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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.
Books & Catalogs
Faith Ringgold's Latest Children's Book Celebrates 1920s Harlem

Faith Ringgold’s Latest Children’s Book Celebrates 1920s Harlem

  IMAGINE BOARDING HARLEM AIRLINES to journey back in time to the 1920s when the Harlem Renaissance was in full swing. This mesmerizing prospect is the premise of artist Faith Ringgold‘s latest children’s book, “Harlem Renaissance Party.” The story begins with an open invitation written in the sky, “Come one! Come all! To a party...
New York Times Publishes First-Ever, Art-Themed Issue of Sunday Book Review

New York Times Publishes First-Ever, Art-Themed Issue of Sunday Book Review

FEATURING “ILLUSTRATED BOOKS, art-themed fiction, artist biography, nonfiction about the art world, original photography and original artwork,” the New York Times published its first-ever art-themed Sunday Book Review section today (June 28, 2015). The print version arrived in this morning’s paper, but the reviews began appearing online Wednesday and a specially designed web page featuring...
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...
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...
11 Best Black Art Books of 2014

11 Best Black Art Books of 2014

THE BEST EXHIBITION CATALOGS do more than document their gallery counterparts. They provide critical context, visual reference, an opportunity for innovative design that reflects the work, and a format in which the exhibition can live beyond its presentation dates. This year, there were a number of remarkable exhibitions featuring Black artists and the coinciding catalogs...
Shelf Worthy: New Books on Black British Artists, Chris Ofili, Basquiat and More

Shelf Worthy: New Books on Black British Artists, Chris Ofili, Basquiat and More

A SELECTION OF SHELF-WORTHY, COFFEE TABLE-READY books and catalogs published recently that explore black art and artists “The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume V: The Twentieth Century, Part 2: The Rise of Black Artists” edited by David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Belknap Press, 368 pages) Since 2010, Harvard University Press...
A Browse Through the 'Ideal Bookshelf' of Hilton Als

A Browse Through the ‘Ideal Bookshelf’ of Hilton Als

HILTON ALS’S IDEAL BOOKSHELF is an economic selection of seven books including “The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985” by James Baldwin and titles by Marcel Proust, Truman Capote, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Anton Checkhov. The New Yorker writer’s choices are included in “My Ideal Bookshelf,” a compilation of artist Jane Mount’s work. Her portraits...
'Witness': Artists Offer Powerful Visual Voice for Civil Rights Era

‘Witness’: Artists Offer Powerful Visual Voice for Civil Rights Era

TWO YEARS AFTER MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Sam Gilliam created “Red April.” The draped canvas makes a bold statement with its candid reference to splattered blood in the wake of an assassin’s bullet. Gilliam, an internationally known artist whose work is influenced by Abstract Expressionism, is recognized for his...
'Art Studio America': Glenn Ligon Makes Those Text Paintings in an Old Canning Factory

‘Art Studio America’: Glenn Ligon Makes Those Text Paintings in an Old Canning Factory

WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE AN ARTIST’S WORK at a museum or gallery, do you wonder where it all came from? Where it was imagined, conceptualized and created? “Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces” answers these questions in spades, taking readers inside the studios of 116 artists from the West Coast to Chicago and New York and...
Bartlett's Black Quotations: New Volume Features Insight from Artists

Bartlett’s Black Quotations: New Volume Features Insight from Artists

HAPPY 2014! WHAT BETTER WAY to plunge into the new year than to study the wise words of black artists past and present? After years of establishing itself as the chief purveyor of notable quotes and sayings, Bartlett’s recently published “Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices...
6 Best Black Art Books of 2013

6 Best Black Art Books of 2013

WHETHER YOU WISH TO ADD to your own collection or you’re looking for the perfect gift for your favorite art aficionado, several excellent books were published this year, expanding the scholarship on contemporary Black art. Significant volumes from Kara Walker, Theaster Gates and Lorna Simpson were among the best. Here is the list of top...
Lorna Simpson: Heady Portraits on Paper

Lorna Simpson: Heady Portraits on Paper

THE CLASSIC BLUE matte-finish cover masks the wonder beyond. “Lorna Simpson: Works on Paper” is an enchanting march of portraits. It’s like a year book capturing various eras, page-after-page of watercolor images, painted by an artist with plenty to say. There are graphite, ink and watercolor portraits of women, images of heads with flourishes of...
Benny Andrews: The People's Painter

Benny Andrews: The People’s Painter

Benny Andrews in 1982, detail of photo by Kathy Mims (page 120). Today would have been the artist’s 83rd birthday. | Reproduced from “Benny Andrews: There Must Be a Heaven”   AN EXPRESSIVE COLLAGE TECHNIQUE introduces both tactile and narrative dimensions to Benny Andrews‘s (1930-2006) canvases. Evoking a tangible sense of pride, strength and strife,...
A 'Freestyle' Take on Post-Black Art

A ‘Freestyle’ Take on Post-Black Art

SINCE ITS FOUNDING in 1968, The Studio Museum in Harlem has been identifying and nurturing talented black artists, the next big names in contemporary art. Through its exhibitions and coveted residency program, countless accomplished black artists can point to a connection with the museum as a turning point in their careers—from Fred Wilson and Kara...