Chain Reaction

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s upcoming exhibit looks to elicit a response.

Elaine de Kooning (Juarez), 1959

By Nila Do Simon

So big that it is opening in two phases (September 9 and November 18), “Remember to React: 60 Years of Collecting” is one of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s largest exhibitions to date. Occupying over 28,000 square feet of galleries, the show takes its title from a recent acquisition of a embossed plaque by artist Jenny Holzer with that phrase, which is both a commentary on contemporary life and a call for participation. “Reacting to situations is instinctual—do we need to be reminded?” says Bonnie Clearwater, the museum’s director and chief curator. “At a time when we are encouraged to register our ‘likes’ on social media, have we become a society that reacts without thinking through various implications?” The exhibition connects a variety of global art traditions and historical and contemporary periods in a narrative. Works on display will include everything from traditional African art to pieces by Mexican artists, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, to abstract and pop art by Elaine de Kooning and Andy Warhol. A major installation by Johannesburg-based artist Serge Alain Nitegeka will also be unveiled during the exhibition.

Glenn Ligon’s “Untitled (I live on my shadow),” 2009 // Photography courtesy of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 Issue.