Steffani Jemison is an artist in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions, screenings, and performances at JOAN Los Angeles, Greene Naftali, Annet Gelink, Mass MoCA, Jeu de Paume, CAPC Bordeaux, the Museum of Modern Art, LAXART, Lincoln Center, and the Gene Siskel Film Center, among others.
Significant recent group exhibitions include A Movement In Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration (2022-2024), the Counterpublic Triennial (2023), Greater New York 2021, and the Whitney Biennial 2019. Other group exhibitions include presentations at the Brooklyn Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, The Drawing Center, The Guggenheim Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the California African American Museum, and many other institutions. Jemison’s work is part of many permanent public collections, including the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, Kadist, and the Stedelijk Museum.
Jemison’s work has been supported by a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital Award, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, and many other grants and awards. Artist residencies include the Studio Museum in Harlem AIR, the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Project Row Houses, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston CORE Program, the International Studio and Curatorial Program, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Jemison was born in Berkeley, California. A graduate of Columbia University (BA) and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), she is an Associate Professor of Art & Design at Rutgers University.
Jemison is the author of A Rock, A River, A Street (Primary Information, 2022), a novella. Her essays have been published in Artforum and The Brooklyn Rail. Her publishing project, Future Plan and Program, published books by Harold Mendez, Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Jina Valentine, and Szu-Han Ho.
With Quincy Flowers, she co-founded at Louis Place, a platform for writers. Jemison’s collaboration with Jamal Cyrus, Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet, debuted at the New Museum in 2011. In collaboration with Justin Hicks,
Jemison has presented installations and performances at CCA Berlin, CAC Cincinnati, Nottingham Contemporary, the Western Front, Mass MoCA, festival steirischer herbst, and the Albertinum, Dresden. Hicks and Jemison’s work as Mikrokosmos has been supported by MAP Fund and other awards.
Counterpublic Triennial, St. Louis (April - July 2023)
Sin Rumbo. Confrontar la Imago Mundi, Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palma, Palma, ES, (February 2023 - January 2024)
Of Mythic Worlds: Works from the Distant Past until the Present, The Drawing Center (March - May 2023)
50th Anniversary: Selections from Light Work Collection, Everson Museum of Art (January - May 2023)
Tomorrow is a Different Day, Collection 1980-now, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL (ongoing)
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art (Fall 2022) Brooklyn Museum (Spring 2023) California African American Museum (Summer 2023-Spring 2024) UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Spring 2024)
Angela Davis- Seize the Time, Oakland Museum of California (Winter 2022-Summer 2023)
Recent + selected solo exhibitions, screenings, commissions
New Formations, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (October 2022 - March 2023)
A rock, a river, a street. Primary Information. (Fall 2022)
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art (Fall 2022)
End over End, JOAN Los Angeles. (February-April, 2022) [Hyperallergic]
Steffani Jemison at Annet Gelink. (February-April, 2022)
Steffani Jemison: WLD, Madragoa. (2021)
Steffani Jemison: Broken Fall, Greene Naftali, New York. (2021). [NY Review of Books] [Brooklyn Rail] [New York Times]
End over End, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati. (2021)
Figure 8, Urban Video Project, Everson Museum Plaza. (2021)
On Similitude, Triple Canopy. (2020)
Decoders / Recorders, De Appel. (2019)
Steffani Jemison: New Videos. (Stedelijk Museum, 2019)
Steffani Jemison, Kai Matsumiya. (2019)
Revelation (Iceberg Projects, 2018)
Art of the Real (Lincoln Center, 2018)
Conversations at the Edge, Gene Siskel Film Center. (2018)
Sensus Plenior, Jeu de Paume. (2017)
Sensus Plenior, CAPC Bordeaux. (2017)
Plant you now, dig you later, MASS MoCA. (2017)
Steffani Jemison: Maniac Chase, Escaped Lunatic, and Personal, RISD Museum. (2015)
Steffani Jemison: Promise Machine, Museum of Modern Art. (2015)
Steffani Jemison: Same Time, LAXART. (2013)
Recent solo performances
On Similitude: Ellen Gallery, Concordia University (2020); Whitney Museum (2019); Triple Canopy / MCA Chicago / Public Fiction, (2019)
Recitatif: Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (2019); Jessica Silverman (2019); Jeu de Paume (2018); Nottingham Contemporary (2017)
Recent and selected group exhibitions
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art (Summer 2022), Baltimore Museum of Art. (Fall 2022)
Our whole, unruly selves, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. (November 2021 – June 2022)
Greater New York, MoMA/PS1. (October 7, 2021 - April 18, 2022)
CLOSER, Kuntsverein Dusseldorf. (2022)
In Between Days: Video from the Guggenheim Collection, (group exhibition) Guggenheim Museum. (2021)
The Inconstant World, Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. (2021)
Enunciated Life, California African American Museum. (2020-2021)
Wild Frictions: The Politics and Poetics of Interruption, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati. (2021)
Wild Frictions: The Politics and Poetics of Interruption, Kunstraum Kreuzberg. (2021)
Black Refractions: Selections from the Studio Museum in Harlem. (2019-2021)
100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center. (2020-2021)
Three’s a crowd, BWA Galleries of Contemporary Art. (2020)
Tenet, Swiss Institute. (2020)
Scrivere Disegnando, Centre d’art contemporain Geneva. (2020)
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum.(2019)
Direct Message, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. (2019-20)
Out of Easy Reach, DePaul Art Museum. (2018)
Speech Acts, Institute of Contemporary Art. (2017)
Separation Penetrates, Mercer Union. (2017)
Power, Sprueth Magers. (2017)
Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger, Kadist. (2016)
Crossing Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum. (2014)
Fore, Studio Museum in Harlem. (2012)
Tara Aisha Willis. “Steffani Jemison’s A Rock, A River, A Street.” Brooklyn Rail. 2023
Olamiju Fajemisin. “CLOSER.”
