Credit: “Self-portrait with Elinor (screen)” by Jess T. Dugan, inkjet print, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition Features Artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ruth Leonela Buentello, Jess T. Dugan, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jessica Todd Harper, Thomas Holton, Sedrick Huckaby and Anna Tsouhlarakis. On View Oct. 28–Jan. 7, 2024

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces “Kinship,” an exhibition featuring the work of eight contemporary artists who explore the complexities of interpersonal relationships—both within and outside of family units. Encompassing painting, photography, sculpture, video and performance, the presentation will highlight recent work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ruth Leonela Buentello, Jess T. Dugan, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jessica Todd Harper, Thomas Holton, Sedrick Huckaby and Anna Tsouhlarakis. The exhibition of more than 40 works will visualize the complex and deeply moving ways in which interpersonal relationships endure and change, and how kinship, by its very nature, embraces contradictions. “Kinship” is curated by Portrait Gallery curators Dorothy Moss and Leslie Ureña with Robyn Asleson, Taína Caragol and Charlotte Ickes, who all contributed to the accompanying catalog (co-published with Hirmer Publishers). The exhibition will be on view on the museum’s first floor Oct. 28 through Jan. 7, 2024, and a press preview with the curators will be held Thursday, Oct. 27, 10–11:30 a.m. RSVP to obusekge@si.edu.  

“Each of the artists explore intergenerational dynamics and the crucial role of storytelling and memories in fostering connections beyond physical and symbolic thresholds,” said Leslie Ureña, curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery. “‘Kinship’ prompts visitors to consider their own relationships in a way that is pertinent now more than ever.” 

Through the lens of the familial, the exhibition explores inequities afflicting Black communities, questions normative views of family life, looks at the Flint water crisis and spotlights violence against Indigenous people. As part of the exhibition, “Kinship” will also include new work by artist Anna Tsouhlarakis, which will be on view for the duration of the exhibition, and two newly commissioned live performances of the same name titled “Portrait of an Indigenous Womxn [Removed].” The performances will take place May 5, 2023, and Nov. 5, 2023, in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard, and admission will be free.

“Kinship” is the latest in the museum’s “Portraiture Now” series, which was established in 2006 to highlight contemporary artists whose work focuses on portraiture or figurative art. “Kinship” is supported by John and Louise Bryson, The Haynes and Boone Foundation, Purvi and Bill Albers, Susan and David McCombs, Helen Hilton Raiser, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, Lisa Goodman and Josef Vascovitz, Christie G. Harris, Daniel and Kimberly Johnson, and Wendy Wick Reaves and John Daniel Reaves. Additional support has been provided by the American Portrait Gala Endowment.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the nation’s story.         

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu and on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube