McArthur Binion

McArthur Binion (b. 1946, Macon, Georgia) lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.


Since the 1970’s, he has sought an alternative to minimalist art, through his personal philosophy of the pictorial grids fused with his archival belongings, such as the pages of his phone books, personal family photographs, or found documents from the history of the Afro-American community. Binion’s reduced combination of colors and forms enclose not only formal mastery but also layers of meaning, beginning with his search for modernist abstract painting’s legacy in relation to a wider context, that of the need of human society to leave traces of itself and, at the same time, to project itself into the future.


McArthur Binion’s work is strongly political, although very subtle. In fact, curator Lowery Stokes Sims once described Binion’s DNA series as ‘notions of selfa wareness and self- discovery, a conscious reflection on himself and to the historical discourse he has contributed to’. McArthur Binion’s 40-year career has been a continual investigation of abstract painting. The artist distinctive insertion of narrative and personal history and his emphasis on content differentiates his work from a more traditional minimalist practice. Binion’s works have been prominently included in the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, VIVA ARTE VIVA, curated by Christine Macel.


Binion’s work is featured in several public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Strauss Family Collection, Santa Fe; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo.

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Biography

Solo exhibitions
Year
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
2021
USA, Modern:Ancient:Brown, Lehmann Maupin, New York
F, DNA:Orange:Work, MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique, Paris
2020
USA, DNA:WORK AND THE UNDER:CONSCIOUS DRAWING, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
I, Modern Ancient Brown, Museo del Novecento, Firenze
2019
PRC, New:Work (Hong Kong), Massimo De Carlo, Hong Kong
ROK, Hand:Work:II, Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
HK, Hand:Work:II, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
USA, McArthur Binion, Ghosts: Rhythms & Haints, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
USA, McArthur Binion, Lehmann Maupin, New York
2018
USA, Binion/Saarinen, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills
I, Ink: Work, Massimo De Carlo, Milano
2017
USA, Route One: Box Two, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York
2016
USA, Seasons, Kavi Gupta, Chicago
2015
USA, McArthur Binion: Re:Mine, Galerie Lelong, New York
2014
USA, DNA Study, Kavi Gupta, Chicago
2013
USA, Ghost:Rhythms, Kavi Gupta, Chicago
2012
USA, Perspectives 177: McArthur Binion, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston
2010
USA, Color Exploration: Simplicity in the Art of McArthur Binion, Univeristy of Maryland, University College Gallery, Adelphi
2009
USA, House : Work, Center Galleries at College for Creative Studies, Detroit
2008
USA, Simplicism II: The Gouaches, Audible Gallery, Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago
2005
USA, Simplicism, G. R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago; G. R. N’Namdi Gallery, New York
2004
USA, Simplicism, G. R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit
2001
USA, Modern : Ancient : Brown, Alley Culture, Detroit
1990
USA, Laconic : Love : Letters; K.V.C., Fisher Theater, New Center One, Detroit
1980
USA, Drawings, Peg Alston Gallery, New York
USA, The Juices: New Paintings, Anspacher Gallery, New York
Group exhibitions
Year
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
2023
F, McArthur Binion – Carl Andre, MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique, Paris
2021
RC, The Medium is Memory, Lehmann Maupin, Taipei
USA, Building a Legacy: Chrysler Collects for the Future, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk
I, McArthur Binion - Sol LeWitt, MASSIMODECARLO, Milano
HBO, Black Art: in the Absence of Light, HBO Documentary
2020
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Frye Museum of Art, Seattle
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake Citry
2019
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
USA, Expanding Narratives: The Figure and the Ground, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Chicago
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo
USA, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco
2017
USA, New at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
USA, Paper, Kavi Gupta, Chicago
USA, Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 Years of African American Art, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
USA, Picturing Mississippi, 1817-2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
I, VIVA ARTE VIVA, 57th Venice Biennale, Venezia
USA, Above and Below the Surface: Eight Artists, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
USA, Color People, Rental Gallery, East Hampton
USA, Dimensions of Black: a Collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Contemporary San Diego, San Diego
USA, From the Vault: Recent Gifts to the Collection, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills
USA, Through the African American Lens, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington
USA, Thought Patterns, Deborah Ronnen Fine Art, Rochester
USA, Black and the Abstract, Part 2: Soft Curves/Hard Edges, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston
2016
USA, Chicago Invites Chicago, Galerie Lelong, New York
USA, Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
USA, Dimensions of Black: a Collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Contemporary San Diego, San Diego
USA, New at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
USA, Chicago Invites Chicago, Galerie Lelong, New York
USA, Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
USA, Viewpoints, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco
USA, Through the African American Lens, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington

Bibliography

Year
Author, Publication Title, Date
2021
Getsy, David J., Artforum, February
2020
Ficicchia, Loredana, Corriere Fiorentino, October 24,
Arte, October
Meloni, Bruna, MAM-e, October 25,
GoNews, October
Exibart, October
Montanari, Laura, la Repubblica, October 24,
Amica, October
Pittorica, October
Franza, Carlo, il Giornale
Zarley, David, Frieze, October 29,
la Repubblica - Robinson, October
Turismo Itinerante, October 30,
2019
GoGoFirenze, October 20,
The New York times, March 23,
2017
Swirsky, Rebecca, Frieze, October
Gavin, Francesca, Financial Times, June 9

Public collections

Country
Location
The Netherlands
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar
United Kingdom
Zabludowicz Collection, London
United States of America
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin
Ariel Mutual Funds, Chicago
Art Bridges Foundation, Bentonville
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit
Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit
City of Detroit, Detroit
Cook County Hospital, Chicago
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills
Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan
Fidelity Investments Art Collection
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Joyner Giuffrida Collection, San Francisco
Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
Mott Warsh Collection, Flint
Museum, Winter Park
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.
Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Rollins College, Winter Park
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo
Wayne State University, Detroit
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

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