This week, Jared Bowen speaks with the artists behind a new mural project in Boston and visits the new exhibition, “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

“Mentoring Murals,” presented by Now + There at Breezes Laundromat through September 10

Mentoring Murals
"No Strings Detached" by Paul Goodnight and Larry Pierce is on view in the Grove Hall neighborhood outside of Breezes Laundromat
Craig F. Bothwell Photography, courtesy of Now + There

A new public art project honors a rich history of Black muralists with a series of installations in Boston’s Grove Hill neighborhood. “Mentoring Murals,” presented by Now + There in partnership with Greater Grove Hall Main Streets and the City of Boston, is pairing veteran mural makers with fellow artists and up-and-comers to create a series of temporary printed murals. The project will rotate in large scale works from a new pair of artists every three to four months, and kicks off with a mural from veteran artists Paul Goodnight and Larry Pierce, who once studied drawing under Goodnight.

“When you do an art piece in a certain neighborhood, that piece belongs to that neighborhood,” says Goodnight, who recognizes the importance of this mural site between Roxbury and Dorchester. “So even if [residents] don't know all of the story of the piece, they recognize that they also are a part of the piece.”

“Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston through September 26

Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech
"Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech" is the first museum exhibition dedicated entirely to the work of Virgil Abloh
Mel Taing, courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

The Institute of Contemporary Art presents the first museum exhibition dedicated entirely to the work of Virgil Abloh. A multihyphenate whose work ranges from music to architecture to sculpture to fashion design, Abloh refuses to be confined to any medium as he crafts subversive critiques of the art world. The exhibition highlights a career of making that combines his passions and inspirations from growing up in Chicago with the high-fashion and blue chip art world he now sits atop as the director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, and founder of the clothing brand Off-White.

“Fashion is the prism through which Virgil has experimented throughout the world and across media,” says ICA curator Ruth Erickson, “and he really is interested in opening up that process for other people to see.”

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