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Steve Locke: the fire next time


  • Upcoming Exhibitions

  • On view August 3, 2024
  • B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building

New York-based artist Steve Locke’s exhibition the fire next time is a meditation on uniquely American forms of violence directed at Black and queer people. In his interdisciplinary practice, Locke engages issues of identity, desire, race, violence, and memory, revealing as much tenderness and humor as he does brutality. Over the course of his decades-long career, Locke has largely worked in painting. Primarily concerned with how we ascribe meaning to portraiture while exploring the relationships between and among men, in recent years Locke has introduced a more personal, political, and critical engagement with histories of racism and anti-Blackness, the Western canon of art history, and American society. the fire next time takes its title from a book by James Baldwin, first published in 1963 amid the growing civil rights movement. Locke’s exhibition includes a MASS MoCA-commissioned sculptural installation; a new series of freestanding paintings; #Killers (2017-ongoing), a series of hand-drawn portraits of American mass murderers and accused or acquitted killers; and a data-driven site-specific installation, A Partial List of Unarmed African-Americans Who Were Killed By Police or Who Died in Police Custody During My Sabbatical from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 2014-2015 (2016), among other new and recent works.

About the Artist:
Steve Locke (b.1963, Cleveland, OH) lives and works in the Hudson Valley, NY. He received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2001. Locke’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (2022); The Gallatin Galleries, New York University, NY (2019); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA (2018); Boston Public Library, MA (2018); Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI (2014); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2013), and Savannah College of Art and Design, GA (2008). He has participated in group exhibitions at the Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX (2023); MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston, MA (2023); Jack Shainman Gallery, Kinderhook, NY (2021); Fitchburg Art Museum, MA (2020); Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA (2020); Boston Center for the Arts, MA (2018); Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2018); Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx Council of the Arts, NY (2014); deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2013); and the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA (2002). Locke is the recipient of several awards, including the Rappaport Prize, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (2022); the Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2020); The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2013); and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2014); among many others.

Steve Locke
the wealth of nations, 2024
Mixed media
74 x 18 x 12 in overall (188 x 45.7 x 30.5 cm overall)
Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York
© 2024 Steve Locke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York