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The MassArt Art Museum Announces Winter 2023 Exhibition Schedule Featuring the work of May Stevens and Jace Clayton

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Boston, MA – Wednesday, November 30, 2022 – The MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) is proud to present two solo exhibitions this winter, featuring the work of feminist artist May Stevens and interdisciplinary artist, writer, and DJ Jace Clayton.

May Stevens: My Mothers

January 26 – May 21, 2023

May Stevens. Forming the Fifth International, 1985. Acrylic on canvas. © May Stevens; Courtesy of the estate of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

May Stevens: My Mothers, on view January 26 – May 21, 2023 in the Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery, pairs paintings of May Stevens’ birth mother Alice Dick Stevens with her “spiritual mother” Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. These paintings are tender explorations of both public and personal struggles; celebrations of revolution and public life; and demonstrations of the mundane. Born in Dorchester, MA in 1924, the late May Stevens (MassArt alumna, BFA Painting ‘46) believed that politics and artmaking were intertwined. Stevens was a self-proclaimed feminist, and a founding member of both the Guerrilla Girls and the journal Heresies, who understood class and gender as a fundamental unspoken element in art history and liberation movements. Through figurative paintings, collaged works, and political pop canvases and works on paper, Stevens criticized American patriarchy, championed the Civil Rights movement, and imbued Marxist ideals into everyday life. May Stevens: My Mothers is the first exhibition of Stevens’ work in Boston since her passing in 2019 and since her retrospective at the MFA Boston in 1999. 


Jace Clayton: They Are Part

February 23 – May 14, 2023

Jace Clayton. 40 Part Part, 2022. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art and the New York Philharmonic. Photo: Field Studio Photography

Jace Clayton creates multisensory experiences that explore the unexpected and conversational nature of music from around the world. Interested in how sounds have and define social meaning, Clayton pens musical compositions, creates new audio instruments, and constructs participatory installations. Jace Clayton: They Are Part, on view February 23 – May 14, 2023 in the Stephen D. Paine Gallery, brings together three of Clayton’s works that interweave memories, sound, and public spaces, to create what he describes as “those waves of magic that happen when the human spirit joins with technology.”

MAAM is proud to present the East Coast premiere of the interactive installation 40 Part Part. Fresh from FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, the installation takes the form of 40 speakers arranged in a large circle pointing inward, transforming sound supplied by visitors via their electronic devices into a variegated and immersive sonic experience. Clayton will also debut a new musical composition performed live by various community choirs throughout the run of the exhibition.

Rounding out They Are Part is Sufi Plug Ins, Clayton’s own suite of poetic-yet-functional software instruments that invite visitors to make their own music. Informed by his roots as a DJ and his long-term collaborations with Moroccan musicians, the artist realized that most electronic music software defaults to Western standards making key features of non-Western music impossible to create digitally. Sufi Plug Ins is hardwired to North African quarter-tone scales enabling globally inclusive music making.


About the MassArt Art Museum

The MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) is Boston’s only free contemporary art museum. After extensive renovations, MAAM opened in February 2020 in the space formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the heart of MassArt’s campus on the Avenue of the Arts. MAAM is a kunsthalle, or non-collecting museum, showing temporary exhibitions that feature the work of emerging to established artists to bring fresh and varied perspectives to Boston. As MassArt’s teaching museum, MAAM is a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. As an extension of the College’s public mission, the Museum offers pathways to education in the arts and free educational programming for the public.

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