Now On View

Now On View

Hakeem Adewumi: Possession of A Recalcitrant Dream, 2024

2024 Summer Exhibition

June 4 - October 1, 2024
Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade

2024 Summer Exhibitions

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s summer exhibition suite explores how portrait photographs by artists from New York City, Boston, and Dallas reflect and refract multifaceted LGBTQIA+ experiences. Across three galleries, including the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade outside the Museum, we illuminate how portrait photography is a powerful tool for LGBTQIA+ self-discovery, community-making, and affirming of found family. Each artist presents us with their unique processes, which prioritize making space for their subjects and shaping stories—sometimes their own—on camera.

Hakeem Adewumi: Possession of a Recalcitrant Dream, 2024

This summer, the digital photo collage that graces the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade presents artist Hakeem Adewumi (he/him), part of the Artists-in-Residence program, posing with tenderness and obscurity. By replacing his head with a mythical Hydra, Adewumi asks us to immediately contend with a blend of fantasy and desire. Here, Adewumi refuses to be seen as a singular being, and presents an invitation to linger deeper in the power of the unknown. This public installation serves as a mirror for visitors to contend with the hidden parts of themselves reflected through the artist’s self portrait.

Adewumi Facade rendering

Hakeem Adewumi, Possession of A Recalcitrant Dream, 2024. Artist rendering

About the Artist

Man with short dread locks looking at the camera

Photo courtesy of the artist

After graduating with a degree in African and African Diaspora Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, Hakeem Adewumi (b.1990, US) (he/him) was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship scholarship to Johannesburg, South Africa. His work has been exhibited at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Houston, TX; the George Washington Carver Museum and Culture Center, Austin, TX; the Janette Kennedy Gallery, Dallas, TX; and is in the collection of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection, Chapman University. Over the years Adewumi has curated several pop-up exhibitions including an experimental project, Juneteenth House (JH). This project is an immersive concept house and multidisciplinary studio merging design and art to explore placemaking, culture, and Black identity in Texas. Adewumi first came to the Gardner as an Artist-in-Residence in July 2023. He is also the Co-Director of Marketing for The Theater Offensive, a Boston-based theater company that focuses on issues affecting queer and trans people of color.

Explore Other Exhibitions

Explore Other Exhibitions



Hakeem Adewumi: Possession of A Recalcitrant Dream, 2024 is supported by the Barr Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. 

The Artist-in-Residence program is directed by Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art. Funding is also provided for site-specific installations of new work on the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade on Evans Way. 

The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is supported by the state of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.