, José Parissi, Carlos Rivera, Annette Rosado, Nelson Ricardo Savinon. Amerika VIII. 1986–87. Watercolor, charcoal, and pencil on book pages on linen, 69 1/8" × 14' (175.6 × 426.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Jerry I. Speyer Fund and Robert and Meryl Meltzer Fund. ©️ 2023 Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 206 The David Geffen Wing

“We felt marginalized and outside of a system that didn’t acknowledge our existence,” artist Theo Eshetu recently reflected. “It became our ‘project’ to find ways of expressing ourselves in an attempt to integrate with a system that didn’t include us.” The relationship—and often misfit—between the individual and social and political structures was a central concern for artists around the world during the 1980s. Their work often touched on major public debates on pressing social issues, including the aids crisis, reproductive rights, and racism.

The artists in this gallery invoke the human body—both as a physical entity and as a complex symbolic terrain—to address matters of self-enlightenment, trauma, anti-racism, and social justice. Working across a range of mediums, they deploy personal reflection as a means of underscoring how the experiences of the individual and that of their broader community are inevitably bound together, hinting at the potential for collective action.

Organized by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Steven and Lisa Tananbaum
Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance, Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, and Dana Ostrander, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography.

23 works online


Installation images

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