Bill Gunn

Artists Space, in collaboration with an organizing committee comprised of Bill Gunn collaborators and scholars, presents Till They Listen: Bill Gunn Directs America. The comprehensive gallery exhibition includes a series of public programs celebrating the life and towering, multi-faceted work of the filmmaker, playwright, novelist, and actor Bill Gunn (1929–1989). As a Black artist working simultaneously in Hollywood and the New York theatre world, Gunn persistently struggled to produce his work as a writer and filmmaker, and these hardships are reflected in both his art and his archive. Three decades after his death, Bill Gunn’s work has begun to gain long overdue visibility through film retrospectives, restorations and increased availability of his published writings. Adding to the recent scholarship around Gunn’s work, this exhibition elucidates Gunn’s profound artistic vision through an unprecedented gathering of archival materials from both private collections and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s unparalleled holdings, most exhibited for the first time. This curated selection of ephemera, media, literature, and original artworks offers a complex and intimate portrait of Gunn’s seminal output, with a focus on his many unrealized projects.

Installation view  •

Installation view

Till They Listen: Bill Gunn Directs America
Artists Space, June 5 – August 21, 2021

 •  Courtesy Artists Space, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak

 Installation view featuring contact sheets from Losing Ground  •  c. 1982

Installation view featuring contact sheets from Losing Ground

Till They Listen: Bill Gunn Directs America
Artists Space, June 5 – August 21, 2021

c. 1982  •  Courtesy Artists Space, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak

Installation view  •  c. 1973

Installation view

Till They Listen: Bill Gunn Directs America
Artists Space, June 5 – August 21, 2021

c. 1973  •  Courtesy Artists Space, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak

Installation view featuring various ephemera from Ganja & Hess  •  c.1973

Installation view featuring various ephemera from Ganja & Hess

Till They Listen: Bill Gunn Directs America
Artists Space, June 5 – August 21, 2021

c.1973  •  Courtesy Artists Space, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak