Explore the exhibition

The artists’ unique visual vernacular exists in tender dialogue with, and in homage to, the contributions of the Gee’s Bend Alabama quilters – Black American women in collective cooperation and creative economic production – and their enduring legacy as a radical meeting place, a prompt, and as intergenerational inspiration. This exhibition acknowledges the work of Gee’s Bend quilters such as Sarah Benning (b. 1933), Missouri Pettway (1902-1981), Lizzie Major (1922-2011), Sally Bennett Jones (1944-1988), Mary Lee Bendolph (b.1935), and so many more, as central to expanded histories of abstraction and modernism.

The quilts were originally produced for functional purposes and family use. Over time cooperatives such as The Freedom Quilting Bee (established in 1966 in Rehoboth, Alabama and remaining in operation until 2012) and the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective (established in 2003) were impactful in shaping an alternative economic model that allowed for the quilters to raise funds for their community. The Freedom Quilting Bee also played a key role in political consciousness-raising, active participants in the drives for voting rights and advocates within the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Over time, a dynamic dialogue surrounding their work has expanded to international acclaim and enduring critical resonance.

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The Heart Has Its Own Intelligence: Legacies of the Gee’s Bend Quilters

By Cassie Packard

A roundtable discussion on the occasion of the exhibition ‘The New Bend’ featured in Ursula Magazine

Image: Girl at Gee’s Bend, 1937. Photo: Arthur Rothstein, courtesy Arthur Rothstein Legacy Project

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In Conversation: Legacy Russell and Salome Asega

In conjunction with the New York edition of ‘The New Bend’, Legacy Russell was joined in conversation by New Media artist and Director of New Inc, Salome Asega. Russell and Asega discuss how these works are in fact engaged with technology and act as dynamic objects for data capture while also being in direct dialogue with the tradition of the Gee’s Bend dating back to the early 20th Century.

About the curator

Legacy Russell is a curator and writer. Born and raised in New York City, she is the Executive Director & Chief Curator of The Kitchen. Formerly she was the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Russell’s academic, curatorial, and creative work focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new media ritual. Her written work, interviews, and essays have been published internationally. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow, and a recipient of the 2021 Creative Capital Award. Her first book is ‘Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto’ (2020). Her second book, ‘BLACK MEME,’ is forthcoming via Verso Books.

Courtesy Legacy Russell. Photo: Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Community Lab: Threads of Connection Workshops

29 Oct – 30 Dec 2022, 11 am – 1 pm & 1 – 3 pm Los Angeles

We invite participants of all ages to join us for a hands-on, six-week series of community-building workshops, Community Lab: Threads of Connection, inspired by the exhibition, ‘The New Bend’ curated by Legacy Russell.

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On View in Los Angeles

Curated by Legacy Russell, Executive Director & Chief Curator of The Kitchen, ‘The New Bend’ is on view until 30 Dec 2022.

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