The Bronx Museum of the Arts has acquired three artworks from the NADA New York art fair: pieces by Glenn Ligon and ASCO from a booth shared by Nottingham Contemporary and Field Editions , and a work by Heidi Lau from Geary.
The acquisition is the result of the NADA New York Acquisition Gift, a partnership between NADA and the Bronx Museum that was announced earlier this year. NADA ticket sales support a special acquisition fund that enables Bronx Museum curators to select a work from NADA to add to the museum’s permanent collection.
“We are very proud to add these three artworks to the museum’s permanent collection,” said Sergio Bessa, the Bronx Museum’s director of curatorial Programs. “Glenn Ligon and Heidi Lau are artists with clear visions that speak to a wide range of people. This is a return to the museum for them—both participated in our Artist in the Marketplace program, which provides professional development opportunities to emerging artists in the New York area. The Los Angeles-based Chicano art collective, ASCO, will be a great addition, and we see their politically charged artworks as a meaningful affiliation for our collection.”
The Glenn Ligon piece, Untitled (America), 2015, shows one of Ligon’s most recognizable images, the word America spelled out in neon lights, in a five-color screen-print on Coverntry Rag. ASCO is a collective of four Chicano artists—Harry Gamboa Jr, Gronk, Willie F. Herrón III, and Patssi Valdez—formed in the 1970s. The Bronx Museum acquired the photograph Asshole Mural (1974–2013), which shows the group’s members posing like film stars against a gritty setting in Los Angeles.
The piece by Macau-born Heidi Lau is a ceramic called The Butterfly Murders Hideout (2018). ARTnews picked up on Lau’s large ceramic floor sculptures, which come out of Taoist cosmology, in a report on the NADA fair published earlier this week. Of a particular Taoist myth, the artist told ARTnews, “Usually women who were adulterous had to be put in an ice world to have their limbs frozen off, but I put a man in there.”
NADA’s Miami fair, in December, has a similar acquisitions fund program with the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which last year acquired a work by the Puerto Rican artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo from the booth of San Juan gallery Embajada.