FROM THE MOMENT Kerry James Marshall’s 35-year survey exhibition opened at MCA Chicago this spring, the artist has been praised with honors, his work has been lauded in the media, and his message has resonated. His years-long mantra, that in order to push the Western canon of art history in a more diverse and representational direction images of black people and the black experience should hang in museums alongside the so-called “masters,” dovetailed with a promising moment for a select group of African American modern and contemporary artists.
Throughout 2016, major museums around the country announced acquisitions of works by black artists, bringing into their collections works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Sam Gilliam, Wadsworth Jerrell, Alma Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Marshall, among many others. As the year unfolded, impressive awards, fellowships, and residencies were also bestowed upon many artists. African American curators pursued new opportunities and African American artists joined major galleries. A monumental Smithsonian museum opened on the National Mall dedicated to African American history and culture with a commitment to presenting visual art. Meanwhile, police violence, along with race baiting and culture clashes that sprouted from the fractious election season sewed both consternation and inspiration in artists. A review of the past year in black art makes clear that the challenges are as real as the possibilities.
ACQUISITION | In January, the Museum of Modern Art announced a series of acquisitions, including works by Kara Walker, Mark Bradford, Chris Ofili, Kerry James Marshall, and William H. Johnson. Shown, KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Untitled (policeman),” 2015 (synthetic polymer paint on PVC panel with plexi frame). © 2016 Kerry James Marshall. Photo courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York via MoMA
APPOINTMENT > | Kelly Lee (at right) begins serving in her new role as Philadelphia’s chief cultural officer and head of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy on Jan. 13.
AWARD/HONOR | Artist Jennie C. Jones is named recipient of 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
REPRESENTATION | Ryan Lee Gallery in New York announces its representation of Emma Amos, the youngest and sole female member of Spiral, the African American artists collective co-founded by Romare Bearden in 1963. READ CULTURE TALK with the gallery about Amos.
NEWS | On Jan. 20, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture announces $10 million gift from David Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group and member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents executive committee.
ACQUISITION | On Jan. 21, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis announces new acquisitions and commissions for its redeveloped campus and sculpture garden, including a forthcoming work by Theaster Gates, the artist’s first permanent outdoor commission.
APPOINTMENT | The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia creates new position and names Maori Karmael Holmes (pictured at left) to fill the post as director of Academic and Public Partnerships.
NEWS | On Jan. 21, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture announces gift from Wells Fargo including $1 million dollars and historic mining stock certificates featuring the work of African American lithographer Grafton Tyler Brown.
ACQUISITION | The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture announces new acquisitions in its Art and Artifacts division. The gift from Philadelphia donor Constance Clayton includes works by Edward Bannister, Romare Bearden, James VanDerZee, Dox Thrash, and Laura Wheeler Waring, whose work is entering the center’s collection for the first time.
APPOINTMENT | Arts consultant and curator Leslie Guy is named chief curator at DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago on Jan. 22.
AWARD/HONOR | The American Academy in Rome, the oldest American overseas center for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities, announces spring 2016 residents, including architect David Adjaye, playwright Anna Deveare Smith, and artist Kara Walker.
LIVES | Pioneering Alabama artist Thornton Dial Sr., dies on Jan. 25 at his home in McCalla, Ala. He was 87.
ACQUISITION | The Museum of Modern Art in New York announces major acquisitions. The Department of Drawings and Prints acquires 17 works, including Kara Walker‘s “40 Acres of Mules” (2015), a charcoal work on three sheets of paper, and “Black Shunga” (2008-15), a suite of 11 etchings by Chris Ofili. The Painting and Sculpture Department adds 12 works to its collection, including Mark Bradford’s 2015 mixed-media painting “Walk to the Middle of the Ocean,” William H. Johnson‘s “Three Girls” (1941), “Untitled (Police Man)” (2015) by Kerry James Marshall, and Chris Ofili‘s 2007 painting “Raising Lazarus.”
NEWS | A survey by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs finds local cultural institutions fall short in terms representation. People of color are 67 percent of the city’s population and only represent 38.5 percent of staff.
IMAGE: Kelli Lee | Photo by David Swanson via philly.com
APPOINTMENT | In 2016, RASHID JOHNSON is elevated to vice chair of the Performa board of director and becomes the first artist to serve on the board of the Guggenheim Foundation since Hilla Rebay, the institutions founding director and curator. | Photo courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum
APPOINTMENT | LaNisha Cassell will serve as deputy director of African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, beginning Feb. 1.
NEWS | After pushing back it 2015 debut, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture announces it will officially open on Sept. 24.
APPOINTMENT | Studio Museum in Harlem associate curator Naima Keith is named deputy director of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.
AWARD/HONOR | The Savannah College of Art and Design announces its deFINE ART 2016 honoree is Carrie Mae Weems.
ACQUISITION | Virginia Commonwealth University acquires rare black comic book. All-Negro Comics No. 1, the first comic book written and drawn solely by African-American writers and artists, was published in 1947.
AWARD/HONOR | Artist Kenyatta Hinkle is among the recipients of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s 2016 Emerging Artist Grant in Los Angeles.
ACQUISITION | The Museum of Modern Art receives gift of two works by photographer Andres Serrano: “Piss” and “Blood.” Both 1987 works are chromogenic color prints.
AWARD/HONOR | Mark Bradford is named 2016 recipient of the David Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and will be honored at an April 29 award dinner.
