The Brooklyn Museum announced its upcoming exhibition Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. On view from February 10–July 7, 2024, this is the first major exhibition of the world-class collection of multigenerational Black diasporic artists owned by the iconic couple.
From their passion for collecting albums and musical equipment to their unwavering support of Black artists, Giants offers a rare look into the Deans’ expansive collecting history. The exhibition brings together some of the most notable artists in history, including Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson, Kehinde Wiley, and Nina Chanel Abney.
. . they were just hanging out . . . you know . . . talking about . . . ( . . . when they grow up . . .)
“Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys have been among the most vocal advocates for Black creatives to support Black artists through their collecting, advocacy, and partnerships,” said Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum. “In the process, they have created one of the most important collections of contemporary art.”
The exhibition’s title refers to several aspects of the Dean Collection, such as highlighting both legendary artists and contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi. Along with examining the links and legacies among multigenerational Black artists, the exhibition also encourages discussions inspired by the works on view—critiquing society and celebrating Blackness.
Paying homage to legendary elder artists, the section On the Shoulders of Giants features work by artists who have left an indelible mark on the world. The Giant Conversations section explores how artists have always critiqued and commented on the world around them. The artists on view address a range of issues Black people have faced throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the last section of the show, Giant Presence, monumental artworks form an impressive finale in the Museum’s Great Hall atrium. Works on view also celebrate Blackness and champion the beauty, resilience, distinctiveness, connection, and joyousness within communities across the globe.
The accompanying exhibition catalog will be published by Phaidon and features a foreword by Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak, interviews with artists in the Dean Collection, and a conversation between the Deans and exhibition curator Kimberli Gant.
Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from February 10 – July 7, 2024.