Every year, Emerge—a group of donors who support the museum's acquisition and education programs—selects and collectively funds the purchase of one major work by an artist not currently represented in the MCA's collection. This year, in collaboration with the MCA curatorial team, Emerge members proposed works by Sadie Benning (United States), Petrit Halilaj (Kosovo), Deana Lawson (United States), and Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria) for consideration. These works are on view throughout the museum.
The four artists selected this year engage in deeply personal practices to explore themes of labor, love, and loss. Benning's lustrous painting on wood poses an idiosyncratic challenge to the history of abstraction; Halilaj fuses a childhood memory with his homeland's artisanal traditions; Lawson's portrait of a man with an infant captures a fleeting moment of intimacy; and Nkanga's textile documents her process of writing and revising poetry.
Emerge members cast their final vote in late April to determine which of these artworks will be the next addition to our collection.