Nina Chanel Abney's large-scale collage She Was a Real Trouper, created at the Pace Prints studios in 2020, is now on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The work, which is now in MoMA's permanent collection, originally anchored Abney's solo presentation with Pace Prints for the February 2020 ADAA Art Show, Who's Got Team Spirit? In a statement at the time, before the historic events of 2020 had come into focus, Abney presciently wrote,
Inequality is ever so present and racial tensions are boiling. A collapse is impending and we are all standing on shaky ground. American patriotism has become synonymous with White Nationalism. The fight against racial injustice has become "unpatriotic." Given the current state of America, what does it mean to celebrate the Fourth of July? To proudly display an American flag in your yard? To stand up for the National Anthem...or not?
Pondering all of these questions, this exhibition is an exploration of the symbols of American patriotism, and how their meanings and implications shift depending on the context in which they are placed and how their presence influences a narrative.
She Was a Real Trouper is now on view on the 4th Floor at MoMA, in gallery 415.