The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century | Kids Out and About St. Louis <

The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century

*The event has already taken place on this date: Sun, 12/31/2023
The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century presents a sweeping art history of hip hop culture and its myriad expressions across the globe. This multidisciplinary and multimedia exhibition examines the resounding impact of hip hop on contemporary art and culture, including its unique contributions to innovations in music, visual and performing arts, fashion, and technology. To illuminate the depth of hip hop’s influence, the exhibition will feature immersive installations, fashion, painting, sculpture, photography, and video, showcasing the complex, expansive, and international allure of one of the 20th and 21st century’s great cultural movements.

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The Culture will prominently showcase iconic paintings not previously exhibited in St. Louis by some of the art world’s most famous practitioners, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Mark Bradford, as well as works by artists represented in the SLAM collection, such as Julie Mehretu and Carrie Mae Weems. Other featured artists include Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Jordan Casteel, Kudzanai Chiurai, William Cordova, Hassan Hajjaj, Lauren Halsey, Arthur Jafa, Deana Lawson, Hank Willis Thomas, and others.

The exhibition will include significant examples of fashion, including looks from Virgil Abloh’s collections for Louis Vuitton, legendary streetwear brand Cross Colours, as well as a range of music ephemera. To further illuminate hip hop’s influence, the exhibition incorporates artists with deep ties to local communities. St. Louis and Missouri artists include Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, Damon Davis, Jen Everett, Aaron Fowler, Kahlil Robert Irving, Shabez Jamal, Yvonne Osei, and Adrian Octavius Walker.

The Culture will explore a series of themes, emphasizing pressing issues in the hip hop industry, such as the complex relationship between capitalism, commodification, and racial identity; hip hop culture’s connection to gender, sexuality, feminism, appropriation, and misogyny; as well as hip hop’s relationship to the art world and the art market.

The Culture is organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Conceived and developed as a collaborative effort that engages with both museums’ curatorial and education departments, The Culture will emphasize community access and engagement as core to the exhibition experience This open dialogue will elevate connection to local communities and facilitation of collaborative exhibition development. Designing a strategic approach to curating that includes outside perspectives further recognizes the importance of communities having a say in the way their story is told. ​

As part of the planning for this exhibition, the Baltimore Museum of Art and SLAM have engaged a global advisory committee of experts comprising hip hop’s leading thinkers: academics, musicians, fashion designers, visual artists, and curators who have been helping the curatorial team refine exhibition themes, adhere to the ethos of hip hop, and be accessible to the local community and beyond.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue with contributions from more than 50 artists, writers, scholars, curators, and arts leaders.

The Culture is curated by Hannah Klemm, SLAM’s former associate curator of modern and contemporary art; and Andréa Purnell, SLAM’s audience development manager; Asma Naeem, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art; and Gamynne Guillotte, the BMA’s former chief education officer with Rikki Byrd, the BMA’S curatorial research fellow and Carlyn Thomas, the BMA’s curatorial assistant.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.



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1 Fine Arts Drive Forest Park
St. Louis, MO, 63110-1380
United States


Contact name: 
Cameron Wulfert
Email address: 
The event has already taken place on this date: 
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm Friday, 10 am–9 pm Closed Monday Last entry into ticketed exhibitions is one hour before the Museum closes.
Admission to the Museum is free every day. Admission to main exhibitions is free on Friday.


All Ages