Welcome to Culture Type!

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.

Beyond Basel: Where to See, Buy, and Experience African and African American Art During Miami Art Week 2018

Beyond Basel: Where to See, Buy, and Experience African and African American Art During Miami Art Week 2018

Installations by Derrick Adams and Tavares Strachan, left background.   MIAMI ART WEEK is well underway and there are an overwhelming number of opportunities to socialize and see, buy, and experience art beyond Art Basel Miami Beach. A plethora of activities focused on artists of African descent continue this weekend....
Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Select Galleries Throughout the Mega Fair are Showing Works By African and African American Artists, Here's Where to Find Them

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Select Galleries Throughout the Mega Fair are Showing Works By African and African American Artists, Here’s Where to Find Them

“In My Solitude” (2018) by Billie Zangewa at Blank Projects.   ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH (ABMB) opens to the public today. The 17th edition of the art fair features more than 250 galleries from 35 countries in the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. The enthusiasm surrounding ABMB has infused...
Latest entries
Latest News in African American Art: Tavares Strachan Launches Sculpture Into Space, Urgent Call to Repair Richmond Barthé Frieze & More

Latest News in African American Art: Tavares Strachan Launches Sculpture Into Space, Urgent Call to Repair Richmond Barthé Frieze & More

Artist Tavares Strachan’s work paying tribute to a pioneering African American astronaut was launched into into space on Dec. 3. (Liftoff begins at 19:40).   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:   NEWS After a couple of delayed...
Theaster Gates, the Chicago-based Cross-Disciplinary Artist and Urban Visionary, Has Joined Gagosian Gallery

Theaster Gates, the Chicago-based Cross-Disciplinary Artist and Urban Visionary, Has Joined Gagosian Gallery

“A Flag for the Least of Them” (2018) by Theaster Gates   CHICAGO-BASED ARTIST Theaster Gates is now represented by Gagosian gallery. Over the past decade, Gates has gained global renown for his unique social practice focused on preservation, restoration, and archiving. Constantly traveling, he has captivated the international art world with his vision for...
After Debuting Two Major Public Art Works in New York, Derek Fordjour is Headed to Miami for a Solo Presentation at Art Basel

After Debuting Two Major Public Art Works in New York, Derek Fordjour is Headed to Miami for a Solo Presentation at Art Basel

“Derek Fordjour: Half Mast” (2018), outdoor installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art   WITH IMAGES OF MOURNING and celebration, Derek Fordjour is commanding the attention of New Yorkers. The artist’s work is the subject of two prominent public art installations in the city. Downtown, near the Whitney Museum of American Art and the...
Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Oct. 15, 2018: Writers gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society   WATCHING “MOONLIGHT” in theaters across the nation, American audiences were reminded of the power of black male storytelling. The screenplay for the 2016 film was written by Barry Jenkins and adapted from a semi-autobiographical stage play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The story follows the...
Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Selections Inspired by the Works of African American Artists Jack Whitten, Mickalene Thomas, Charles White & More

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Selections Inspired by the Works of African American Artists Jack Whitten, Mickalene Thomas, Charles White & More

  FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA recommends giving a gift of museum membership this holiday season. On the occasion of the publication of her new book “Becoming,” Obama contributed a gift guide to People magazine. She said when she first became a mom, she and her girlfriends would take their children on museum tours. She mentioned...
Latest News in African American Art: Smithsonian Acquires Arthur Jafa's 'Love is the Message,' Kapwani Kiwanga Wins Sobey Art Award & More

Latest News in African American Art: Smithsonian Acquires Arthur Jafa’s ‘Love is the Message,’ Kapwani Kiwanga Wins Sobey Art Award & More

“Love is the Message, The Message is Death” (2016) by Arthur Jafa was acquired by the Smithsonian   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:   NEWS A new report requested by French President Emmanuel Macron outlines proposals for...
The Studio Museum in Harlem is Sharing its Collection with America, Launching a Touring Exhibition of 100 Artworks in January 2019

The Studio Museum in Harlem is Sharing its Collection with America, Launching a Touring Exhibition of 100 Artworks in January 2019

“Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence)” (2001) by Kehinde Wiley   A MAJOR EXHIBITION of more than 100 artwroks by a broad selection by black artists is headed to Seattle, Kalamazoo and Salt Lake City. In January, the American Federation of Arts (AFA) is launching “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem,” a national...
Curators Explain Why British Painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Won the Carnegie International's Top Prize

Curators Explain Why British Painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Won the Carnegie International’s Top Prize

“Amaranthine” (2018) by Lynette Yiadom Boakeye   A SERIES OF ARRESTING PORTRAITS is on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Single and double portraits are exhibited along with a painting of four black males standing together, seemingly in conversation. Lithe figures, all bare-chested wearing only dark pants, any number of narratives could...
Jeffrey C. Stewart Wins National Book Award for Biography of Alain Locke

Jeffrey C. Stewart Wins National Book Award for Biography of Alain Locke

Jeffery C. Stewart accepts National Book Award on Nov. 14   THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION went to Jeffrey C. Stewart for “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke.” Stewart’s definitive biography explores the public influence and private persona of Alain Locke (1885-1954), the gay intellectual and champion of visual artists who...
New Short Documentary Gives a Voice to the Women Who For Generations Have Been Making Artful Quilts in Gee's Bend, Ala.

New Short Documentary Gives a Voice to the Women Who For Generations Have Been Making Artful Quilts in Gee’s Bend, Ala.

Gee’s Bend Quilter Mary Lee Bendolph   AFTER MAKING A CAPTIVATING documentary about artist and musician Lonnie Holley, Maris Curran has trained her lens on the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala. In 2016, Curran delivered a brief but memorable portrait of Birmingham, Ala.-born Holley. “The Man is the Music” documents his work and shares the...
Crushing Decade-Old Auction Record, 'The Businessmen' by Jacob Lawrence Soars to $6.1 Million, Placing Him Among the Most Expensive African American Artists

Crushing Decade-Old Auction Record, ‘The Businessmen’ by Jacob Lawrence Soars to $6.1 Million, Placing Him Among the Most Expensive African American Artists

  BEST KNOWN FOR HIS HISTORY PAINTING—multi-panel series about Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and the Great Migration, among many others—artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) has made auction history. “The Businessmen,” a 1947 painting by Lawrence sold for more than $6.1 million (including fees) last night at Sotheby’s New York. The price far exceeded the estimate which...
Jack Whitten's 'Ancient Mentor I' Reaches $2.2 Million, Establishing New Auction Record, More Than Twice His Previous High Mark

Jack Whitten’s ‘Ancient Mentor I’ Reaches $2.2 Million, Establishing New Auction Record, More Than Twice His Previous High Mark

Detail of “Ancient Mentor I” (1985) by Jack Whitten   A SPECTACULAR PAINTING by Jack Whitten (1939-2018) established a new artist record yesterday evening. “Ancient Mentor I” (1985) sold for $2,235,000 (including fees) at Sotheby’s New York. The new benchmark shattered Whitten’s previous auction high, which was set by “The Ghost of Joseph Beuys” one...
Nearing $1 Million, Henry Taylor's 'I'll Put a Spell on You' Sets New Artist Record

Nearing $1 Million, Henry Taylor’s ‘I’ll Put a Spell on You’ Sets New Artist Record

  AUCTION PRICES for paintings by Henry Taylor have reached a new realm. This evening, “I’ll Put a Spell on You” (2004) set a new benchmark at Sotheby’s New York. Bids flew past the estimate and the artist’s existing record. Amid the flurry, auctioneer Oliver Barker said “A lot of Henry Taylor collectors here.” After...
Record Breakers? Paintings by Jack Whitten, Sam Gilliam, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Other African American Artists Priced to Set New Auction Highs This Week

Record Breakers? Paintings by Jack Whitten, Sam Gilliam, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Other African American Artists Priced to Set New Auction Highs This Week

Sotheby’s is auctioning “Ancient Mentor I” (1985) by Jack Whitten on Nov. 14 in New York. | Video by Sotheby’s   WORKS BY SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR, expensive, and critically recognized African American artists are featured in this week’s auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips in New York. Several lots will arrive at the...