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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.
Toyin Odutola Discusses New York, Artistic Influences and the Wonders of Ballpoint

Toyin Odutola Discusses New York, Artistic Influences and the Wonders of Ballpoint

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Toyin Odutola spoke to Bomb magazine about race, representation and inspiration. The Nigerian-born artist’s work is instantly recognizable. Executed in charcoal, ink and often ballpoint pen, her self portraits and images of her brothers and others are usually set against dark backgrounds, the subject’s skin depicted in...
Assassinated 50 Years Ago, Malcolm X's Powerful Image, Message Still Resonate

Assassinated 50 Years Ago, Malcolm X’s Powerful Image, Message Still Resonate

FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY, Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. To pay tribute to her father, Ilyasah Shabazz wrote an essay published in the New York Times titled “What Would Malcolm X Think?” In the article, she recounts the outspoken leaders’s strategies for gaining civil rights...
Kadir Nelson Interprets New Yorker Icon for Magazine's 90th Anniversary

Kadir Nelson Interprets New Yorker Icon for Magazine’s 90th Anniversary

THE NEW YORKER IS CELEBRATING its 90th anniversary with nine covers by nine illustrators including award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. The magazine’s first issue in February 1925 featured a “starchy-looking gent with the beaver hat and the monocle,” an iconic character who later became known as Eustace Tilley. Standing the test...
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Frieze Magazine Asks Henry Taylor and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye About Painting

Frieze Magazine Asks Henry Taylor and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye About Painting

LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE FINDS PAINTING “DIFFICULT.” Critically recognized for her moody-hued paintings of people who sprout from her imagination (above), the British artist says the challenge is a good thing. “I paint because I love doing it and because I never stop finding it difficult,” she told Frieze magazine. “I always feel like I’m trying to...
Mark Bradford and Theaster Gates Post Record Sales at London Auctions

Mark Bradford and Theaster Gates Post Record Sales at London Auctions

WHEN THE HAMMER CAME DOWN at Phillips London, Mark Bradford’s “Biting the Book” sold for more than $3.8 million, a record for the Los Angeles-based artist. A large-scale, mixed-media painting created in 2013, it was featured in Bradford’s “Through the Darkest America by Truck and Tank” exhibition at London’s White Cube Gallery. The lot sold...
New York Times 'Paints' Portrait of Kehinde Wiley

New York Times ‘Paints’ Portrait of Kehinde Wiley

IN ADVANCE OF HIS RETROSPECTIVE “A New Republic” opening at the Brooklyn Museum on Feb. 20, the New York Times profiled Kehinde Wiley. Deborah Solomon visited the artist at his studio in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and asked him about his painting process and street casting, as well as his parents, wardrobe and sexuality....
25 Exhibitions for Your Winter 2015 Agenda

25 Exhibitions for Your Winter 2015 Agenda

THIS WINTER IS PROVING TO BE UNPREDICTABLE, with massive snow expected one week and relatively mild temperatures the next. On the art front, the forecast this season is more reliable with a robust slate of exhibitions, from New York, San Francisco and Ontario to London and Munich, featuring a range of modern and contemporary black...
U.S. State Dept. Honors Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley

U.S. State Dept. Honors Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley

THE COLOR-INFUSED CANVASES of Sam Gilliam, un-stretched and un-framed, are suspended from the ceiling of the American embassy in Bamako, Mali. Across the globe, visitors to America’s diplomatic outposts in more than 20 countries have been greeted by the innovative work of the Washington Color School artist. On view from Lima and Rabat to Kingston...
Martin Luther King Jr., 'Selma' and the Images that Captured the 1965 Voting Rights March

Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Selma’ and the Images that Captured the 1965 Voting Rights March

WITHOUT THE IMAGES, the protracted fight for American civil rights is an abstract notion. The legal outcomes are tangible, but the untenable measures undertaken by countless foot soldiers in the pursuit of racial justice are brought into sharp relief through the powerful photography capturing the era. Much has been made of “Selma” being snubbed by...
Mickalene Thomas Envisions First Lady Michelle Obama

Mickalene Thomas Envisions First Lady Michelle Obama

TODAY IS FIRST LADY OBAMA’s 51st birthday. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a pop icon. Mickalene Thomas was inspired by the latter image when she made what is considered the first solo portrait of Obama, a print donated to the Obama campaign shortly before the...
Recommended: Gary Simmons Talks to BOMB, Times on Collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Interview Anoints Jacolby Satterwhite

Recommended: Gary Simmons Talks to BOMB, Times on Collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Interview Anoints Jacolby Satterwhite

RECOMMENDED FEATURES recently published content from around the web, recommendations from Culture Type worth taking the time to explore: “Gary Simmons” by Jodie Bass | BOMB Magazine For Prospect 3 in New Orleans (open through Jan. 25), Gary Simmons built “Recapturing the Memories of the Black Ark,” a site-specific “sculpture activated by live musicians.” Jodie...
New Year, New Art: What to Look Forward to in 2015

New Year, New Art: What to Look Forward to in 2015

WITH A NEW YEAR UNDERWAY and a promising selection of new books, exhibitions and events on the horizon, here is what is on my radar, what I am most looking forward to in 2015: “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art,” a sweeping new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Jan. 10 – April...
The Year in Black Art Books, Catalogs and Magazines 2014

The Year in Black Art Books, Catalogs and Magazines 2014

IT WAS A THRILL TO OPEN the January issue of W magazine and find photographer Lorna Simpson’s evocative images of the cast of “12 Years a Slave” and conclude the year with a package delivered after Christmas containing “Du Bois in Our Time,” a visual testament to the intellectual’s legacy. In the months between, some...
W Magazine Concludes 2014 with Coverage of Sam Gilliam, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu and Kevin Beasley

W Magazine Concludes 2014 with Coverage of Sam Gilliam, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu and Kevin Beasley

OFFERING COVERAGE OF ARTS AND CULTURE that rivals its fashion reporting, W magazine has recently trained its lens on several Black artists. In November, articles were published on Sam Gilliam and Rashid Johnson. Though separated by nearly two generations, the artists are closely connected. Both are represented by David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles where...
Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2014

Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2014

FROM THE DAK’ART BIENNIAL in Senegal, to the 1:54 art fair in London and Prospect.3 in New Orleans, 2014 was brimming with compelling exhibitions, innovative projects and well-deserved honors. Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx installation in Brooklyn was perhaps the most thought-provoking and buzzed about exhibition of the year; Chris Ofili’s “Night and Day” survey at...