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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.

Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

  “Untitled (Parade)” (2016) by Kevin Beasley   HISTORICALLY, FEW AMERICAN MUSEUMS have collected art by African American artists in a meaningful or representational manner. To address generational deficits and fill gaps, many museums have established special funds and committees dedicated to acquiring African American art. A collection exhibition currently...
Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

A PIONEERING ARTIST who made captivating, poignant, and culturally insightful works, Emma Amos (1937-2020) has died. She was 83. Amos passed away on May 20 in Bedford, N.H., of natural causes after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, where Amos has been represented since...
Forthcoming Swann Sale Features Selections by Artists Associated With Los Angeles, Including 5 Paintings by Ernie Barnes

Forthcoming Swann Sale Features Selections by Artists Associated With Los Angeles, Including 5 Paintings by Ernie Barnes

  LOS ANGELES was a site of inspiration and productivity for a number of artists represented in the forthcoming African-American Fine Art sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York. (Originally planned for April 2, the auction was postponed due to COVID-19. Rescheduled for June 4, the sale is online...
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When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

Tadesse Mesfin in his Addis Ababa studo   A PROMINENT FIGURE in Ethiopian Modernism, Tadesse Mesfin thrives on two creative fronts: making paintings and training the next generation of artists. Women are the protagonists in Mesfin’s ongoing series “Pillars of Life.” The paintings pay homage to the many women who work as smallholder vendors in...
The Printmaking Practice of Late Artist Emma Amos Was Expansive and Experimental and Her Output Will Endure

The Printmaking Practice of Late Artist Emma Amos Was Expansive and Experimental and Her Output Will Endure

  OFTEN DESCRIBED as the youngest and only female member of Spiral, the short-lived artist collective co-founded more than half a century ago by Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, Hale Woodruff, and Norman Lewis, Emma Amos (1937-2020) bridged that historic period and the current moment. Based in New York throughout her career, Amos died May 20...
Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

  THE POWERFUL CERAMIC SCULPTURES of Akinsanya Kambon (aka Mark Teemer) are embedded with history, identity, and ancient techniques with spiritual vibes. An extensive selection of his works is on view “American Expressions/African Roots: Akinsanya Kambon’s Ceramic Sculpture,” at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Kambon has traveled to Africa 14 times, conducting research and...
Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film 'America': 'I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country'

Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film ‘America’: ‘I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country’

Still from “America” (2019) by Garrett Bradley   ARTIST AND FILMMAKER Garrett Bradley makes lyrical films that explore the challenges of contemporary life and surface lost histories. A pair of revelations about the legacy of silent film inspired one of her latest projects. In 2013, the Library of Congress (LOC) released a report declaring America’s...
Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Long & Foster Real Estate   A RED BRICK ITALIANATE RESIDENCE in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was home to artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978) for more than 70 years. The house played an integral role in her life and artistic practice. The kitchen served as her studio, where she made the dab-patterned abstract...
Ghanaian Photographer Prince Gyasi: 'I Usually Tell Stories Through My iPhone Lens and With the Use of Color'

Ghanaian Photographer Prince Gyasi: ‘I Usually Tell Stories Through My iPhone Lens and With the Use of Color’

  TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLDS are obsessed with their iPhones the world over. In this respect, Prince Gyasi is no different from his peers. It’s the nature of his obsession that sets him apart. He uses his phone to text and post on social media, but his main priority is taking pictures. Gyasi is an internationally...
Frieze New York: After Winning Last Year's Stand Prize With Photographer Ming Smith, Jenkins Johnson is Presenting Eclectic Mix of 10 Artists in Online Viewing Room

Frieze New York: After Winning Last Year’s Stand Prize With Photographer Ming Smith, Jenkins Johnson is Presenting Eclectic Mix of 10 Artists in Online Viewing Room

