Art Basel Miami Beach: Dread Scott, Early Works

Miami Beach Convention Center, November 29 - December 3, 2022 
Cristin Tierney Gallery's presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach revisits Dread Scott’s early years, showing a selection of historic work by the artist. The works span the last 15 years of the 20th century, during which time Scott developed the interests and techniques that he would continue to explore in subsequent years. Included are five different works or series: Hardcore (1986)photographs from punk concerts in Chicago; Bensonhurst, Violence is an Equal Opportunity (1990), a sculpture encasing a pistol and bullets with the words “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS”; Harmed and Dangerous (1993), portraits of people of color holding guns; Ghetto (1994), photographs of Black children playing outside; and Turn of the Century (1999), a print contrasting a graphic photo of a lynching with activist and convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

 

Shown together, the five works can be read as a study of violence: they examine who can exercise it without fear of repercussion, and the privilege inherent in that ability. The issues explored by Scott in his early years have not disappeared; they remain urgent and unsolved, with many artists (including Scott) continuing to tackle these themes in the present. This presentation of works from the ‘80s and ‘90s illuminates how Scott helped to lay the foundation for the contemporary art landscape we see today.