Frye Art Museum is pleased to present Young Blood, the first large-scale exhibition to explore the dynamic artistic equilibrium between brothers Noah Davis and Kahlil Joseph, two influential contemporary artists. Both Davis and Joseph grew up in Seattle; in recent years, they lived and worked in Los Angeles, where they built careers as artists of international influence and importance.
Celebrating the life and legacy of painter, curator, and visionary artist Noah Davis (1983–2015), Young Blood places Davis’ work in the context of an ongoing visual dialogue with his elder brother, artist and filmmaker, Kahlil Joseph. The title, Young Blood, comes from a name Joseph bestowed on Davis, both a term of endearment and a declaration of a common starting point.
The largest and widest selection of work by Davis and Joseph ever shown in a museum, Young Blood highlights the notion of a narrative continuum built through varied mediums of contemporary storytelling—including painting, sculpture, film, and installation—that creates an immersive sensory experience. The exhibition explores concepts that Davis brought to the forefront of discussions about access, class, and the creation of independent art spaces, such as The Underground Museum in Los Angeles, which he founded with his wife Karon Davis in 2012.
Organized by the Frye Art Museum and conceived and curated by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, a Seattle-based artist, Young Blood continues Davis’ exploration of the ways in which spaces such as The Underground Museum interact, intersect, and exchange value with traditional arts institutions. Young Blood is a celebration of black culture, spirituality, and creative legacy.
“Having been engaged with, and in some cases, intimately involved in the work of Noah and Kahlil over the last decade, it is an honor to be entrusted with curating this celebration of two of this century’s young masters,” said Alley-Barnes. “As we bring this exhibition to fruition, I feel joy in knowing that a conversation started with the artists more than a year ago has been made tangible and is now being shared with a diverse audience.”
“Noah Davis and Kahlil Joseph have created bodies of work that are undeniably significant in the context of 21st century social and political culture,” said Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Director of the Frye Art Museum. “While Joseph explores the territories of the fashion, film, and music industries, Davis deftly examines the traditional painterly subject.”
The Frye Art Museum is grateful for the exceptional support of the artists’ family as well as public and private collections across the nation in realizing the exhibition.
Young Blood: Noah Davis, Kahlil Joseph, The Underground Museum is organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes.
The exhibition is funded by the Frye Foundation with the generous support of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax, Riddell Williams P.S., Westbank, Commonwealth Projects, Lianne Barnes and Stephen Zimmerman, Royal Alley-Barnes MAT, Cathy and Michael Casteel, Christopher and Alida Latham, Meriwether Advisors, and Frye Art Museum members and donors. Additional funding is provided by David and Kristi Buck, Tina Bullitt, Peter Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard, Perkins+Will, Dana Reid and Larry Hitchon, David and Catherine Skinner, and R.M. Watson Co. ArtsFund provides seasonal support. Media sponsorship is provided by The Stranger.