Musings on the modern and contemporary visual culture of the African Diaspora.

BAHM | 2.5.18 | Linda Goode Bryant

BAHM | 2.5.18 | Linda Goode Bryant

Linda Goode Byrant is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, who in 1974 opened Just Above Midtown (JAM) Gallery, a commercial gallery devoted to the work of African American artists in the heart of New York's white-dominated gallery district. Goode Bryant previously held a fellowship position at the Metropolitan Museum and after that worked in Education at the Studio Museum in Harlem. 

1977 Performance by Senga Nengudi, featuring Maren Hassinger at Just Above Midtown Gallery.

Above: Dwight Carter’s portraits of Linda Goode Bryant, ca. 1974. Image via Chris McCormack

Exhibitions helped to feature early-career and more established artists working in experimental mediums and performance art such as David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, Maren Hassinger, and Lorraine O'Grady as well as photographer, Dawoud Bey and painter Howardena Pindell. Her gallery was an open and collaborative space for noncommercial driven, experimental and non-representational work along with and abstract expressionism. She also made a point of representing LA-based artists, at a time when the two art worlds were very much divided. 

Announcement for Alonzo Davis’s exhibition at Just Above Midtown Gallery, New York, 1975. Courtesy of The Hammer Museum.

In 1977 the gallery moved to Tribeca, in part due to rising rent and also to be closer to like-minded organizations. It also made the transition to a nonprofit gallery at this time and adopted more performances, lectures, readings and group meals. The gallery became inclusive to artists of all races, continuing its dedication to experimental new mediums, until its closing in 1986. 

BAHM | 2.6.18 | Naima Keith

BAHM | 2.6.18 | Naima Keith

BAHM | 2.4.18 | Olu Oguibe

BAHM | 2.4.18 | Olu Oguibe