Ben Lerner. “Force of Gravity.” The New York Review of Books. December 16, 2021
Erica N. Cardwell. “How Steffani Jemison Made Movement an Extension of Being.” Frieze. September 17, 2021
Steffani Jemison: Recitatif (What if we need new words?), Interview, Cindy Sissikho. Video viewing room, The Kitchen. June 2021.
“How the Studio Museum in Harlem Transformed the Art World Forever,” Harper's Bazaar. March 2021
May 29, 2020 (text) MoMA Magazine. June 2020
Readings, Lectures, and Workshops
Reading and screening, with conversation hosted by Maria Barnas. Steffani Jemison: A Rock, A River, A Street. Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, NE. (June 2023)
Reading and conversation with Sam Vernon. Steffani Jemison A Rock, A River, A Street. CCA Berlin, DE. (June 2023)
Reading: Steffani Jemison in Paris! After 8 Books, Paris, FR. (June 2023)
Reading: A Rock, A River, A Street with Steffani Jemison, Rile*, Brussels, BE. (June 2023)
Reading: Steffani Jemison and Sadé Powell, The Poetry Project, New York, NY. (March 2023)
A Screening and Reading with Artist Steffani Jemison, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. (March 2023)
Reading: Segue Reading Series: Steffani Jemison & Anne Waldman, Artists Space, New York, NY. (February 2023)
Reading: Spanner in the Works/Plan B, Tibet House, New York, NY. (February 2023)
A Rock, A River, A Street by Steffani Jemison Book Launch, Center for Art, Research, and Alliances New York, NY. (January 2023)
Visiting Artist, Yale Norfolk. (June 2022)
Artist Lecture, Standing Wave, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Germany. (March 2022)
Three Archival Events, Zimmerli Museum, New Brunswick, NJ. (October 2021)
Workshop, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY. (May 2021)
Artists or Institutions, Sculpture Center, Queens, NY. (March 2021)
Coded language / Private language: Steffani Jemison & Jonathan Gonzalez, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. (October 2020)
Visiting Artist, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. (February 2020)
Justin Hicks and Steffani Jemison perform as Mikrokosmos. Mikrokosmos performances and exhibitions have been presented by the Center for Contemporary Art Berlin (2022), the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati (2022), Zimmerli Art Museum (2021-2022), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Albertinum (2020), Nottingham Contemporary (2018), Western Front (2017), MASS MoCA (2017), festival steirischer herbst (2016), and other venues. Their work is in the public collection of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Their album Another time, this time, one time was published by Western Front in 2019.
Steffani Jemison and Jamal Cyrus: Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet debuted at the New Museum in 2011. Alpha’s Bet has also been presented in exhibitions at Tufts University Galleries (2019), Juxtaposition Arts (2013), and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art (2012).
Future Plan and Program commissions literary work by artists of color. FPP has published books by: Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Harold Mendez, Jina Valentine, Szu-Han Ho, and others. Future Plan and Program was created with support from Project Row Houses.
at Louis Place is a platform for writers. Created in collaboration with Quincy Flowers; led collaboratively with Naima Lowe.
Selected public collections
George Eastman Museum
Hirschorn Museum of Art
Museum of Modern Art
San Jose Museum of Art
Studio Museum in Harlem
Herb Alpert Award—Visual Arts (2021) * Guggenheim Foundation (2020) * NYFA Film/Video (2018) * Radcliffe Institute (2017-2018) * Ann Plato Fellowship (2011) * Core Program (2009-2011).
Grants + awards
Creative Capital (2020) * Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize (2020) * Tiffany Foundation (2014) * Art Matters Foundation (2013) * Flaherty Philadelphia Fellowship (2007)
Robert Rauschenberg Artist-in-Residence (2016) * Jacob Lawrence Gallery (2016) * Sharpe Walentas Studio Program (2015-2016) * Smack Mellon (2014-2015) * Hermitage Artist Retreat (2013) * Studio Museum in Harlem (2012-2013) * Denniston Hill Artist Colony (2012) * International Studio and Curatorial Program (2012) * Project Row Houses (2011) * The Wassaic Project (2010) * Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008)
Born in Berkeley, California; grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio; currently live and work in Brooklyn, New York. MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009); BA in Comparative Literature, Columbia University (2003).
Currently - tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University New Brunswick.
Past - Columbia University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Low-Residency Program, Parsons The New School for Design Fine Arts, Wellesley College, Trinity College, Rice University, the Cooper Union, etc.