Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

October 9, 2022-February 18, 2023

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Organized by Thomas (T.) Jean Lax, Curator, with Lilia Rocio Taboada, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance, in collaboration with Linda Goode Bryant and Marielle Ingram.

Just Above Midtown—or JAM—was an art gallery and self-described laboratory led by Linda Goode Bryant that foregrounded African American artists and artists of color. Open from 1974 until 1986, it was a place where Black art flourished and debate was cultivated. The gallery offered early opportunities for artists now recognized as pivotal figures in late-20th-century art, including David Hammons, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, and Howardena Pindell. Nengudi has described JAM’s energy as “vibrating,” a space where artists “were given carte blanche, and there were no restrictions.” This exhibition presents artists and artworks previously shown at JAM in a wide range of mediums, and archival material and artist interventions contextualize the experimental ethos that defined the gallery.


For this exhibition, the Estate of Rosemary Mayer created a new version of October Ghost, which Mayer had created for the group exhibition "Dialogues" at JAM in 1980. "Dialogues" was organized with various alternative spaces, with Mayer representing the Women's InterArt Center, where she had a concurrent solo exhibition.


Alex Greenberger, “MoMA’s Just Above Midtown Exhibition Radically Expands New York Art History,” ARTnews, October 10, 2022.

Installation Views

Photo Credit: Marie Warsh

October Ghost, 1980/2022. Paper, wooden roods, ribbons, metaliic paint. 104 x 120 x 96 inches.