“America Seen Through Stars and Stripes, New York City” (1976) by Ming Smith   JENKINS JOHNSON GALLERY won the 2019 Stand Prize at Frieze New York for a presentation dedicated to pioneering photographer Ming Smith. Black-and-white photographs from the 1970s and 80s, including a self portrait, were displayed gallery-style throughout the booth. Smith’s subjects included...
Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

MoAD Executive Director Monetta White reported results of online benefit auction in video message to supporters.   ARTISTS, GALLERIES, AND COLLECTORS answered a call for support and came together to help the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, which has faced a critical funding shortfall since temporarily closing in the wake of...
Showcasing Works by Bob Thompson, Benny Andrews, and Robert Colescott, Here's What Michael Rosenfeld Gallery's Frieze New York Booth Would've Looked Like

Showcasing Works by Bob Thompson, Benny Andrews, and Robert Colescott, Here’s What Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s Frieze New York Booth Would’ve Looked Like

  THE ARCHITECTURAL MODEL envisions what might have been. A large-scale painting by Bob Thompson (1937-1966) dominates an expansive wall on the exterior of the art fair booth. Painted three years before the artist’s death at age 28, “The Golden Ass” (1963) is a complex entanglement of silhouetted human and animal figures rendered in a...
Auction Results: Swann's First Sale Since COVID-19 Shutdown Features Printed & Manuscript African Americana and Art-Related Ephemera

Auction Results: Swann’s First Sale Since COVID-19 Shutdown Features Printed & Manuscript African Americana and Art-Related Ephemera

  PROTESTING POOR WORKING CONDITIONS, Memphis sanitation workers walked off their jobs in February 1968. More than 1,300 black men went on strike. Carrying signs that declared “I Am A Man,” they demanded recognition of their union, better wages, and improved safety standards. Two months later, Martin Luther King Jr., went to Memphis to support...
On View: Firelei Báez Explores Diasporic Histories, Mythical Figures, and Imagined Realms at James Cohan Gallery in New York

On View: Firelei Báez Explores Diasporic Histories, Mythical Figures, and Imagined Realms at James Cohan Gallery in New York

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   THE DYNAMIC WORKS of Firelei Báez are studies in contrast—bridging the past and future, marrying static documents with painterly gestural images bursting with color, energy, movement, and symbolism. Báez paints directly...
10 Children's Books Tell Uplifting Stories About the Lives and Work of Black Artists Including Tyree Guyton, Frank Bowling, Laura Wheeler Waring, and Ernie Barnes

10 Children’s Books Tell Uplifting Stories About the Lives and Work of Black Artists Including Tyree Guyton, Frank Bowling, Laura Wheeler Waring, and Ernie Barnes

This week is National Children’s Book Week (May 4-10), a celebration of books and the joy of reading   RIFE WITH NARRATIVES about doing whatever it takes to overcome personal and societal challenges to pursue their dreams, the lives of artists and designers offer young readers invaluable life lessons with a dose of culture and...
South Africa-Based Artist Billie Zangewa is Now Represented by New York Gallery Lehmann Maupin, Her Silk 'Paintings' Center the Lives and Experiences of Women

South Africa-Based Artist Billie Zangewa is Now Represented by New York Gallery Lehmann Maupin, Her Silk ‘Paintings’ Center the Lives and Experiences of Women

“Soldier of Love” (2020) by Billie Zangewa   DRESSED IN A KHAKI TRENCH COAT, Billie Zangewa holds her young son’s hand, escorting him to school. He wears a backpack and a school uniform. Lush green foliage crowds their path. Behind them, the sky is a luminous pink. The everyday scene is of the artist’s own...
Slated to Showcase African American Art This Season, San Francisco Museums and Galleries are Closed Due to Coronavirus

Slated to Showcase African American Art This Season, San Francisco Museums and Galleries are Closed Due to Coronavirus

Works by Rosie Lee Tompkins at BAMPFA   UNDER THE LEADERSHIP of Mayor London Breed, San Francisco has fared relatively well over the past couple of months. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has faced infections and deaths, but early actions by the mayor significantly contained its impact. As of May 4,...