APPOINTMENT | Brooklyn Museum curator Rujeko Hockle joins board of directors of Art Matters, an artist grant foundation.
APPOINTMENT | Artist Rashid Johnson is elevated to vice chair of Performa board of directors.
EXHIBITION | “Glenn Ligon: What We Said The Last Time,” features a new suite of 17 inkjet prints by Glenn Ligon that document the paint-spattered pages of the Ligon’s well-worn copy of James Baldwin’s seminal 1953 essay “Stranger in the Village” opens at Luhring Augustine in Chelsea, N.Y., on Feb. 27.
AWARD/HONOR | Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village, Colo., announces it will honor Carrie Mae Weems with the National Artist Award at an annual dinner to be held July 21.
THEATER | New York-based artist JULIE MEHRETU served as scenery designer for “Only the Sound Remains” at the Dutch National Opera (March 15-30). | via Dutch National Opera
MAGAZINE | Describing Faith Ringgold as “The Storyteller” and Kerry James Marshall as “The Painter of Modern Life,” ARTnews features the pair in its ICONS issue among five artists “who have transformed the art world over the last 50 years.”
ART FAIR | Contemporary& founders Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba curate “African Perspectives” in the Focus section of the Armory Show (March 3-6). The presentation features 14 galleries from around the world presenting work in a range of mediums by artists who hail from variety of African countries.
LIVES | Sculptor and choreographer Fred Holland dies March 5 at age 65. At the time of his death, “Fred Holland: SSAPMOC,” an exhibition of his work, is on view at Tilton Gallery in New York.
AWARD/HONOR | The Baum Foundation and SF Camerawork announce the winner of the 2016 Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer is Los Angeles-based artist Sune Woods.
AWARD/HONOR > | Baltimore artist Amy Sherald wins major prize for her 2013 painting “Miss Everything (Unsupressed Deliverance)” in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
THEATER | Julie Mehretu lends her artistry to the stage, designing scenery for the world première of “Only the Sound Remains” at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam.
EXHIBITION | Mnuchin Gallery in New York opens “David Hammons: Five Decades” (March 15-May 27, 2016), a career survey tracing the evolution of David Hammons’s work from the 1960s to present.
AWARD/HONOR | Akilah Johnson, a Washington, D.C., high school sophomore, wins Google Doodle contest with Afrocentric image in response to “What makes me…me” theme.
AWARD/HONOR | The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Arts & Minds program is awarded the 2015 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award from The Family Caregiver Alliance.
NEWS | Cuban artist Kcho partners with Google to bring high-speed Internet access to locals by hosting a technology center in his studio.
LIVES | On March 23, New York-based sculptor Inge Hardison, whose work paid tribute to African American legends, dies at age 102.
APPOINTMENT | The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis announces the appointment of Adrienne Edwards as curator-at-large.
APPOINTMENT | Studio Museum in Harlem Director Thelma Golden joins the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
APPOINTMENT | Trevor A. Dawes is named May Morris Librarian and vice provost for libraries and museums at the University of Delaware.
AUCTION | On March 31, a 1932 illustrated map of Harlem nightclubs by E. Simms Campbell sells for $100,000 (including fees) at Swann Auction Galleries in New York. The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University purchased the map.
IMAGE: AMY SHERALD, “Miss Everything (Unsupressed Deliverance),” 2013 (oil on canvas, 54″ × 43″). | Collection of Frances and Burton Reifler
AWARD/HONOR | MARK BRADFORD will represent the United States at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 and create a new site-specific installation for the U.S. Pavilion. | Photo by Christopher Bedford, Courtesy The Rose Art Museum
AWARD/HONOR | Khalil Joseph (Film/Video), Simone Liegh (Visual Arts), and Lyle Ashton Harris (Photography) are among recipients of 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships.
AWARD/HONOR | The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts appoints Didier William MFA program chair.
AWARD/HONOR | South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere is selected as Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2017.
AWARD/HONOR | On April 12, the New York Foundation for the Arts named 2016 inductees into NYFA Hall of Fame, including Faith Ringgold (Fellow in Painting ’88) and Anna Deavere Smith (Fiscally Sponsored Artist ’16).
< LIVES | On April 14, pioneering Malian Photographer Malick Sidibe dies at age 80. At right, “Surprise Party,” 1964/2004 (gelatin silver print).
REPRESENTATION | Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York announces its representation of painter Jack Whitten, who is known for his conceptual approach to abstraction.
AWARD/HONOR | Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates wins 2017 Kurt Schwitters Prize, an honor that includes his first solo museum show in Germany in late 2017.
PROJECT | In April, Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman launch For Freedoms, the first-ever artist-run super PAC. Through exhibitions, public programs, voter registration drives, and billboard advertisements, along with creative contributions from dozens of artists, the innovative campaign encouraged political engagement and critical discourse in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
NEWS | Los Angeles-based Mark Bradford, who is known for his layered, mixed-media abstract paintings, is chosen to represent the United States at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
AWARD/HONOR | Skowhegan in Maine celebrates 70th anniversary with an awards dinner on April 26, with David Driskell (Skohegan Lifetime Legacy Award) and Julie Mehretu (Skohegan Medal for Painting), among those honored.
REPRESENTATION | Chicago artist Theaster Gates joins Regen Projects in Los Angeles, his first U.S. gallery representation since 2012.
IMAGE: “Surprise Party” | © Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
AUCTION | On May 10, “Plunge,” a large-scale 1992 acrylic and paper collage on canvas painting by Kerry James Marshall sells for more than $2.1 at Christie’s New York, a new artist record at auction.
