Reflecting on some of the most pressing topics facing American democracy, States of Mind: Art and American Democracy is timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election in order to encourage dialogue around current social and political issues. Many of the works on view examine the status of our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality, while others engage with questions of voting access, gun control, and immigration policies — three issues that are common throughout the United States and of particular concern to Texas. States of Mind does not attempt to cover the myriad complexities of a democratic government but rather to invite viewers to consider timely yet recurrent questions around these themes. Each artist in States of Mind offers a discrete and potent account of how political issues directly affect our daily lives. By illuminating challenging, often entrenched policies, they seek to foster discourse and propose social change.

This exhibition is organized by Ylinka Barotto, Associate Curator, Moody Center for the Arts.

This exhibition is made possible by the Moody Center for the Arts Founder’s Circle with additional support from the Elizabeth Lee Moody Excellence Fund for the Arts. Jenny Holzer’s IT IS GUNS (2020) is supported by Rice University’s Arts Initiatives Fund.

Featured artists include: Yael Bartana, b. 1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel; Adriana Corral, b. 1983, El Paso; Paul Stephen Benjamin, b. 1966, Chicago; Monica Bonvicini, b. 1965, Venice; Chris Burden, b. 1946, Boston; d. 2015, Topanga, California; Margarita Cabrera, b. 1973, Monterrey, Mexico; Tony Cokes, b. 1956, Richmond; Janiva Ellis, b. 1987, Oakland; rafa esparza, b. 1981, Los Angeles; Barbara Ess, b. 1948, Brooklyn; Kevin Jerome Everson, b. 1965, Mansfield, Ohio; Camilo Godoy, b. 1989, Bogotá; Felix Gonzalez-Torres, b. 1957, Guáimaro, Cuba; d. 1996, Miami; Jenny Holzer, b. 1950, Gallipolis, Ohio; Tomashi Jackson, b. 1980, Houston; Lynn Hershman Leeson, b. 1941, Cleveland; Nery Gabriel Lemus, b. 1977, Los Angeles; Guadalupe Maravilla, b. 1976, San Salvador; Teresa Margolles, b. 1963, Culiacán, Mexico; Rodney McMillian, b. 1969, Columbia, South Carolina; Star Montana, b. 1987, Los Angeles; Cady Noland, b. 1956, Washington, D.C.; Catherine Opie, b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio; Trevor Paglen, b. 1974 Camp Springs, Maryland; Sandy Rodriguez, b. 1975, National City, California; Aram Han Sifuentes, b. 1986, Seoul; Xaviera Simmons, b. 1974, New York; Stephanie Syjuco, b. 1974, Manila; Hank Willis Thomas, b. 1976, Plainfield, New Jersey; Wilmer Wilson IV, b. 1989, Richmond.

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