09 SEP - 22 JAN 2023

Serious Moonlight

09.09.22 – 21.01.23

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Installation view: Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Oct 28, 2021 – Apr 17, 2022. Photo: Zachary Balber. Gliding into Midnight, 2019, Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA Courtesy de l’artiste et Roberts Projects, Los Angeles

Serious Moonlight

‘Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight’ brings together a selection of immersive installations by the American artist Betye Saar (b. 1926, Los Angeles). Rarely exhibited until now, they reveal how the artist seizes the evocative power of found objects. Highlighting Black identity and intersectional feminism within the broader context of west coast history and experience in the United States, these installations offer visitors radical new worlds inspired by ritual and myth.

Rich with narrative, Saar’s installations are informed by the artist’s travels to Haiti, Mexico, and Nigeria during the 1970s. This exhibition highlights works that meditate on spirituality, referring to elements of voodoo culture, astrology, or palmistry. The installations in ‘Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight’ evoke links between magic and technology, allude to the process of mourning, or the passage between life and death. While Saar’s intimately scaled assemblages of the 1960s and 1970s are icons of Black feminist art, audiences have rarely had the opportunity to encounter the artist’s monumental installations — many of which have only been recently rediscovered and are exhibited here for the first time in decades. The history of the African diaspora has inspired Saar to create a highly influential œuvre of dense and vibrant forms throughout a career that has spanned decades.

With Serious Moonlight, 49 Nord 6 Est continues its exploration of diasporic visual languages in order to question hegemonic Western canons and the narratives that underpin them.


The exhibition is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) in collaboration with 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine, Metz and the Kunstmuseum Luzern. Curator: Stephanie Seidel, Curator, ICA Miami.
A monographic catalogue is published by ICA Miami and DelMonico Books • D.A.P., with contributions by Sampada Aranke, Edwidge Danticat, Leah Ollman, and Stephanie Seidel.
The exhibition at 49 Nord 6 Est is supported by Étant donnés — a programme of the Villa Albertine, FACE Foundation and the Ford Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy of the United States, the French Ministry of Culture, the French Institute, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel and the ADAGP.


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Le Frac est fermé pendant le montage des prochaines expositions Rendez-vous le jeudi 16 février à 19h pour le vernissage !