• Dates: May 3, 2023 - July 21, 2023
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Venue: North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Location: West Raleigh/N.C. State Univ/PNC Arena
  • Address: 2110 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh, NC 27607
  • Admission: Free


Michael Richards’s visionary sculptures and drawings, created between 1990 and 2001, engage Blackness, flight, diaspora, spirituality, police brutality, and monuments in his largest retrospective to date. Michael Richards: Are You Down? takes its name from one of the last artworks the artist created.

In his sculptures and installations, Richards gestures toward both repression and reprieve from social injustices and the simultaneous possibilities of uplift and downfall, often in the context of the historic and ongoing oppression of Black people. Flight and aviation were central themes for Richards as an exploration of freedom and escape, ascendance and descent. These themes are especially evident in Richards’s engagement with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, including his well-known sculpture Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian (1999)—a version of which has been on continuous display at the NCMA since 2003.