AWARD/HONOR | Queens Museum-Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists is awarded to three artists, including Sable Elyse Smith.
AWARD/HONOR | Baltimore artist Joyce Scott, whose imaginative bead sculptures explore race issues and domestic violence wins Baker Award, an annual prize administered by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
REPRESENTATION | Brooklyn-based artist Simone Leigh, whose work spans sculpture, video, installation and performance, joins Luhring Augustine gallery.
APPOINTMENT | Maria Jenson begins her tenure as executive director of SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco.
EXHIBITION | Martin Puryear‘s “Big Bling” sculpture debuts in Madison Square Park in New York on May 16.
ACQUISITION | The Detroit Institute of the Arts acquires two new works of art—a photograph by Hank Willis Thomas and a painting by Stefanie Jackson.
AWARD/HONOR | NASDAQ opening bell ceremony celebrates Gordon Parks in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Gordon Parks Foundation awards dinner and auction. Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier is among 2016 honorees at the May 24 gala.
MAGAZINE > | Curator Sarah Lewis guest edits special “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture magazine to much acclaim. The summer edition, exploring the role of photography in the African American experience, features two covers and contributions by an array of significant photographers, curators, and scholars.
AWARD/HONOR | The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. presents Vision Historian award to Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
NEWS | The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture surpasses its goal to raise $270 million in private donatons.
APPOINTMENT | The School of the Art Institute of Chicago announces the appointment of Arnold J. Kemp as dean of graduate studies, along with a concurrent faculty post as a professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing.
TALK | Hank Willis Thomas, Nick Cave, Rick Lowe, and Carrie Mae Weems, among other artists, deliver commencement addresses at various colleges.
EXHIBITION | An exhibition of GORDON PARKS’s images of Muhammad Ali went on view at the Gordon Parks Foundation shortly after the legendary boxer died. Shown, “Untitled, Miami, Florida,” 1970. © The Gordon Parks Foundation, Courtesy the Gordon Parks Foundation
ACQUISITION > | Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth Collage announces acquisition of 1969 Alma Thomas painting, “Wind Dancing with Spring Flowers.”
AWARD/HONOR | University of Chicago awards 2016 Rosenberger Medal to artist Kerry James Marshall.
AWARD/HONOR | Nari Ward and Nina Chanel Abney are among artists honored at Laundromat Project’s annual Soapbox benefit. The Laundromat Project brings arts programming to laundromats and other accessible New York City neighborhood spaces, primarily in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point.
EXHIBITION | Organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, “Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis” travels to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 4. The exhibition is the first comprehensive museum survey of Norman Lewis, an important Harlem figure recognized for his innovative approach to Abstract Expressionism.
EXHIBITION | Gordon Parks Foundation opens an exhibition of Muhammad Ali photographs (“American Champion”) by the late Gordon Parks on June 6, days after the legendary boxer and humanitarian dies.
NEWS | A replica of Nigeria’s Makoko Floating School collapses in a storm at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
APPOINTMENT | Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture hires Carla Hall as consulting chef for its forthcoming restaurant. The chef, restauranteur, cookbook author, and co-host of “The Chew,” gained prominence after competing on Top Chef.
AWARD/HONOR | The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation names 10 artists as activists fellows for 2016, including Titus Kaphar, Paul Rucker, El Sawyer, Shontina Vernon, and the collectives Echoes of Incarceration, The Graduates, and Los Angeles Poverty Department.
AWARD/HONOR | The University of Chicago announces recipient of the Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative and Performing Art is artist Kerry James Marshall, and will be awarded at its June 11 convocation.
APPOINTMENT | Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Conn., appoints new executive director, Franklin Mitchell.
NEWS | Johnson Publishing sells Ebony and Jet magazines to black-owned private equity firm.
< EXHIBITION | Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces portrait of Althea Gibson by Genevieve Naylor will go on view after image of tennis player garners most public votes.
NEWS | After winning a student competition, 18-year-old Cliffannie Forrester‘s dream comes true when her painting goes on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
APPOINTMENT | Mickalene Thomas joins the board of the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York.
NEWS | David Adjaye’s Adjaye Associates is chosen to design Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art.
TALK | On June 16, Carrie Mae Weems delivers inaugural Lea K. Green Artist Talk at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The event is supported by a memorial fund honoring Green who served as director of special projects at the museum from 2006-2011.
NEWS | New York City Parks Department reverses its decision and allows artist Aaron Bell to finish his ‘problematic’ noose sculpture in Riverside Park.
APPOINTMENT | The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts announces first Winston & Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Fine Arts, Kelli Morgan, a curator, author, lecturer, teacher, and doctoral candidate in Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
NEWS | Sothebys announces it is venturing into sales of modern and contemporary African art in London. First sale is expected in early 2017.
MAGAZINE | As a part of its Oral History Project documenting the life stories of New York City’s African American artists, BOMB magazine publishes an interview with Eldzier Cortor (left), who died last November.
AWARD/HONOR | Njideka Akunyili Crosby is announced the winner of the Prix Canson 2016.
EXHIBITION | On June 22, Simone Leigh’s new solo exhibition “The Waiting Room” opens at New Museum in New York.
EXHIBITION | “Blackness in Abstraction,” a group exhibition curated by Adrienne Edwards, opens at Pace Gallery in New York on June 22.
AWARD/HONOR | Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta Contemporary) announces Larry Walker will receive the 2016 Nexus Award, an honor acknowledging his “significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape and celebrates local leaders who are instrumental in making Atlanta an exceptionally vibrant arts community.”
EXHIBITION > | The Studio Museum in Harlem announces inHarlem initiatives, an effort to connect the museum with the surrounding community through special programming, projects and presentations. The first project is a series of sculptures by Kevin Beasley, Simone Leigh (right), Kori Newkirk and Rudy Shepherd to be installed in four Harlem parks.
APPOINTMENT | Maxwell Anderson becomes president of Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta. Established by William S. Arnett, the foundation collects and promotes the work of self-taught African American artists, including the late Thornton Dial and the Gee’s Bend quilters.
LIVES | Ben Patterson, an experimental artist and double bassist who co-founded the Fluxus movement dies June 25 at age 82.
APPOINTMENT | Meg Onli is appointed assistant curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA Philadelphia).
TALK | Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, conducts a public conversation with her husband, designer Duro Olowu, about his new exhibition in London.
AWARD/HONOR | The Aspen Institute names Theaster Gates a 2016 Artist in Residence.
NEWS | New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, a husband-and-wife team, are selected to design the Obama presidential library in Chicago.
IMAGES: Left, “Althea Gibson,” 1957, printed c. 1970 (gelatin silver print). | Photo by Genevieve Naylor, gelatin silver print, 1957 (printed c. 1970). © Genevieve Naylor / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York; Right, Simone Leigh, elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora (installation view), 2016 Marcus Garvey Park, New York, NY, August 25, 2016–July 25, 2017. | Photo by Liz Gwinn via Studio Museum in Harlem
NEWS | From the collection of Fisk University, FLORINE STETTHEIMER’s “Asbury Park South” (1920) was on view in the exhibition “O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York” at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine (June 24-Sept. 18, 2016).
MAGAZINE > | Dedicated to jazz from the perspective of the musician and performer, jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran publishes first-ever issue of LOOP, a new limited edition magazine.
AWARD/HONOR | The Foundation for Contemporary Art honors filmmaker and visual artist Cauleen Smith with its first Ellsworth Kelly Award.
MAGAZINE | Mickalene Thomas contributes one of her celebrated images of black women, “Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse #1,” to a colorful, glittery paint-by-number project for the inaugural edition of Kazoo, a new quarterly print magazine for girls aged 5 to 10.
ACQUISITION | The Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Fla., announces it had purchased “Super Blue Omo” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, (at right) the much-talked about painting that sold at Victoria Miro Gallery on the first day of Art Basel.
NEWS | The Studio Museum in Harlem announced its latest cohort of artists in residence for 2016-17 — Autumn Knight (b. Houston, Texas), Julia Phillips (b. Hamburg, Germany), and Andy Robert (b. Les Cayes, Haiti).
EXHIBITION | “Julie Mehretu: The Addis Show” opened at The Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in Addis Ababa, marking the first time Mehretu has presented her work in Ethiopia, where she was born.
NEWS | Three local institutions, the Knoxville Museum of Art, Beck Cultural Exchange Center and East Tennessee Historical Society have launch a collaborative effort to recognize 20th century painter Beauford Delaney in his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn.
PERFORMANCE > | Artist Dread Scott joins protestors in Union Square demonstrating against police killing black men, bringing a huge black flag, holding it aloft for all to see the words emblazoned on it in white: “A Man Was Lynched By Police Yesterday.” The work is a part of the “For Freedoms” exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery.
EXHIBITION | After debuting at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, “Alma Thomas” opens at the Studio Museum in Harlem on July 14. The survey examines the evolution of Alma Thomas’s practice and is the first comprehensive look at her work in nearly two decades.
MAGAZINE | Kadir Nelson‘s illustration of “A Day at the Beach” appears on the cover of The New Yorker’s summer double issue (July 11 and July 18, 2016).
APPOINTMENT | The American Alliance of Museums names Sage Morgan-Hubbard Ford W. Bell Fellow, an opportunity that focuses on expanding the role of museums in P-12 education.
ACQUISITION |The Detroit Institute of Arts marks the launch of a major, three-year multimillion dollar initiative to expand its collection of African American art with the purchase of “Bird,” a 1990 sculpture by David Hammons.
APPOINTMENT | Artist Rashid Johnson joins the board of trustees of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
APPOINTMENT | Pérez Art Museum Miami announces it has added four new members to its board of trustees, including Barron Channer, CEO of BACH Real Estate, and Dorothy Terrell, founder and managing partner of FirstCap Advisors.
AWARD/HONOR | Congressman John Lewis accepts 2016 Eisner Award at Comic-Con for Best Reality-Based Work for “March, Book 2,” a graphic memoir of the Civil Rights Movement by Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.
< PROJECT | Taylor Renee Aldridge, Jessica Bell Brown, Kimberly Drew and Jessica Lynne, launch Black Art Incubator at Recess in New York. The monthlong (July 19-Aug. 19) collaborative project brings together artists, curators, community members, critics, and scholars through a series of public engagements.
NEWS | Two paintings, including “Asbury Park South” by Florine Stettheimer (above), are quietly sold by Fisk University in 2010 when the historically black college was experiencing financial duress.
NEWS | Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign enlists more than two dozen top graphic designers, including Antionette D. Carroll, Bobby C. Martin Jr., and Arem Duplessis, to create buttons for its Forty-Five Pin Project.
