Kalup Linzy: On the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

16 June - 15 July 2021
Installation Views
Press release

This project coincides with the artist's inclusion on Platform (a new online destination for collecting contemporary art, backed by David Zwirner) and his curation of Nine Artists Respond To The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre for Bomb Magazine.


"On the graves of the genocide and on the backs of the enslaved—Tulsa, Oklahoma never lets me forget how this country was built.


Before I relocated to Tulsa in 2019 to participate in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, I was aware of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that decimated a thriving Black neighborhood but completely unaware of how it would haunt me. After landing in the city and getting oriented, I found myself unable to sleep for the first week. I understand this is an experience most people have when they relocate to a new place permanently. However, my intention at the time was to engage with the city for two or three years and then move on. Considering I have partaken in over a dozen artist residencies, I understood my restlessness was not anchored in the life or place I had left behind but by the fact that I was now residing on ground zero: My apartment was and still is located on Detroit Avenue and Archer Street, where the Greenwood District and Tulsa Arts District meet, and my thoughts were with those ancestors who had lost their lives or their livelihood there." — Kalup Linzy, Bomb Magazine


Kalup Linzy draws on his background as a gay, Black artist from the rural American South to create work which grapples with race, class, sexuality and family dynamics. His art encompasses painting, video and collage, and often satirizes popular cultural norms as well as the social politics of the art world. He employs a do-it-yourself aesthetic that gives each piece a gritty realism, earnestly expressing Linzy’s longing, aspiration and disappointment. 


Linzy is a painter, writer, director, actor, editor, singer-songwriter, and performance artist. He received a MFA and a BFA from the University of South Florida and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. 


Recent solo exhibitions of Linzy’s work include: the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and LAX ART in Los Angeles, California; among others. Recent group shows of Linzy’s work include: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, New York; and the traveling exhibition 30 Americans. Linzy has held multiple performances and screenings at cultural centers across the US, including: the Carpenter Center at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; The Kitchen in New York; The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California; among others. 


Linzy’s work is included in the permanent collections of: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, Florida; among others. Kalup Linzy has been honored with numerous awards and grants, including: The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; the Creative Capital Foundation grant; the Art Matters grant; The Jerome Foundation grant; the Harpo Foundation grant; and the Headlands Alumni Award residency. Linzy’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including: The New York TimesThe New YorkerArtnetArtnewspaperThe GuardianFriezeArt in America; and Artforum; among others.