At the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, a Moving Investigation of Art From the Caribbean Diaspora

The exhibition gathers the works of 37 artists and features five new commissions. One sign that meets visitors upon entry is the work of Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan, a 10-foot neon structure that reads “In Broad Daylight,” a poignant nod to everyday violence that all too often takes place right under our noses. Meanwhile, a vast number of silk screen prints by Álvaro Barrios—red on one side and blue on the other (a visual that only becomes clear by trekking to the opposite side of the space)—hang above the room, where the walls divide, representing the complicated history of territory and ideas of colonial ownership. 

Spanning sculptures, paintings, poems, and sounds, “Forecast Form” makes a convincing case for the difficulty of attempting to represent the Caribbean in its entirety. While some artworks require you to lean in for a closer look, others could only be fully surveyed from afar. Among the large-scale works was La Coronación de La Negrita, a 60-part digital print commission by Marton Robinson. Here, Robinson considers Blackness and racism within the Caribbean—specifically Costa Rica, where the artist is from. As the devastating deportations of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic rise, the thoughtful provocation of artists like Robinson becomes more imperative. 

Marton Robinson, La Coronación de La Negrita, 2022. Chalkboard paint and chalk on canvas. Digital print over backlit paper (variable); 60 parts: 44 × 27 in. (111.76 × 68.58 cm) each.

Photo: Michael David Rose

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