30 Americans explores issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity

Albuquerque Museum is pleased to bring the critically acclaimed exhibition 30 Americans to New Mexico, opening to the public on October 3, 2020.

September 4, 2020, ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Albuquerque Museum is pleased to bring the critically acclaimed exhibition 30 Americans to New Mexico.

30 Americans showcases many of the most important contemporary artists from across the United States. Created from the 1970s to present, the artworks, including paintings, installations, sculptures, and videos, are aesthetically and thematically diverse. This provocative exhibition explores how artists shed light on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity.

The exhibition opens October 3, 2020 and runs through January 3, 2021. This exhibition was organized by the Rubell Museum, Miami.

Artists from the exhibition in front of Glenn Ligon's America, 2008, courtesy Rubell Museum, Miami
"The exhibition at Albuquerque Museum is organized into six sections and features seven installations that grapple with race relations, economic and social inequality, and the legacy of slavery and segregation," says Curator of Art Dr. Josie Lopez. "The artists in 30 Americans also address what it means to be a Black artist in the United States. In doing so, they challenge and shape art history as they make significant contributions to contemporary American art, and many are considered among the most accomplished artists of this period."

30 Americans presents compelling art from three generations of African-American artists collected by the Rubell Museum in Miami, Florida. While the Rubell collection does not encompass a comprehensive representation of African American art in the United States, it does provide a sampling of important paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and installations that reveal some of the complexities of African-American culture as well as a tension inherent in artistic expression: a tension between the freedom to articulate individual experiences and the powerful social, cultural, and economic forces that shape that freedom. Being American is only one aspect of these artists’ identities, and their understanding of what it means to be American is as varied as the artworks on view.

The artists in 30 Americans ask viewers to reconsider their own identity and to contemplate our place in this country. We invite you to consider the artworks in this exhibition not only as part of a national conversation, but also as an opportunity to reflect on the issues that shape our community.

Artists in the exhibition
Nina Chanel Abney
John Bankston
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Mark Bradford
Nick Cave
Robert Colescott
Noah Davis
Leonardo Drew
Renée Green
David Hammons
Barkley L. Hendricks
Rashid Johnson
Glenn Ligon
Kalup Linzy
Kerry James Marshall
Rodney McMillian
Wangechi Mutu
William Pope.L
Gary Simmons
Xaviera Simmons
Lorna Simpson
Shinique Smith
Henry Taylor
Hank Willis Thomas
Mickalene Thomas
Kara Walker
Carrie Mae Weems
Kehinde Wiley
Purvis Young

A comprehensive 224 page hardcover exhibition catalog with essays by Robert Hobbs, Glenn Ligon, Franklin Sirmans, and Michele Wallace accompanies the exhibition and is available for purchase through the Museum Store.

Related educational public events will be offered throughout the run of the exhibition. Details will be posted on our website.


30 Americans
Albuquerque Museum
October 3, 2020–January 3, 2021

Admission to this exhibition is included with paid general admission. All visitors—including members and children—must purchase general admission tickets online and in advance of arriving at the Museum.

The Museum is enforcing COVID-safe practices. Masks must be worn at all times while in the Museum.

About the Rubell Museum, Miami
The Rubell Museum represents a new kind of institution serving as an advocate for a diverse mix of contemporary artists and resource for both the public and art world to engage in a dialogue with them. Art is Don and Mera Rubells’ passion and since their first acquisition in 1965 they’ve built one of the most significant and far-ranging collections of contemporary art in the world, now encompassing 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists—and still growing. More information about the Rubell Museum can be found at