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Exploring art by and about people of African descent, primarily through the lens of books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type features original research and reporting and shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.

Artists
Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

  EMERITUS PROFESSOR Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) received the inaugural President’s Award for Creative Impact from Connecticut College on May 2. He was among five faculty members recognized by President Katherine Bergeron for demonstrating excellence and innovation in research, teaching and leadership. Hendricks is the first to be honored with the new Impact award which...
'Unanswerable': Lorna Simpson's London Exhibition Charts Her Subconscious and Embrace of New Mediums

‘Unanswerable’: Lorna Simpson’s London Exhibition Charts Her Subconscious and Embrace of New Mediums

Lorna Simpson: In The Studio. | Video by Hauser & Wirth   OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS OR SO, Lorna Simpson has transformed her practice. An accomplished conceptual photographer, she is now a formidable painter, who is newly expressing herself through sculpture. Since the mid-1980s, Brooklyn-based Simpson has challenged conventional notions of gender, identity, history,...
Portrait Artist Amy Sherald Discussed Her Practice at the National Gallery of Art: 'I Paint American People. Black People Doing Stuff'

Portrait Artist Amy Sherald Discussed Her Practice at the National Gallery of Art: ‘I Paint American People. Black People Doing Stuff’

  WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is an element of fantasy in Amy Sherald’s portraits. The Baltimore-based artist usually paints people she spots around the city—men, women, and youth who have a certain something that captures her attention and piques her curiosity. She’s depicted a woman with a baby on her hip, a young man who’s...
Soul of a Nation: Jack Whitten on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and 'the Political' in His Abstract Paintings

Soul of a Nation: Jack Whitten on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and ‘the Political’ in His Abstract Paintings

Jack Whitten walks through “Soul of a Nation” at the Tate Modern and talks about his work and “present times” in America. | Video by Tate Modern   NO STRANGER TO RACIAL DIVISION and political strife, Jack Whitten’s abstract canvases tackle weighty issues, confront hard truths, and consider the insights and sacrifices of important cultural...
Recognized for Her Portraits of Black Men, New Art21 Film Explores How Jordan Casteel 'Paints Her Community'

Recognized for Her Portraits of Black Men, New Art21 Film Explores How Jordan Casteel ‘Paints Her Community’

  AFTER DEVOTING A SUMMER in Gloucester, Mass., to landscape painting, Jordan Casteel decided to start making portraits of black men. The man who killed Trayvon Martin was acquitted in those months between her first and second year at Yale University where she earned her MFA. The experiences of her twin brother were unsettling, too....
ART21 Launches 'Summer of Shorts' Featuring New Film About Why Chicago Artist Theaster Gates Collects

ART21 Launches ‘Summer of Shorts’ Featuring New Film About Why Chicago Artist Theaster Gates Collects

  FOR HIS FIRST EXHIBITION in Milan, Theaster Gates presented “True Value” (July 7-Sept. 25, 2016) which centered around the inventory of a shuttered Chicago hardware store. Installed in an art context, he reimagined the abandoned tools and supplies as a monumental visual display. An artist who trained as a potter, Gates has become more...
Representation: 10 African American Artists to Watch Who Joined New Galleries in 2016

Representation: 10 African American Artists to Watch Who Joined New Galleries in 2016

AT EVERY STAGE IN AN ARTIST’S CAREER, joining a new gallery can offer new opportunities and possibilities. Over the past year, emerging artists, mid-career artists, and well-established artists who have been practicing for half a century, joined the rosters of major galleries. For an artist, the right partnership can sharpen business outcomes and help bolster...
Culture Talk: Ian Berry on New Alma Thomas Exhibition Catalog, an Encyclopedic View of the Singular Artist

Culture Talk: Ian Berry on New Alma Thomas Exhibition Catalog, an Encyclopedic View of the Singular Artist

ALMA THOMAS, “End of Autumn,” 1968 (acrylic and graphite on canvas). | Collection of Richard Grossman and Adam Sheffer; Courtesy Studio Museum in Harlem   EXPLAINING HER CHOICE to focus on brightly hued abstract work, Alma Thomas (1891-1978) said in 1970: “Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on...
Jack Shainman Announces its Representation of Nina Chanel Abney, Will Debut Artist's Work at Art Basel Miami Beach

Jack Shainman Announces its Representation of Nina Chanel Abney, Will Debut Artist’s Work at Art Basel Miami Beach

Jack Shainman Gallery is presenting two new untitled paintings by Nina Chanel Abney at Art Basel Miami Beach.   THE JACK SHAINMAN BOOTH at Art Basel Miami Beach is always a big draw, presenting artists from its impressive roster of diverse artists. This year the space will feature a new artist. Jack Shainman announced its...
William T. Williams Joins Michael Rosenfeld in New York, Gaining Gallery Representation for the First Time in 40 Years

William T. Williams Joins Michael Rosenfeld in New York, Gaining Gallery Representation for the First Time in 40 Years

WILLIAM T. WILLIAMS, “Truckin,” 1969 (acrylic on cotton canvas). | via Swann Auction Galleries   A SINGLE PAINTING GREETS VISITORS when they enter the fourth-floor visual art galleries at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. The large-scale, abstract geometric painting, a captivating mix of color and composition,...
Oprah Winfrey Has a Whitfield Lovell Installation in Her West Hollywood Office

Oprah Winfrey Has a Whitfield Lovell Installation in Her West Hollywood Office

Oprah Winfrey tells Steve Harvey that Whitfield Lovell’s work inspires her (starting at 4:00) | Video by The Steve Harvey Show   PERSONAL PHOTOS OF NELSON MANDELA and countless Emmys fill the shelves of Oprah Winfrey’s office, and across from her desk is an installation by artist Whitfield Lovell. Yesterday, Steve Harvey dedicated an entire...
Market Interest: With Intimate Portrait, Njideka Akunyili Crosby Achieves Auction Record for Second Time in Two Months

Market Interest: With Intimate Portrait, Njideka Akunyili Crosby Achieves Auction Record for Second Time in Two Months

“Drown” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby sold for more than $1 million at Sotheby’s New York on Nov. 17, 2016. | via Sotheby’s   MANY ARTISTS GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to make clear that the issues raised in their work serve to start a conversation rather than reflect their own opinion and the figures they...
Backstory: Nina Chanel Abney Revisits Her First Major Painting, ‘Class of 2007’

Backstory: Nina Chanel Abney Revisits Her First Major Painting, ‘Class of 2007’

NINA CHANEL ABNEY, “Class of 2007,” 2007 (acrylic on canvas).   ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING PAINTINGS in the exhibition “30 Americans” is by Nina Chanel Abney. It’s a compelling work, depicting her MFA class at Parsons School of Design in New York. The artist envisions herself as a bespectacled, gun-toting blonde; Her classmates don...
At the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemang Wa Lehulere Mines South Africa's History, Imagines Its Future

At the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemang Wa Lehulere Mines South Africa’s History, Imagines Its Future

Kemang Wa Lehulere’s first American museum exhibition, “In My Wildest Dreams” at the Art Institute of Chicago, is on view through Jan. 16, 2017. | Video by Art Institute of Chicago   LIKE COUNTLESS OTHER NATIONS, South Africa has an uneven history. Unlike its African neighbors, its recent past has garnered sustained international attention—from apartheid-era...