Garrett Bradley’s quicksilver, imperious video installation “America,” at the Museum of Modern Art is an indictment wrapped in a celebration. Completed in 2019, it reimagines some of the signal events of Black life and culture in the United States during the early decades of the 20th century — reclaiming lost or overlooked pieces of history in a display of inexhaustible narrative and spatial complexity.
This is Bradley’s first solo exhibition in a New York museum, her first foray off the single screen into three-dimensional space and the second in a series of collaborative exhibitions mounted by MoMA and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Basically, the larger, older institution provides the space; the smaller, younger one, the expertise. It was organized by Thelma Golden, the Studio Museum’s director and chief curator, and Legacy Russell, its associate curator.
Like other Black artists of her generation — among them the painter Amy Sherald