Two distinct but adjacent exhibits at the RISD Museum work best when viewed in tandem. One focuses on black and white photography pertaining to people in groups, like Kusakabe Kimbei’s sumo wrestlers or Lisette Model’s black-shoed New Yorkers running along Fifth Avenue. In the next room, about two dozen artists speak to the majestic, menacing power of the American flag. Local artists figure prominently – Jungil Hong, Dave Cole, Jessica Deane Rosner – in a show that’s largely about our collective responses to violent traumas, whether it’s the war in Afghanistan or the 1970 Kent State shootings.
pictured: Brad Kayal, Job Creator (detail), 2011