APPOINTMENT | Assistant curator at the Hammer Museum Jamillah James is named curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, a new forthcoming museum. Formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, ICA LA is expected to open in spring 2017.
EXHIBITION | First Lady Michelle Obama visits Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and tours Kerry James Marshall‘s “Mastry” exhibition with the artist, his wife and the museum’s director.
FILM | A trailer debuts for “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life,” a documentary about Floyd Norman, the first black animator at Disney, set for a limited theatrical release in August.
< NEWS | In an industry where representation is low, four black creative directors (Keith Cartwright Geoff Edwards, Jimmy Smith, and Jayanta Jenkins, clockwise from top left) step up and form a new initiative called Saturday Morning. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the goal is to encourage candid conversations about being black in America and dealing with race within the advertising profession.
APPOINTMENT | ArtTable, the national organization that promotes professional women in the visual arts, appoints six new board members, including Jennifer Francis, executive director of marketing and communications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Juanita Hardy, senior visiting fellow for creative placemaking at the Urban Land Institute; and Sheila McDaniel, deputy director of finance and administration at The Studio Museum in Harlem.
NEWS | Stella Jones Gallery in New Orleans celebrates its 20-year anniversary with a special exhibition, “INspired: 20 Years of African American Art,” pairing “legacy” artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Samella Lewis with contemporary artists.
APPOINTMENT | Kevin Young a poet and professor of English and creative writing and a curator of rare books and archives at Emory University, is named director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
NEWS | Seattle-based conceptual artist Natasha Marin launches reparations website as a “social experiment” designed to explore white privilege.
APPOINTMENT | The University of Southern California is attempting to revive its troubled MFA program. The USC Roski School of Art and Design announced five new professors, including artists Kori Newkirk and Edgar Arceneaux, will join the faculty beginning the 2016-17 academic year.
MAGAZINE | For its Crime issue, ARTnews pays tribute to museum guards, reporting on their experiences, insights about the art they are watching over, and featuring images of guards at several institutions.
ACQUISITION | More than 100 items from the private collection of David Horvitz and Francie Bishop Good are promised to the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., including works by Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Shinique Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems.
ACQUISITION | Among the works promised to the NSU Art Museum: MICKALENE THOMAS, “Portrait of Mama Bush I,” 2010 (rhinestones, acrylic and enamel on wood panel). | NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; Promised Gift of David Horvitz and Francie Bishop Good © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy of the artist, Lehman Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
NEWS | The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a legal rights organization based in Montgomery, Ala., announces plans for a memorial to the victims of racial lynching in the United States.
NEWS | After 30 years, Detroit artist Tyree Guyton plans to dismantle the Heidelberg Project, an “internationally acclaimed outdoor wonderland of wit and whimsy, painted abandoned homes and repurposed urban debris.”
NEWS | Sharon Watson rallies fellow creatives in Harlem to preserve the legacy of Langston Hughes, by forming I, Too, Arts Collective, and raising funds with the goal of leasing and renovating as a creative arts space the E. 127th Street brownstone where the legendary poet once lived.
AWARD/HONOR | Recognized for career achievement, musician Wadada Leo Smith is among the recipients of Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Awards presented in conjunction with Made in L.A.
AWARD/HONOR | Alicia Henry, a professor of art at Fisk University, is named the national winner of the 1858 Prize for Southern Contemporary Art, an award administered by Society 1858 of the university’s Gibbes Museum of Art.
ACQUISITION | Chuck Thurow, a Chicago art collector who served as director of the Hyde Park Art Center, announces he is donating 114 works by artists including Dawoud Bey, Candida Alverez, and Theaster Gates, to the DePaul University art museum.
APPOINTMENT | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas announces the appointment of Lauren Haynes, a 10-year veteran of the Studio Museum in Harlem, as curator of contemporary art.
EVENT | Theaster Gates co-hosts his fourth gathering of black artists the weekend of Aug. 19. The Black Artists Retreat is “guided by the tenets of fellowship, rejuvenation, and intellectual rigor and strives to create time and space for an intergenerational community of black visual artists to engage outside of the institutional environment.”
BOOK | The Museum of Modern Art publishes “Ralph Lemon: MoMA Dance,” the first monograph on dancer and choreographer Ralph Lemon. The book is part of the museum’s new Modern Dance publication series about practicing choreographers.
AWARD/HONOR | Turner Prize–winning video artist and Academy Award–winning filmmaker Steve McQueen wins BFI Fellowship, the British Film Institutes’s highest honor. McQueen is the youngest director to receive the honor, which will be presented at the London Film Festival in October.
APPOINTMENT | The Perez Art Museum Miami announced three new deputy directors, including Adrienne Chadwick, deputy director for education
APPOINTMENT | Jayanta Jenkins joins Twitter as its first in-house global group creative director.
NEWS | Designed by architect David Adjaye, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on Sept. 24 with great fanfare including a dedication ceremony with President Obama and has attracted record crowds in the month since. | Photo courtesy NMAAHC
< EVENT | On Sept. 1, a procession of female artists in red flow into the New Museum in New York and gather in the lobby chanting “End the war on black people,” followed by “It’s time.” The ceremonial call and response opens a special event organized by Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, an evening of healing activities including workshops, displays and performances that complements the museum’s current exhibition, “Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room.”
