Sable Elyse Smith. Landscape V, 2020. Neon.

Courtesy of Xavier Hadley


Press Release

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration explores the impact of the US prison system through contemporary visual art. Through the work of artists who are or have been incarcerated alongside artists who have not, the exhibition reveals how punitive governance, predatory policing, surveillance and mass imprisonment impacts millions of people.

Art made in prison is crucial to contemporary culture, though it has been largely excluded from established art institutions and public discourse. Marking Time aims to shift aesthetic currents, offering new ways to envision art and to understand the reach of the carceral state on life today.

Marking Time features work by over 30 artists, including Ohio-based artists Dean Gillispie, Tameca Cole, Larry Cook, Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter, Maria Gaspar, Ronnie Goodman, James “Yaya” Hough, Mark Loughney and Sable Elyse Smith. Additional artists include American Artist, Cedar Annenkova, Sara Bennett, Conor Broderick, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Daniel McCarthy Clifford, Russell Craig, Halim Flowers, Gary Harrell, Ashley Hunt, Jesse Krimes, Susan Lee-Chun, William B. Livingston III, Ojore Lutalo, George Anthony Morton, Jesse Osmun, Jared Owens, Rowan Renee, Gilberto Rivera, Billy Sell, James Sepesi, Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli, Jerome Washington and Aimee Wissman.

The exhibition is organized by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture and Communications at NYU, and reflects her decade-long commitment to the research of and programming on the visual art and culture of mass incarceration. The exhibition follows the release of Dr. Fleetwood’s award-winning book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. The exhibition debuted at MoMA PS1 in September 2020.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Special thanks to MoMA PS1; Independent Curators International; Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; WORTHLESSSTUDIOS; JTT, New York; and Malin Gallery, New York.