Ruby City is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Inner Necessity to Outer Time (Run Mary Run), 2021, a monumental textile by Jamal Cyrus. Based in Houston, Cyrus has developed an expansive research-based practice that examines the black diaspora. His multilayered works frequently weave together references to black identity, political movements, music, and history unearthing little known or hidden histories. His resultant works include assemblage, installation, performance, prints, sculpture, textiles and works on paper.
Inner Necessity to Outer Time (Run Mary Run), 2021, as the artist states, is “a type of diagram of the dances and music making that would have taken place in La Place Publique, aka Congo Square. It is based on the counterclockwise movement of the dancers, and the increasing pace of the music, particularly that whose motive is to invoke trance states. The diagram is superimposed onto the background of the cosmos. Interesting to note is that the Northern hemisphere stars travel clockwise around the pole star Polaris, which served as the navigational tool of the enslaved seeking to escape the plantation.”
This new work by the artist is currently on view through January 23, 2022 in Prospect 5: Yesterday We Said Tomorrow in New Orleans. It joins many others in the collection like the work of Terry Adkins which addresses similar themes as well as the work of artists such as Maya Lin, Milagros de la Torre and Teresita Fernandez. Their quietly subversive works use celestial connections to represent environmental or socio-political concerns.
You can experience the first survey exhibition of artist Jamal Cyrus, which recently closed and spanned fifteen years of this artist’s prodigious career, at The Blaffer Art Museum website.
About the artist
Jamal Cyrus (b. 1973, Houston, TX) received an MFA from University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from the University of Houston. Cyrus has won several awards, most recently the David C. Driskell Prize, awarded by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (2020); Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019); and BMW Art Journey. He has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, including Yesterday We Said Tomorrow curated by Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi, Prospect, New Orleans, LA; The End of My Beginning, Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX (2021); Manna and Braised Collards, PATRON Gallery, Chicago, IL; Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2020); Direct Message: Art, Language and Power, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2019); Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (2018); Jamal Cyrus x Jamire Williams: Boogaloo & The Midnite Hours, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (2018); The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 – Now, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL (2016). Cyrus was also a member of the artist collective Otabenga Jones and Associates. As a member of the collective, he exhibited at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC; the Menil Collection, Houston; and the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His work is included in the public collections of The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL; The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX; and The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA.