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This fall, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) presents the first institutional solo exhibition dedicated to David Antonio Cruz, spotlighting how chosen families and queer worldbuilding have been expressed throughout the Philadelphia-born artist’s multimedia practice. Comprising more than 20 paintings and drawings, including three new works, as well as a site-specific project space replete with artist-designed wallpaper, furnishings, and other decorative elements, David Antonio Cruz: When the Children Come Home marks a key milestone for the artist and the first exhibition in his hometown. Curated by Monique Long, the exhibition will be on view from August 18 through December 17, 2023, with an artist reception and public celebration on September 8 and an experimental and interactive, bilingual performance by Cruz later this fall.
Born and raised in North Philadelphia and based in New York City, Cruz has developed a highly personal practice spanning painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. When the Children Come Home concurrently reflects how the city has shaped Cruz’s artistic perspective and explores various modalities of belonging and homecomings. The concept builds upon a decade-long conversation on issues of art and belonging between Cruz and Long, who grew up blocks from one another but only met in New York.
“David Antonio’s practice encourages audiences to question existing structures and celebrate a more inclusive future—concepts which align with ICA’s own commitment to being an incubator for experimentation, a hub for cultural change, and an affirming space for everyone,” said Zoë Ryan, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director. “ICA is proud to collaborate with Monique Long on this major solo exhibition dedicated to shining a spotlight on an artist whose work not only reflects his deep roots within Philly, the city in which he was born, but also encourages us to explore and question universal concepts of home and family.”
To read the full press release, click the link above.