Jamal Cyrus. Lights from the Garden, 2019. Bentwood chairs, stainless steel rods, oak flooring. Image courtesy of the artist and Inman Gallery, Houston.
Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning
June 5–September 19, 2021
The Blaffer Art Museum, in partnership with Texas Southern University (TSU), is proudly organizing the first survey exhibition of artist Jamal Cyrus, which will span fifteen years of this artist’s prodigious career. As a singular maker, a former member of the pioneering collective Otabenga Jones & Associates, a current professor at TSU, the recipient of the 2019 David C. Driskell Prize, an occasional curator, and steadfast mentor, Cyrus and his influence reverberate throughout his native city of Houston. And while he has participated in a number of national contemporary art biennials, Cyrus’s work has not yet had the platform to be comprehensively studied and celebrated on its own terms. In the summer of 2021, the Blaffer will address this overdue need and partner with TSU to present Cyrus’s first museum survey and catalog, titled The End of My Beginning. Over the past 15 years his work has increased significantly in depth, and this survey provides an unparalleled opportunity to trace the trajectory of Cyrus’s practice across multiple eras of history. The End of My Beginning will include approximately 50 objects, images, and installations produced from 2005-2020 that demonstrate the breadth of Cyrus’s consistently cross-disciplinary practice from his MFA studies to the present. In doing so, this show culminates the emerging period of his practice, provides a mid-career reflection, and lays the foundation for the future. The broadly spanning exhibition will include paintings, drawings, and works on paper, papyrus, and grits as well as textile-based pieces, sculpture, assemblage, installations, and a program of performances and events.
A fully illustrated color catalog designed and published by Inventory Press will be available in September 2021, and it will feature essays by Ryan Dennis, Grace Deveney, Ciarán Finlayson, Jamillah James, Steven Matijcio, Ana Tuazon, and an interview conducted by Dr. Alvia Wardlaw.