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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.

In Memoriam, Artists, Curators, and Scholars Share Memories of David C. Driskell: 'He Was an Agitator for African American Art'

In Memoriam, Artists, Curators, and Scholars Share Memories of David C. Driskell: ‘He Was an Agitator for African American Art’

  DAVID C. DRISKELL (1931-2020) helped build the field of African American art history and was a nexus for three generations of artists, curators, and scholars who have studied and are fortifying the discipline. A pivotal figure in American art and leading authority on African American art, Driskell died on...
Washington Renaissance: 8 Distinguished Artists Reflect and Connect in Wide-Ranging Discussion of African American Art in 20th Century Washington

Washington Renaissance: 8 Distinguished Artists Reflect and Connect in Wide-Ranging Discussion of African American Art in 20th Century Washington

Artists Sam Gilliam and David C. Driskell. | © 2017 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington   WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first time Lilian Thomas Burwell met Sam Gilliam, he told her if she wanted to be taken seriously as an artist she should get her own studio...
David Driskell Discusses Major Aaron Douglas Painting Acquired by The Met

David Driskell Discusses Major Aaron Douglas Painting Acquired by The Met

  HIGHLY REGARDED FOR HIS GRAND MURALS and monumental canvases, artist Aaron Douglas‘s work straddled the visual and literary arts during the Harlem Renaissance. While his depictions of African American history and culture referenced ancient Egyptian motifs and traditional African forms, his graphic style was decidedly modern. Recognized for his...
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On View: 'Christina Quarles' at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

On View: ‘Christina Quarles’ at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   REPRESENTING THE BODY as flexible and free, contorted and constricted, intertwined and engaged, the work of Christina Quarles reflects the pressures and pleasures of life and the complexities of identity. The...
Asked to Name an Artwork She'd Want to Live With, Curator Zoé Whitley Immediately Thought of a 1973 Alma Thomas Painting

Asked to Name an Artwork She’d Want to Live With, Curator Zoé Whitley Immediately Thought of a 1973 Alma Thomas Painting

  MUSEUM CURATORS are constantly immersed in art, which might make it a challenge to choose one single work to which they are particularly drawn. When asked to name an artwork she’d want to live with, Zoé Whitley thought about the spring tones of a stunning abstract painting made half a century ago. “I don’t...
On View: 'Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art' at Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway

On View: ‘Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art’ at Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   SINCE 2005, the Astrup Fearnley Museum has been staging expansive exhibitions exploring national and continental art scenes around the world. After showcasing the United States, Brazil, India, China and Europe, the...
Kara Walker Has Opened Her Personal Archive, Showing Nearly 270 Drawings

Kara Walker Has Opened Her Personal Archive, Showing Nearly 270 Drawings

  GRAND SCALE narrative installations, figurative scenes produced as cut-paper silhouettes, brought early acclaim to Kara Walker more than 25 years ago. More recently, she has ventured into monumental public art. Her first foray was in 2014, when she created “A Subtlety,” her massive sphinx-like mammy figure, a sculpture covered entirely with sugar installed at...
Virtual Reality Video Invites Viewers to Step Inside the Veiled Ideal of Kerry James Marshall's 'Our Town' Painting

Virtual Reality Video Invites Viewers to Step Inside the Veiled Ideal of Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Our Town’ Painting

  DETAILS ARE CRITICAL in Kerry James Marshall‘s paintings. In “Our Town” (1995), the artist portrays a pleasant 1950s-era neighborhood scene. A young boy bikes down a vehicle-free lane with his sister and their dog running alongside him. Wearing an apron, their mother can be seen in the distant background waving from the walkway of...
Exploring Art Basel Viewing Rooms: Galleries are Displaying Works (and Prices) by Chris Ofili, McArthur Binion, Woody De Othello, Tschabalala Self, and Theaster Gates

Exploring Art Basel Viewing Rooms: Galleries are Displaying Works (and Prices) by Chris Ofili, McArthur Binion, Woody De Othello, Tschabalala Self, and Theaster Gates

  ART BASEL HONG KONG transitioned to an online experience this month. In the wake of COVID-19, exhibitions and art events have been canceled and postponed across the world. In response, the Hong Kong art fair never opened to the public and instead announced it would move forward as a digital-only experience, introducing online viewing...
As New Coronavirus Spreads, Art Fairs and Galleries Move to Digital Experiences 'In Response to Current Times'

As New Coronavirus Spreads, Art Fairs and Galleries Move to Digital Experiences ‘In Response to Current Times’

  PUBLIC LIFE has come to a virtual standstill in much of the United States and parts of Europe and Asia, amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Museums and art galleries are closed. Major events are canceled and art fairs are among the casualties. Earlier this month, The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in...
The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

Trailer: “Get Out” (2017), Written and Directed by Jordan Peele. | Video by Universal Pictures   ‘GET OUT’ was “a phenomenal piece of work,” artist Kerry James Marshall said. Kenya Barris, the television writer and producer, is drawn to the neon work “Double America 2” (2014) by Glenn Ligon. “The simplicity of it is radical...
New in 2020: African American Art Books Explore the Work of Ming Smith, Noah Davis, Horace Pippin, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and More

New in 2020: African American Art Books Explore the Work of Ming Smith, Noah Davis, Horace Pippin, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and More

  DOZENS OF PUBLICATIONS documenting the work of artists of African descent are scheduled to be published this year. Volumes dedicated to Noah Davis, Jordan Casteel, and Zanele Muholi coincide with major first-time exhibitions. Others are long-awaited volumes surveying the careers of established artists, such as Ming Smith, Samuel Fosso, and Richard Mayhew. The monographs...
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. The sale (originally scheduled for April 2 has been postponed) features lots by Charles White (1918-1979), David Hammons, Samella Lewis, Suzanne Jackson, ABDU, Richmond Barthé...
Top African American Scholars and Arts Leaders Appointed to New Advisory Council for Johnson Publishing Archive

Top African American Scholars and Arts Leaders Appointed to New Advisory Council for Johnson Publishing Archive

  A CONSORTIUM OF NONPROFITS purchased the Johnson Publishing Archive for $30 million last July. The goal was to safeguard the unparalleled collection for the public benefit. Now a significant next step in the process has been announced. The co-owners have established an advisory council to evaluate and interpret the collection and provide guidance about...
50 Years After His Death, William H. Johnson's Work is Showcased in Museum Exhibitions and Rare Solo Presentation by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

50 Years After His Death, William H. Johnson’s Work is Showcased in Museum Exhibitions and Rare Solo Presentation by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

  ACTIVE FOR ABOUT TWO DECADES, American artist William H. Johnson (1901-1970) made paintings in two distinct styles over the course of his career. Living in Europe from the mid-1920s to 30s, he developed a modern aesthetic making expressive and moody landscapes and later took an interest in folk art and what he called a...
Black-Run Art Spaces Cancel Programming and Announce Closures as Institutions Nationwide Respond to COVID-19

Black-Run Art Spaces Cancel Programming and Announce Closures as Institutions Nationwide Respond to COVID-19

The exhibition galleries at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles remain open to visitors, but public programs are postponed until further notice.   CITING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES from the California Department of Public Health designed “to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19,” the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles cancelled...
Mississippi Museum of Art Names Ryan N. Dennis Chief Curator and Artistic Director

Mississippi Museum of Art Names Ryan N. Dennis Chief Curator and Artistic Director

THE MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART (MMA) in Jackson, Miss., announced two new curatorial appointments this week. Following a national search, the museum named Ryan N. Dennis, chief curator and artistic director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE), and Holly R. Harrison, deputy director for art and programs. Dennis will lead the museum’s...