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Detroit City: A multiyear new initiative highlights Detroit artists in a global context
The first Detroit Affinities exhibition showcases the work of the Detroit artist John Maggie (September 12, 2014–January 4, 2015).


DETROIT, MICH.- Detroit is a city with competing narratives: art and culture, bankruptcy, and revitalization. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit examines these narratives and put Detroit artists in a global context with a new multiyear program titled DETROIT CITY, comprised of three intermixed series: the exhibition Detroit Affinities , the educational Detroit Speaks, and the performance Detroit Stages.

Detroit Affinities presents ten sequential solo exhibitions representing five pairings: five Detroit artists and five artists from elsewhere. The pairings are intended to reveal correspondences, similarities and differences in the artists’ respective practices. The dialogues between the artists serves to position Detroit artists in the larger global conversation on contemporary art.

The first Detroit Affinities exhibition showcases the work of the Detroit artist John Maggie (September 12, 2014–January 4, 2015). It will be followed by an exhibition featuring the New York artist Jamian Juliano-Villani (February 6–March 29, 2015).

DETROIT CITY is one of the most ambitious undertakings to date at MOCAD. Elysia Borowy-Reeder, MOCAD’s Executive Director, says, “MOCAD strives to present artists and performers who will shape our culture in the years to come, as well as those already transforming it. This multiyear research project brings together the Detroit creative community for deeper conversations and recognition. I am thrilled to have Quicken Loans as a lead supporter of this major initiative. As an international curator who is deeply engaged in all facets of art making and culture production, Jens Hoffmann is wonderfully suited to lead the project.”

Ann Arbor–born painter, sculptor, bookmaker and animator John Maggie (b. 1978) earned a BFA with a concentration in printmaking from Eastern Michigan University in 2004. Upon graduation, Maggie studied assemblage with Detroit Industrial Gallery's Tim Burke and traditional oil painting with Nanjing University Art Academy's Mingshi Huang. He works out of his studio in Hamtramck. Maggie's exclusively figurative paintings often depict grotesque studies of the male physique, incorporating visual realism strewn with abstracted impasto. Maggie has recently exhibited in Detroit, Ann Arbor and New York. The third installment of his Wizard flipbook series, Remarkable Wizard (2013), is in the permanent collection of the library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Jamian Juliano-Villani was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received her BFA from Rutgers University in 2011; she received the Giza Daniels-Endesha Award. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.





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Detroit City: A multiyear new initiative highlights Detroit artists in a global context

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