Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth

September 11 – December 2, 2023

Jacolby Satterwhite, We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other, 2020. HD digital video. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

This fall, SAIC Galleries presents the first major survey of Jacolby Satterwhite’s extraordinary work. Drawing on a broad set of real and fantastical references that include modernism, video gaming, mythology, and contemporary visual culture, Satterwhite explores virtual space, painting, and music as a vehicle to examine and journal the nuances of his political and cultural zeitgeist.  His intricately detailed animations and live action films of real and imagined worlds serve as the stage for the artist’s surreal and poetic world-building. 

Spirits Roaming on the Earth offers a holistic view of Satterwhite’s singular ability to masterfully synthesize personal, theoretical, and pop-cultural influences across a wide range of materials and genres. The exhibition includes Satterwhite’s 3D-animated films, immersive audio and video installations, neon and multimedia sculptures, and paintings, and is accompanied by the published monograph Jacolby Satterwhite: How lovly is me being as I am, edited by Elizabeth Chodos and Andrew Durbin with narration by Sasha Bonét; essays by Malik Gaines, Jane Ursula Harris, and Legacy Russell; an interview with the artist by Kimberly Drew; and book design by Sonia Yoon.

Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth is organized by the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University and curated by Elizabeth Chodos, Director. 

Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, Columbia, South Carolina; lives and works in Brooklyn) received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Satterwhite’s work has been presented in numerous exhibitions and festivals internationally, including most recently at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, TX (2023); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2022); FRONT Triennial, Cleveland, OH (2022); Okayama Art Summit, Okayama, Japan (2021-2); Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf (2021); Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University (2021); ; the Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2021); the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2021); The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2019); Pioneer Works, New York (2019); the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2019); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); La Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2018); the New Museum, New York (2017); the Public Art Fund, New York (2017); the San Francisco Museum of Art (2017); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2017). He was awarded the United States Artist Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellowship in 2016. His work is included in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, among others. Satterwhite has collaborated with several musicians, including Solange Knowles in 2019 on her visual album, “When I Get Home,” and Perfume Genus in 2022 on his album, “Ugly Season.” In October 2022, in collaboration with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Public Art Fund, he debuted a public art commission to inaugurate Lincoln Center’s new David Geffen Hall in New York.