LACMA presents “The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness” featuring a sculptural installation by Zak Ové (born 1966), a British visual artist of Trinidadian descent. This exhibition encapsulates the complex history of racial objectification and the evolution of black subjectivity. The title’s references—Ben Jonson’s 1605 play, The Masque of Blackness, and Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man—mark two milestones in black history: the first stage production to utilize blackface makeup, and the first novel by an African American to win the National Book Award.
Zak Ové, The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness, 2016, installation view, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, UK, 2016–17, © Zak Ové, courtesy Modern Forms, Vigo gallery, the artist and YSP, photo © Jonty Wilde
In addition to literary references, the artist draws inspiration from Caribbean Carnival, a festival that originated from the Mardi Gras celebrations of the region’s French colonists, and Canboulay, a parallel celebration in which enslaved people expressed themselves through music and costume and paid homage to their African traditions. The installation’s 40 graphite figures stand tall and dignified to represent the strength and resilience of the African diaspora.
Hours: CLOSED on Wednesdays; Mon, Tues and Thurs: 11:00am – 5:00pm; Friday: 11:00am – 8:00pm; Sat/Sun: 10:00am – 7:00pm;
Admission: Members are FREE (so why not become one?). Single visit tickets variyfor residents in LA County (with valid i.d.): Free After 3pm on Mondays; $20 for all other days; $16 for seniors and students (with valid i.d.); Children under 17 are Free;
If you do NOT reside in LA County: $25 all days; $21 for seniors and students (with valid i.d.); Children under 17 are Free;
On view: July 27 – November 3, 2019
Where: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90036
Phone: (323) 857-6000