The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century, is an unprecedented exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum

Explore the intersection of hip hop culture and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum’s groundbreaking exhibit “The Culture,” featuring iconic works by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and a diverse lineup of contemporary artists.

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From August 19, 2023, to January 1, 2024, the Saint Louis Art Museum will host a groundbreaking exhibition that celebrates the global phenomenon of hip hop culture and its profound impact on contemporary art and society. “The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century” is a multidisciplinary and multimedia extravaganza that explores the multifaceted nature of hip hop, from music to fashion and technology.  In addition, this exhibition transcends traditional art boundaries, offering an immersive experience that showcases the dynamic influence of hip hop on the 21st century’s cultural landscape. With an array of media, including fashion, painting, sculpture, photography, and video, “The Culture” presents the vast and international allure of one of the most influential cultural movements of our time.  

While central to this exhibit, are iconic works by renowned artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Mark Bradford, as well as pieces from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s own collection, featuring artists such as Julie Mehretu and Carrie Mae Weems. It has a diverse lineup of contemporary artists, including Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, and Jordan Casteel, also contributes to the vibrant tapestry of hip hop culture and contemporary art.  “The Culture” goes beyond the visual arts to celebrate the fashion and music of hip hop.

Moreover, visitors can explore iconic fashion pieces, from Virgil Abloh’s collections for Louis Vuitton to the legendary streetwear brand Cross Colours. Additionally, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of hip hop music with a range of music ephemera.  

Furthermore, one of the exhibition’s notable features is its commitment to engaging with the local community. St. Louis and Missouri-based artists play a significant role in the exhibit, highlighting the strong connection between hip hop culture and the city’s creative scene.  “The Culture” dives into thought-provoking themes, such as the complex relationship between capitalism, racial identity, and commodification within hip hop. It also addresses issues like gender, sexuality, feminism, appropriation, and misogyny within the culture, providing a space for reflection and dialogue.  

Organized collaboratively, by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the exhibition places community access and engagement at its core. Because, it acknowledges the importance of local communities in shaping their own narratives, and a global advisory committee of experts from various fields has been instrumental in guiding the curatorial process.  Accompanied by a comprehensive catalog featuring contributions from over 50 artists, writers, scholars, and curators, “The Culture” offers a comprehensive exploration of the art and impact of hip hop culture in the 21st century.  

Last, this innovative exhibition is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Whether you’re a hip hop aficionado or an art enthusiast, “The Culture” promises to be a transformative and thought-provoking experience for all who visit the Saint Louis Art Museum. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the intersection of hip hop and contemporary art like never before.


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