MAGAZINE | The September edition of Frieze marks the magazine’s 25th anniversary. To celebrate, Frieze prints three different covers, one featuring work by British artist Chris Ofili, who lives and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
NEWS | The University of Iowa announces it will name a residence hall after Elizabeth Catlett. The late artist earned an MFA from the school in 1940, but was not allowed to live in university housing because she was black. Catlett was the first African American woman to receive an MFA at UI and among the first three students to do so at the school.
EXHIBITION | Hauser & Wirth gallery presents “Fly Away,” an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Rashid Johnson. Opening Sept. 8, the show features a monumental installation—an architectural structure enhanced with plants, stacks of literary classics, and a live piano player.
MAGAZINE > | In the September issue of Elle, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier publishes images documenting the Flint water crisis, and the effects of the contaminated water on the community.
EXHIBITION | “The Ecstasy of St. Kara,” an exhibition of new works by Kara Walker, opens at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio on Sept. 10
MOVIE | In new first date movie “Southside With You,” paintings by artist Ernie Barnes fuel connection between Barack and Michelle Obama.
TELEVISION | Season 8, the latest from ART21 on PBS, features African American artists Edgar Arceneaux, Nick Cave, Stan Douglas, and Theaster Gates.
NEWS | Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation signs agreement to bring to Chicago the gazebo where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police.
TALK | Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem is among four female museum directors gathered at the New School in New York to discuss solutions to gender inequality in art-world leadership.
NEWS | At the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, an exhibition of works by Kelley Walker, a white, Georgia-born artist, spark a boycott over his use of racially and sexually charged images of black people.
EXHIBITION | “Betye Saar: Uneasy Dancer” opens at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, Italy, on Sept. 15. Her first-ever exhibition in Italy, Betye Saar presents more than 80 works, in a range of mediums, from 1966-2016.
AWARD/HONOR | The MacArthur Foundation announces its 2016 “genius” fellows, including art historian and curator Kellie Jones and Baltimore bead artist Joyce J. Scott.
AWARD/HONOR | Recipients of the 2015 National Medal of Arts are announced and presented by President Obama on Sept. 22. Honorees include artists Jack Whitten and Ralph Lemon.
NEWS | The dilapidated Detroit home of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be repurposed as an art installation by Berlin-based, American artist Ryan Mendoza.
NEWS | 100 years in the making, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture officially opens on Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C., with a dedication ceremony including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, and many more officials and dignitaries.
AWARD/HONOR | The Root 100 annual list of influential African Americans includes illustrator Kadir Nelson and photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier among its picks.
BOOK > | Featuring the work of Sam Gilliam on the cover, a new volume, “Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art,” is published documenting the collection established by Pamela Joyner, which spans four generations of artists bridging the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on abstract art.
NEWS | Artist and curator Zina Saro-Wiwa has plans for a new museum in her native Nigeria.
PROJECT | Sponsored by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, “The Power of Your Vote,” a special video project created by Carrie Mae Weems, pairs the words of President Obama’s address to the Congressional Black Caucus with images of ordinary Americans walking down the street the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, N.Y.
APPOINTMENT | Camille Ann Brewer is named the first-ever full-time curator of contemporary textile art at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
IMAGES: Above right, LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER, From left, Shea Cobb with her daughter Zion and mother, Ms. Renee, outside the Social Network banquet hall. | Photo courtesy Elle magazine | © LaToya Ruby Frazier, Photo courtesy Elle magazine; Above left, 2016 MacArthur Foundation Fellows Joyce J. Scott (left) and Kellie Jones. | Courtesy Mac Foundation
PROJECT | “The Power of Your Vote,” 2016 | A CARRIE MAE WEEMS Project, edited by Yao Xu; Paid for by Hillary for America
President Obama issues a proclamation declaring October National Arts and Humanities Month.
APPOINTMENT > | On Oct. 1, curator Hamza Walker (right) begins his tenure as executive director of LAXART, an independent, nonprofit art space in Los Angeles.
EXHIBITION | “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Portals,” opens at Victoria Miro Gallery in London on Oct. 4. The presentation is Los Angeles-based Njideka Akunyili Crosby‘s first solo exhibition in Europe.
AUCTION | On Oct. 6, at Swann Auction Galleries, “Heritage,” a 1973 painting by Wadsworth Jarrell sells for $97,500 (including fees), a high mark at auction for the artist.
ART FAIR | The fourth edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London (Oct. 6-9) is three times the size of its inaugural fair, featuring more than 130 artists and 40 galleries, including 16 based on the African continent.
AUCTION | Six artist records emerged at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on Oct. 7 in London, including an artist record for “Walking with Vito,” a 2008 painting by Los Angeles-based Henry Taylor, which sold for $173,990 (including fees).
AWARD/HONOR | The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awards the Dorethea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize to Steven Cozart for his series “Pass/Fail,” which references the brown paper bag test.
AWARD/HONOR | In celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, the Royal Academy of Arts in London honors contributions to visual arts and architecture. Yinka Shonibare MBE Is among five Royal Academicians nominating recipients and architect David Adjaye is among the award winners.
AWARD/HONOR | British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen is recognized by the Chicago International Film Festival, where he will receive a Black Perspectives tribute.
NEWS | The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) re-opens in a new home, a renovated firehouse in East Harlem.
< MAGAZINE | The New York Times “T” magazine selects seven “Greats” who are profoundly influencing our culture, including artist Kerry James Marshall. Each of the greats grace a cover of the special issue.
