Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage February 18–May 12, 2024

Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage is the first major museum exhibition devoted to exploring the breadth and complexity of Black identity and experiences in the United States through collage. Works by multiple generations of living artists examine concepts such as cultural hybridity, gender fluidity, historical memory, and notions of beauty and power.

By assembling pieces of paper, fabric, and repurposed materials, the artists create unified compositions that express the endless possibilities of Black-constructed narratives within a fragmented society. The artists range from established luminaries to early- and mid-career figures, including Mark Bradford, Lauren Halsey, Rashid Johnson, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Deborah Roberts, Tschabalala Self, Lorna Simpson, Devan Shimoyama, and Mickalene Thomas. Multiplicity also features notable artists who are closely identified with the city of Houston, such as Tay Butler, Jamal Cyrus, Rick Lowe, and Lovie Olivia.

This groundbreaking exhibition brings attention to the richness of collage as an art form. Building upon the legacy of African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, and Betye Saar, contemporary artists make collages in an array of ways, from traditional cutting and pasting to creating works digitally. Arthur Jafa takes digital collage a step further, gathering highs and lows of Black experiences into his poignant video montage Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death.

The illustrated exhibition catalogue is available through the MFA Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum’s Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).

► Shop the Show
Find a variety of exhibition-related items at the MFA Shop, including books, stickers, and art packs.

Listen to the playlist curated by local artists and MFAH staff members, with inspiration from the rich tapestry of Black culture showcased in the exhibition.

Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage / February 18–May 12, 2024

“Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage” was organized by the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee.

Support for the national exhibition tour is provided by generous grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Generous support is provided by:
Bettie Cartwright
Texas Capital
Jereann and Holland Chaney

JBD Foundation
Lisa and Barron Wallace
 W. Dale
DIR Inc./Drs. Russell H. and Rosalind C. Jackson
Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones
Merinda Watkins-Martin and Reginald Martin
Ann and Alton McDowell


Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
Map & Directions