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An exploration of black art through vintage and contemporary books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.
Swann Announces September Sale of Maya Angelou's Art Collection

Swann Announces September Sale of Maya Angelou’s Art Collection

View image | gettyimages.com AN AVID COLLECTOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART, Maya Angelou (1928-2014) surrounded herself with paintings, sculpture, fine prints and works on paper. The vaunted poet and author acquired works by Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Melvin Edwards and Faith Ringgold, among many others, that have largely...
Modern Painters: Engaging African American Artists in Talks About Police

Modern Painters: Engaging African American Artists in Talks About Police

OVER THE PAST YEAR, visual artists have responded to the steady clip of national news stories about unarmed black men and youth being killed by police. Titus Kaphur painted the Ferguson, Mo., protestors for Time magazine; Dred Scott wrote an essay titled “Illegitimate” for the Walker Art Center on the...
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Mark Bradford's 'Smear' Sells for Record $4.3 Million at Sotheby's

Mark Bradford’s ‘Smear’ Sells for Record $4.3 Million at Sotheby’s

TEN BIDDERS VIED FOR A NEW PAINTING by Mark Bradford at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on May 12. The sale price for “Smear” was ultimately $4,394,000 (including fees), a record for the Los Angeles-based artist, according to Sotheby’s and Iris Index. A brilliant nexus of color, technique and materials executed in 2015, the mixed...
Okwui Enwezor's Vision for Venice Biennale is Right Up Front

Okwui Enwezor’s Vision for Venice Biennale is Right Up Front

Glenn Ligon and Oscar Murillo for “All the World’s Futures” curated by Okwui Enwezor #VeniceBiennale A photo posted by Artforum (@artforum) on May 5, 2015 at 3:49am PDT THE 56th VENICE BIENNALE officially opens to the public on May 9 and black artists are at the forefront. The entrance to the Central Pavilion in the...
Kara Walker Offers a Critical Assessment of Toni Morrison's New Book

Kara Walker Offers a Critical Assessment of Toni Morrison’s New Book

View image | gettyimages.com FOR TWO DECADES, KARA WALKER HAS PURSUED a unique practice focused on exploring the history of race, gender, power and exploitation in the antebellum South through large-scale cut-paper silhouettes, drawings, watercolor and video animation. The artist’s primary subject parallels that of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved” (1987), as well as...
Recommended: Time on Chris Ofili, Wall St. Journal on Adam Pendleton, W on Hank Willis Thomas

Recommended: Time on Chris Ofili, Wall St. Journal on Adam Pendleton, W on Hank Willis Thomas

RECOMMENDED FEATURES recently published content from around the web, recommendations from Culture Type worth taking the time to explore: “Visionary Artist: Chris Ofili” by David Adjaye | Time Magazine This week, Time magazine published its annual list of The 100 Most Influential People and Chris Ofili made the list of artists who are at the...
Alma Thomas is Given Pride of Place at the White House

Alma Thomas is Given Pride of Place at the White House

THE INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE work of Alma W. Thomas (1891-1978) graces the Old Family Dining Room at the White House. In February, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the newly refurbished space where Thomas’s “Resurrection” is displayed on the north wall. The painting is the first artwork by an African American woman to hang in the public...
How Artist Charles Gaines is Influencing the Creative Economy in Los Angeles

How Artist Charles Gaines is Influencing the Creative Economy in Los Angeles

THE HAMMER MUSEUM is currently presenting “Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989,” the first museum survey of the Los Angeles-based artist’s early work. The exhibition originated at the Studio Museum in Harlem and includes some rare works, previously presumed to be lost, being shown for the first time. The work of Charles Gaines has been acquired by...
Spring Openings: 28 New Exhibitions Feature Black Artists

Spring Openings: 28 New Exhibitions Feature Black Artists

THIS SPRING MARKS THE OPENING of a number of notable exhibitions featuring work by African and African American artists. In Los Angeles, William Pope.L’s largest-ever museum presentation is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In New York, a comprehensive overview of colorful works by Alma Thomas is at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery,...
Prominent African American Artists Break Records at Swann Auction

Prominent African American Artists Break Records at Swann Auction

LAST THURSDAY WAS A HISTORY-MAKING DAY in African American art. Sales results show Swann Auction Galleries recorded $2.36 million in total sales (including fees), four lots sold for more than six figures and, most notably, seven artists achieved record prices. Swann Auction Galleries held its first African American fine art auction of the year on...
Recommended: Artforum Publishes Isaac Julien, Melvin Edwards and Simone Leigh in Their Own Words

Recommended: Artforum Publishes Isaac Julien, Melvin Edwards and Simone Leigh in Their Own Words

RECOMMENDED FEATURES recently published content from around the web, recommendations from Culture Type worth taking the time to explore: Over the past month, Artforum’s 500 Words feature has captured the as told to remarks of Simone Leigh, Melvin Edwards and Isaac Julien. The artists explain their work and share the sources and motivations behind their...
For Artist Project, Mickalene Thomas, Nick Cave and Kehinde Wiley Reveal Their Favorite Works at the Met

For Artist Project, Mickalene Thomas, Nick Cave and Kehinde Wiley Reveal Their Favorite Works at the Met

RECLINING IN THE NUDE or posed upright on sofas, Mickalene Thomas‘s female subjects are always surrounded by a dynamic mix of patterned textiles. Mixed-media paintings and photographs, her portraits of African American women are inspired in part by the practice of Malian photographer Seydou Keita (1921-2001), whose work is shown above. “I wasn’t trained as...
Arts Leader Mary Schmidt Campbell Named President of Spelman College

Arts Leader Mary Schmidt Campbell Named President of Spelman College

THE TENTH PRESIDENT of Spelman College is a prominent New York City arts leader who played a pivotal role in sustaining and advancing the Studio Museum in Harlem when the city was on a downturn. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., has been named president-elect of Spelman, the Atlanta college established in 1881 and recognized today as...
Theaster Gates Gave a TED Talk About Reviving Communities with Cultural Development

Theaster Gates Gave a TED Talk About Reviving Communities with Cultural Development

WHETHER DESCRIBED AS AN ARTIST, urban planner or creative entrepreneur, Theaster Gates‘s innovative approach to improving his Chicago neighborhood has garnered wide attention over the past five years or so. His use of cultural capital to transform blighted buildings on his Dorchester block into gathering places for film screenings, musical performances, dinner parties, conferences with...