What she means, curated by Hilton Als at Pérez Art Museum, is an exhibition that portraits Joan Didion featuring over 200 works by 50 artists, including Betye Saar, Ana Mendieta, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, among many others.


The exhibition is a portrait of an artist by other artists as told through their shared language, as well as the visual arts which italicize Didion’s journey as an eyewitness and pioneer of her time.


“I am excited for the opportunity to share this exhibition with the Miami community. Joan Didion is an artist who had deep ties to the city, as well as cultures in and around the area”, said Curator Hilton Als. “She was a Californian by birth and temperament, but she traveled widely throughout America; she was interested in and committed to recording what made us different and similar in a shared nation”.


What she means couples the archival with the conceptual together with works by Betye Saar, Vija Celmins, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Maren Hassinger, Silke Otto-Knapp, John Koch, Pat Steir, and many others, placed alongside works and memorabilia from numerous films for which Didion authored screenplays. Following a winding chronology, the exhibition traces Didion’s life and the regions she called home: Holy Water: Sacramento, Berkeley (1934–1956); Goodbye to All That: New York (1956–1963); The White Album: California, Hawaii (1964–1988); and the final chapter, Sentimental Journeys: New York, Miami, San Salvador (1988–2021).


The more than 200 objects and artworks include family heirlooms, paintings, ephemera, photographs, sculptures, videos, and footage from a number of the films for which Didion authored screenplays.


Artists participating: Kenneth Anger, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Don Bachardy, Robert Bechtle, Barbara Bloom, Vija Celmins, Henry Clarke, Eleanor Colburn, Richard Diebenkorn, Griffin Dunne, William Eggleston, Kim Fisher, John Ford, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Maren Hassinger, Walterio Iraheta, Suzanne Jackson, Silke Otto-Knapp, John Koch, Brigitte Lacombe, Liz Larner, Alma Ruth Lavenson, Glenn Ligon, Helen Lundeberg, Susan Meiselas, Ana Mendieta, Ronald Morán, Dominique Nabokov, Chiura Obata, Bill Owens, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Jorge Pardo, Irving Penn, Frank Perry, Jack Pierson, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Umar Rashid, Elaine Reichek, Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, Alan Saret, Ben Sakoguchi, Jeffrey Henson Scales, Penny Slinger, Roger Steffens, Pat Steir, Jürgen Teller, Wayne Thiebaud, Anne Truitt, Elmer Wachtel, Andy Warhol, Todd Webb, Henry Wessel, Edward Henry Weston, Amanda Williams, Christopher Williams, Gary Winogrand, Michele Zalopany.

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