David Antonio Cruz, thosebutterflyboys, 2017, from the series returnofthedirtyboys/girls (2016–ongoing). Oil and latex on wood panel, 48 × 72 × 3 inches (121.9 × 182.9 × 7.6 cm). Acquired through the generosity of the Acquisitions Circle. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. © David Antonio Cruz
A Place for Me celebrates a new generation of artists at the vanguard of contemporary painting. David Antonio Cruz, Louis Fratino, Doron Langberg, Aubrey Levinthal, Gisela McDaniel, Arcmanoro Niles, and Ambera Wellmann are propelling figurative painting’s recent revival by depicting what they love—their friends, lovers, and family; studio spaces and homes; and the scenes that make up their everyday. Evoking intimacy, community, and the personal in the power to represent oneself in painting, these eight artists claim space for Black, Indigenous, brown, and queer life. Through their work, these artists consider the politics of seeing and being seen and how painting might register care, tenderness, fragility, empathy, and resilience. Colorful, surprising, and full of life, A Place for Me is a testament to the vitality of contemporary figurative art, reflecting a multitude of styles and approaches to painting through a cross-section of contemporary painting today.