Singer Collection artwork at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

“In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection” opens October 1, 2022, at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Borrowing from the collection of Iris and Adam C. Singer, “In Our Time” takes a focused look at 40 works by 27 contemporary artists from the African diaspora. Through painting as a primary medium, the exhibition deconstructs the use of narrative, figuration, and abstraction.

Singer Collection artwork in the show include those by Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Annan Affotey, Patrick Alston, Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Amoako Boafo, Mark Bradford, Dominic Chambers, Jadé Fadojutimi, Derek Fordjour, Alex Gardner, Rashid Johnson, Rachel Jones, Danielle McKinney, Wangechi Mutu, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Chris Ofili, Naudline Pierre, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Betye Saar, Tschabalala Self, Vaughn Spann, Genesis Tramaine, Zandile Tshabalala, Kehinde Wiley and Michaela Yearwood-Dan.

Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator of SMoCA, noted the importance of the Singers’ collection to this exhibition. The Singers have thoughtfully and intentionally supported both accomplished and emerging artists while building the collection.

“In Our Time” includes a selection of paintings and works on paper collected over 16 years. It is anchored by the work of leading global contemporary artists living and working in cities such as London, Beijing, New York, New Haven, Los Angeles, Accra and Nairobi. With an immediacy that speaks to the moment, the artists explore key themes, concerns and ideas, both personal and ubiquitous, in a range of styles and approaches.

The Singer Collection artwork exhibition incorporates some of the more compelling conceptual concerns and unique stylistic approaches of the past three decades. An overarching discourse around painting is seen throughout, most notably in the shift from figurative portraits to abstraction that includes assemblage, collage and surrealist approaches.

SMoCA invited Allison Glenn, currently senior curator at Public Art Fund in New York City, to organize the exhibition with the Singers.

“In Our Time” is divided into four sections. It begins with portraiture, looking at how the presence of the body is an affirmation itself. In the mythologies section, artists rely on painterly approaches to convey ideas and narratives rooted in parafiction. Historic tensions between figuration and abstraction are explored and expanded in the third section. And the final section gathers abstract compositions to subvert and question realities.

“Artists reflect the most pressing issues of the day, highlighting how we are connected through the social and cultural issues in our time,” Glenn said. “The works in the Singer Collection exemplify the interconnectedness of this moment, reflecting 25 years of rigorous and critical practices.”

“In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection” will run through February 12, 2023.

SMoCA is located at 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85251.

It is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Admission is $10–$12 for non-members; $7–$9 for students, seniors (65+) and veterans; and free for Scottsdale Arts ONE Members, healthcare workers, first responders, and patrons 18 and younger. Admission to the museum is free every Thursday and every second Saturday of the month. Timed-entry tickets are required. Save time and money by booking online at


Founded in 1999, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) explores the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. Global in its focus, the Museum is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has four galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s collection, along with SMoCA Lounge, a living, functional art installation and space for community engagement.

The Museum presents a wide variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, readings, performances, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s “Knight Rise,” one of the renowned artist’s public skyspaces, and “Scrim Wall,” a monumental curtain of translucent glass panels by James Carpenter Design Associates.

The Museum’s retail store, Shop@SMoCA, offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books, and imaginative gifts for all occasions.

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