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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.

Backstory: Wayde McIntosh Made a Prize-Winning Portrait of Friend and Fellow Artist Jordan Casteel

Backstory: Wayde McIntosh Made a Prize-Winning Portrait of Friend and Fellow Artist Jordan Casteel

  VISITING THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY for the first time in 2006 turned out to be a meaningful experience for Wayde McIntosh. Studying for a BFA in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, he made the short trip from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., specifically to see the inaugural...
Latest entries
Disembodiment: A New Generation of Painters is Reframing the Narrative Around Blackness and the Black Body

Disembodiment: A New Generation of Painters is Reframing the Narrative Around Blackness and the Black Body

“Pac Thugz Mansion” (2019) by Jerrell Gibbs   RENDERED IN SOFT FOCUS, a glimpse of nude figures diving into an expansive body of blue water is seen through an opening of low-hanging foliage. It’s a view that could take on any number of interpretations. The painting by Jerrell Gibbs is a vision of freedom and...
Obama Portraits Inspire Soon-to-be-Released Book and Five-City Tour in 2021

Obama Portraits Inspire Soon-to-be-Released Book and Five-City Tour in 2021

  WHEN THE OFFICIAL PORTRAITS of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michell Obama were unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on Feb. 12, 2018, they garnered praise and endless opinions and inspired “pilgrimages” to Washington, D.C., to view them. Now the portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have inspired a five-city national tour...
Latest News in African American Art: Henry Taylor and Simone Leigh Join Hauser & Wirth, United States Artists 2020 Fellows, Made in L.A. 2020 Artist List & More

Latest News in African American Art: Henry Taylor and Simone Leigh Join Hauser & Wirth, United States Artists 2020 Fellows, Made in L.A. 2020 Artist List & More

Artists Simone Leigh and Henry Taylor have joined Hauser & Wirth.   The following review presents a snapshot of recent news in African American art and related black culture:   REPRESENTATION One of the world’s largest galleries with nine locations (and a 10th planned in Menorca), Hauser & Wirth started off the new year with...
Zoé Whitley Tapped as Director of London's Chisenhale Gallery

Zoé Whitley Tapped as Director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery

  CHISENHALE GALLERY in London’s East End has hired Zoé Whitley as its next leader. An American curator, over nearly two decades, Whitley has built a formidable career based in London, producing insightful, innovative, and inclusive exhibitions and programming at major UK museums and galleries. Whitley has been serving as senior curator at Hayward Gallery...
Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on the Artists Defining the History and Shaping the Future of Black Abstract Art

Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on the Artists Defining the History and Shaping the Future of Black Abstract Art

  SINCE 1999, PAMELA J. JOYNER and Alfred J. Giuffrida have focused their collecting on abstract art by artists of African descent. Nearing 100 artists, the collection is documented in a hefty volume, “Four Generations: The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art,” and a traveling exhibition. After touring four museums, “Solidary & Solitary: The...
Extraordinary Frederick Douglass Archive Inspired an Exhibition and Ceremonial Tribute Staged by Artist Raphaël Barontini

Extraordinary Frederick Douglass Archive Inspired an Exhibition and Ceremonial Tribute Staged by Artist Raphaël Barontini

The exhibition “Frederick Douglass: Embers of Freedom” at the SCAD Museum of Art was accompanied by “The Golden March,” a special commission by artist Raphaël Barontini composed of a marching band performance and site-specific installations. | Photography Courtesy of SCAD   SAVANNAH, GA.—Carrying flags and banners bearing the image of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the Savannah...
Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About 'Black Artists in Unexpected Places'

Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About ‘Black Artists in Unexpected Places’

  PICASSO’S “GUERNICA” (1937) is admired and respected by many artists, including Kerry James Marshall and Faith Ringgold. In 1980, Marshall’s first trip to New York—and first flight on an airplane—was made expressly to see the grand work on loan from Spain at the Museum of Modern Art. Ringgold has described “Guernica” as her favorite...
Jacob Lawrence's 30-Panel American History 'Struggle' Series Reunited for First Time at Peabody Essex Museum

Jacob Lawrence’s 30-Panel American History ‘Struggle’ Series Reunited for First Time at Peabody Essex Museum

REBELLIOUS, DEMOCRATIC, AND COMPLEX. That’s how trailblazing artist Jacob Lawrence saw America. Before he ever put paintbrush to panel, Lawrence spent five years conducting research for what would become one of his most ambitious bodies of work, Struggle: From the History of the American People. This 30-panel narrative epic told a version of American history...
Culture Type Picks: 14 Best Black Art Books of 2019

Culture Type Picks: 14 Best Black Art Books of 2019

  BLACK ARTISTS spanning generations are receiving more and more critical recognition and opportunities. Some of the most compelling illustrated art books published in 2019 are monographs contributing to the much-deserved and in many cases long-overdue attention of individual artists. New volumes are dedicated to Kwame Braithwaite, Robert Colescott, Lubaina Himid, Suzanne Jackson, and Julie...
Kerry James Marshall's 'Past Times' Painting Was Among Stars at Lavish 50th Birthday Party of Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs

Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Past Times’ Painting Was Among Stars at Lavish 50th Birthday Party of Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs

  BEFORE HE TURNED 50, Grammy award-winning music producer, entertainment mogul, and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs bought the most expensive painting by a living African American artist at auction. Earlier this month, Combs threw himself a huge 50th birthday bash and the painting, “Past Times” (1997) by Kerry James Marshall, served as a backdrop for...
On the Rise: 47 Curators and Arts Leaders Who Took on New Appointments in 2019

On the Rise: 47 Curators and Arts Leaders Who Took on New Appointments in 2019

  BLACK CURATORS have risen to significant positions at important institutions in the United States and internationally over the past year. In a field where people of color have historically been underrepresented, this 2019 listing of new curatorial and arts leadership appointments demonstrates the growing influence of people of African descent in the visual arts....
On View: Vanessa German, 'Trampoline: Resilience & Black Body & Soul' at Fort Gansevoort in New York

On View: Vanessa German, ‘Trampoline: Resilience & Black Body & Soul’ at Fort Gansevoort in New York

    CANDID, HARSH, AND IMAGINATIVE, Vanessa German‘s mixed-media sculptures, assemblages, and wall-mounted altars are rich with narrative. Created to gird against the daily violence and indignities endured by black and brown people, her Power Figures possess joy, love, and soul protection. Pittsburgh-based German is a performance artist and activist who paints, sculpts and writes....
Lonnie G. Bunch III Officially Installed as 14th Secretary of Smithsonian Institution

Lonnie G. Bunch III Officially Installed as 14th Secretary of Smithsonian Institution

  IT’S OFFICIAL. Lonnie G. Bunch III was installed as the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on Nov. 1. The ceremony was presided over by John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, who serves as chancellor of the Smithsonian. Roberts presented Bunch with a ceremonial brass key, a symbolic...
Using His Camera as an Instrument, Frank Stewart Has Been Hanging with Jazz Musicians for Five Decades

Using His Camera as an Instrument, Frank Stewart Has Been Hanging with Jazz Musicians for Five Decades

  MILES DAVIS HOLDING COURT with the press after a performance at Lincoln Center is one of Frank Stewart’s more well-known photographs. A camera flash shines bright aimed at Davis who is perched against a wall on the opposite side of the room, elevated slightly just above everyone, his shadow cast behind him. Stewart shot...