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Chicago-Born Artist Rashid Johnson Will Throw First Pitch at Thursday’s Cubs Game

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rashid johnson baseballOn Saturday New York-based sculptor and installation artist Rashid Johnson opens his first major museum exhibition, “Message to Our Folks,” at his hometown of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and he’s promoting the show in all the typical ways: doing interviews, leading gallery talks, and throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game.

According to an MCA announcement, Johnson will throw the ceremonial opening pitch at Thursday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Johnson, who was born in the Windy City in 1977, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York, where he is currently one of the nominees for the Guggenheim’s 2012 Hugo Boss Prize.

Johnson often incorporates iconic images of famous black athletes into his work, but his practice has never incorporated an actual athletic performance before, so this news comes as something of a curve-ball.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Rashid Johnson, “Spiral,” 2008; courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth.)

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