Lonnie Holley exhibition at MOCA North Miami

The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) presents “Lonnie Holley: If You Really Knew,” the first major Lonnie Holley exhibition in the South. The show will be on view May 10 through October 1, 2023.

“Lonnie Holley: If You Really Knew” provides an intimate and focused look at the career of Birmingham, Alabama-born artist and musician Lonnie Holley. The Lonnie Holley exhibition, curated by MOCA curator Adeze Wilford, will feature 70 works including foundational “sandstone” sculptures, new works on paper and large-scale quilt paintings that depict faces. 

Known for his unique style of art that draws inspiration from his life experiences, Holley often incorporates found objects and everyday materials, which he transforms into thought-provoking art. Holley’s influence on Southern art is highlighted throughout “If You Only Knew,” including a section he curated featuring works from artists such as Miami native Purvis Young, Thornton Dial, Mary T. Smith and Hawkins Bowling. 

“Holley’s work is not just aesthetically compelling, but it also challenges viewers to rethink their relationships to objects, discarded items and the environment,” Adeze Wilford, MOCA Curator, said. “The exhibition offers an emotionally moving experience and is a testament to the power of art to inspire social change.” 

About Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound.

Holley’s work is in permanent museum collections throughout the country, on display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden.

In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio.

About the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA)

MOCA North Miami presents contemporary art and its historical influences through exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. Inspired by its surrounding communities, MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices and nurturing a lifelong love of the arts.

MOCA developed from the Center of Contemporary Art which was inaugurated in 1981. The establishment of the permanent collection coincided with the institution’s move into their current building designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY in 1996.

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