EVENT | Creative Time Summit DC: Occupy the Future, gathers artists and activists exploring the intersection of art and social justice through talks, presentations, and roundtables in Washington, D.C. Keyti & Xuman, Sheila Pree Bright, E. Ethelbert Miller, Sheldon Scott, Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, and Carrie Mae Weems, are among the more than 40 speakers.
AWARD/HONOR | The Watermill Center in Watermill, N.Y., announces its 2017 artists-in-residence, including Carrie Mae Weems, who is also a recipient of the center’s Inga Maren Otto Fellowship.
NEWS | The Black Panther Party marks the 50th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 15, 1966. The milestone was marked by several events, exhibitions, an official conference, the publication of books, and media coverage.
AWARD/HONOR | Canadian artist Stan Douglas is presented with the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography at a ceremony in Sweden.
NEWS | The forthcoming Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (ICA LA) introduces a bold new logo and brand identity designed in collaboration with Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford.
NEWS | The new logo for ICA LA designed in collaboration with MARK BRADFORD was inspired by merchant posters found around Los Angeles, which over the years have been integral to the artist’s practice. | ICA LA
REPRESENTATION > | Artist Sanford Biggers (right) joins Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.
EXHIBITION | “Melvin Edwards: In Oklahoma,” a survey exhibition of works by Melvin Edwards who is known for his scrap metal sculptures, opens Oct. 20 at Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City.
MAGAZINE | London-based Art Review publishes its annual Power 100 list of art world movers and shakers. Artsy breaks the list down by race, gender and other demographic categories.
EXHIBITION | Nick Cave “Until” opens at MASS MoCA on Oct. 20. The immersive installation, created with thousands of beads and found objects, is Cave’s largest to date.
PERFORMANCE | Composer Jason Moran curates a special perforance, “Causes and Cures: Music for Glass Armonica and Excited Piano Strings” by sound artist Camille Norment and electronic musician Craig Taborn at the Park Avenue Armory.
AWARD/HONOR | The Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation honors recipients of its 2016 Gold Rush Awards—Kimberly Drew, Lauren Haynes, Rashaad Newsome, and Swoon—on Oct. 22.
EVENT | After more than 700 women artists gathered for a group portrait in Los Angeles over the summer, the project is revisited in New York. Called “Now Be Here #2” and organized by artis Shinique Smith, the East Coast portrait is taken at the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 23.
NEWS | artnet News names 100 most collectible living artists based on auction performance between January 2012 and October 2016. Artists Mark Bradford, Glenn Ligon, David Hammons, and Julie Mehretu make the list.
BOOK | “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” is published. The children’s picture book, recounts the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the bold and visionary painter who shot to fame in the 1980s.
EXHIBITION | Kerry James Marshall’s 35-year survey “Mastry” opens at The Met Breuer on Oct. 25. Featuring more than 70 paintings, the exhibition is the Chicago artist’s largest museum retrospective to date and is presented with “Kerry James Marshall Selects” a concurrent exhibition of works from the Met collection that have inspired the Marshall’s practice.
AWARD/HONOR | The Studio Museum in Harlem announces the recipient of its 2016 Joyce Alexander Wein prize is New York-based Derrick Adams.
IMAGE: Sanford Biggers. | Photo by by Alex Fredundt, Courtesy the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
ACQUISITION | The Dallas Museum of Art announces the acquisition of Sam Gilliam’s “Leaf,” a 1970 “drape” painting. The work is the first by Gilliam to enter the museum’s collection.
EVENT | With the theme “Beloved Country,” paying tribute to the visual and performing arts in South Africa, Performa’s 2016 annual gala includes a new performance by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga and honors curator, museum director and writer Okwui Enwezor.
MUSIC > | Artist Lorna Simpson designs cover art, featuring one of her portraits inspired by vintage images from Ebony magazine, for Common’s new album “Black America Again.”
AWARD/HONOR | Center for Curatorial Leadership announces 2017 fellows, a group of 12 including Naomi Beckwith of MCA Chicago and MoMA’s Thomas J. Lax.
TALK | Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery here and hosts “Racial Masquerade in American Art and Culture,” a two-day symposium organized by museum fellow Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, a professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania.
AWARD/HONOR | Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list celebrating the world’s most inspiring African Americans in 2016, includes Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Chicago artists Kerry James Marshall and Hebru Brantley.
AWARD/HONOR | Adjaye Associates is among six teams shortlisted to design permanent lighting schemes for 17 bridges along the River Thames in London. Adjaye is collaborating with a slate of internationally recognized artists including Glenn Ligon, Chris Ofili, and Lorna Simpson, each charged with illuminating a single bridge.
AWARD/HONOR | On Nov. 7, British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen receives the Johannes Vermeer Award, the Dutch annual state prize for the arts.
EXHIBITION | Zimbabwe announces it will stage a pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, marking the fourth appearance for the sub-Saharan nation.
NEWS | Los Angeles Times reports, Eso-Won Books, the longstanding black-owned Los Angeles bookstore is not moving to Art + Practice, the nonprofit arts and education complex co-founded by artist Mark Bradford in 2014, as initially planned.
< AUCTION | On Nov. 17, “Drown” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby sells for more than $1 million (including fees) at Sotheby’s New York, an artist record at auction. The painting is an intimate portrait depicting the artist with her husband.
APPOINTMENT | Curator, scholar, and writer Isolde Brielmaier joins the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College as curator-at-large.
APPOINTMENT | The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., announces the appointment of Kimberli Gant as curator of modern and contemporary art.
