Painter Jordan Casteel will be in conversation with curator Ashley James of the Guggenheim. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Asiya Wadud.
Jordan Casteel (b. 1989, Denver, CO) has rooted her practice in community engagement, painting from her own photographs of people she encounters. Posing her subjects within their natural environments, her nearly life-size portraits and cropped compositions chronicle personal observations of the human experience. Casteel received her BA from Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA for Studio Art (2011) and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT (2014). Casteel’s solo exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gioni, “Within Reach,” is currently on view at the New Museum, New York, presented in conjunction with a fully illustrated catalogue published by the New Museum. Recent solo exhibitions include “Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze,” presented at both the Denver Art Museum, CO (2019), and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, CA (2019–20). In recent years, she has participated in exhibitions at institutional venues such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA (2020); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2020); Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands (2020); Baltimore Museum of Art, MD (2019); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2018); MoCA Los Angeles, CA (2018); The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2017 and 2016); and MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2017). Casteel is an Assistant Professor of Painting in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at Rutgers University - Newark. The artist lives and works in New York.
Ashley James joined the curatorial department of the Guggenheim in 2019. Her work merges curatorial practice with an academic background rooted in African American studies, English literature, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Prior to joining the Guggenheim, James served as assistant curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she was the lead curator for the museum’s presentation of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (2018–19), organized Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room (2019), and is co-curating the forthcoming John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance (2020). James also served as a Mellon Curatorial Fellow in Drawing and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, where her work focused on the groundbreaking retrospectives of Adrian Piper (2018) and Charles White (2018–19), and has held positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and at the Yale University Art Gallery, where she co-organized the exhibition Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection (2015). She has contributed essays and research for books, magazines, and catalogues, including publications on Charles White, Palmer Hayden, and Howardena Pindell. James holds a BA from Columbia University and a PhD from Yale University.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and
we’re fortunate to have
Asiya Wadud teaches poetry at Saint Ann’s School and leads an English conversation group for new immigrants at the BPL. Asiya is a member of the Belladonna Collaborative, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Artist-in-Residence, and a writer-in-residence at Danspace Project.