EXHIBITION | “Focus: Lorna Simpson,” the first museum exhibition to feature Lorna Simpson’s large-scale acrylic, ink, and silkscreened paintings, opens Nov. 19 at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas.
LIVES | Sculptor Houston Conwill, 69, whose memorial to Langston Hughes and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg is installed at the Harlem library and cultural center named for the latter, has died.
TALK | Dread Scott discusses the results of the presidential election with Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic on Facebook Live. (video)
AWARD/HONOR | Describing Kerry James Marshall as “The Modern Master,” Chicago magazine names the painter among its Chicagoans of the Year.
EVENT | Part of a series of gatherings about imaging the black body, Black Portraitures [III]: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures was held in Johannesburg this week.
REPRESENTATION | Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York announces its representation of abstract painter William T. Williams.
AWARD/HONOR | United States Artists named 2016 fellows in nine creative disciplines including Senga Nengudi, Jefferson Pinder, Winfred Wimbert, Jacolby Satterwhite, Stanley Whitney, and author Claudia Rankine.
REPRESENTATION | Known for her bold approach to narrative figurative painting, Nina Chanel Abney joins Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.
EXHIBITION | Barney’s New York unveils holiday windows with a Love, Peace, Joy theme. The project is meant to counter “the world’s current climate of chaos and divisiveness” and bring people together with displays created by artists including Nick Cave and Ebony G. Patterson.
MAGAZINE > | Dread Scott‘s “Imagine a World Without America” (2007) graced the cover of the November issue of Artforum, a special edition surveying artists on politics with contributions from Scott, who offered a poignant image riffing on the NRA, and Simone Leigh, among others.
MAGAZINE | In its December issue, Elle magazine published a special feature on women in the art world, including the founders of the Black Art Incubator, Studio Museum in Harlem Director Thelma Golden, and Jordan Casteel, an artist-in-residence at the museum.
LIVES | Regarded as the Auguste Rodin of Senegal, Ousmane Sow, a physical therapist turned sculptor of larger-than-life figures, dies Dec. 1 at age 81.
AWARD/HONOR | The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant winners for 2016 are announced Dec. 1, including Taylor Aldridge who is awarded for short-form writing. (Culture Type was among the 2015 grantees).
APPOINTMENT | Isolde Brielmaier, executive director of arts, culture & community at Westfield World Trade Center, professor of critical studies in Tisch’s Department of Photography, Imaging and Emerging Media at New York University, and curator-at-large at the Tang Museum, joins the New Museum Board of Trustees.
ACQUISITION | Smithsonian American Art Museum receives largest gift of self-taught American art in two decades—93 works by 48 artists, including Thornton Dial Sr., William Edmondson, and Bill Traylor, from the collection of Margaret Z. Robson.
NEWS | Johnnetta B. Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, announces she will retire next March after eight years at the helm of the museum.
ACQUSITION | The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announces it has acquired “Untitled (Gallery),” a 2016 painting by Kerry James Marshall.
ACQUISITION | Cleveland Museum of Art announces new acquisitions, including photographs of African American life by Louis Draper and Leonard Freed, and “Heritage,” a 1973 mixed-media painting by Wadsworth Jarrell purchased from Swann Auction Galleries on Oct. 6
TALK | At the Museum of Modern Art, FAITH RINGGOLD discusses her life, work, an early painting recently acquired by the museum: “American People Series #20: Die,” 1967 (oil on canvas, two panels). | Courtesy Museum of Modern Art
TALK | In a conversation with curators Anne Umland and Thomas J. Lax, Faith Ringgold discusses her life and art on Dec. 7 at the Museum of Modern Art, which has recently acquired her 1967 painting “American People Series #20: Die.”
REPRESENTATION | Casey Kaplan in New York announces its representation of painter Jordan Casteel, a 2015-16 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
PUBLIC ART | Major public art installations by Chuck Close, Jean Shin, Vik Muniz and Sarah Sze are unveiled on the new Second Avenue subway line in New York City. Twelve mosaic and ceramic tile installations by Close, include nine-foot tall abstract portraits of artists Kara Walker (right) and Sienna Shields (Close’s wife). The new line officially opens Jan. 1.
AWARD/HONOR | ArtTable announces it will honor Lowery Stokes Sims at its annual benefit and award ceremony in April 2017. The organization, which focuses on the advancement of women’s leadership in the visual arts is presenting the renowned curator with its Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Award.
LIVES | Photographer Howard L. Bingham, who spent more than 50 years documenting legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, becoming his close friend, dies Dec. 15 in Marina del Rey, Calif. He was 77.
NEWS | The national lynching memorial gets a major donation of $10 million from siblings Pat and Jon Stryker, heirs to a medical equipment company lynching memorial. Slated to open in Montgomery, Ala., in 2018, the monument, formally known as the Memorial to Peace and Justice, was initiated the Equal Justice Initiative and its founder Bryan Stevenson.
NEWS | After using Shantell Martin‘s trademark whimsical line drawings without authorization, clothing retailer Lane Bryant issues an apology and agrees to a settlement with the artist. CT
IMAGE: Chuck Close Subway Portraits (Kara Walker), 2017. | Courtesy MTA
READ MORE about the Year in Black Art by exploring the 12 Best Black Art Books of 2016, 10 African American Artists to Watch Who Joined New Galleries in 2016, the 24 Best Art Magazine Covers of 2016, and 18 Curators to Watch Who Joined New Institutions in 2016.
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