A REVIEW OF THE WEEK’S NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE ART WORLD Featuring Shinique Smith, Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, a documentary about black photographers and more


shinique smith - majesty
Detail of “Majesty” 2012 (ink and acrylic on canvas over panel) by Shinique Smith via MFA Boston


Shinique Smith Responds to 21 Questions
“Bright Matter” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston surveys a decade of paintings, sculpture, installations, video and performances produced by Shinique Smith. The artist answered a series of questions about the exhibition of 30 works in an interview with ARTINFO.

“Feelings well up of pride and discovery as I see these works with a fresh eye and realize that what I wanted to convey was expressed, and that the work is strong. The latter is sometimes harder for me to admit.”
— Shinique Smith, ARTINFO

Trailer for “Through the Lens Darkly”


Final Days of ‘Through a Lens Darkly’ at Film Forum
“Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” explores the ways in which historic and contemporary images by black photographers have defined, humanized and affirmed African American people, in contrast to more ubiquitous negative portrayals by white photographers. Screenings of the film have been underway at the Film Forum in New York since Aug. 27 and conclude on Tues. Sept. 9. Directed by Thomas Allen Harris, the documentary was inspired by the book “Reflections in Black” by Deborah Willis, who co-produced the film.


mark bradford - sexy cash
“Sexy Cash,” 2013, (mixed mediums) by Mark Bradford | Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, London via Art in America


Mark Bradford Explains Inspiration for New Exhibition
Next week, Mark Bradford’s “Sea Monsters” exhibition opens at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. In an as-told-to account published in Art in America, the Los Angeles-based artist explains, among other things about his creative process, the inspiration for the new show:

“The show at the Rose Art Museum came out of a merchant poster on a telephone pole in South Central Los Angeles. It advertised quick loans—the kind of high-interest loans that they give people, say, to buy a used car. This poster said, “Sexy Cash. We buy ugly or old houses fast.” And I thought, “Sexy cash. Hmm.” I started thinking about how my studio is in South Central, and that probably this little company is not in South Central but preying on the people there who are struggling, underwater with loans and mortgages. And that made me think about the conquistadors, the history of colonization, and about trading glass beads to Native Americans—all sorts of things. We make the cash sexy, and you want it. You take our sexy cash, then we take your house. It’s still the same in the 21st century as in the past—still the same exploitation for economic gain.”
— Mark Bradford, Art in America

The Los Angeles-based artist continues, describing how the sexy cash metaphor led to thoughts of “sea monsters,” the title of his exhibition:

“Then I thought about the ancient waterways that facilitated colonization—how they moved sexy cash along. Then about the mysteries of the water—how people thought the ocean was filled with monsters. And how when people think about South Central—the way it’s been depicted—it’s full of its own version of sea monsters. The unknown—those dark, scary waters. It’s all kind of circular, but it makes sense to me.”
— Mark Bradford, Art in America

Women Artists Who Are ‘Wise Buys’
Elizabeth Catlett, Betye Saar and Lorna Simpson are included in an ARTINFO list of 50 women artists—young, mid-career and deceased—the media outlet consideres ‘wise buys’ and ‘worth watching.’


Times Coverage Omits African American Quilt Exhibit
“Celebrating Quilts in Shows and Books,” an otherwise exhaustive New York Times report about quilt scholars “debunking a few myths,” mentions several forthcoming books and seven exhibitions currently on view or opening soon, overlooking a presentation of African American quilts at a New Jersey museum scheduled later this month. The article focuses on an array of categories, including quilts made by Jewish immigrants from Russia, crafted by men, and made for children on view at a range of institutions from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Virginia Quilt Museum to the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, but fails to note that a traveling show featuring 30 textiles made by African American quilters, “From Heart to Hand: African-American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, opens at the Montclair Art Museum Sept. 21.


NC14.004 Sacrifice
Nick Cave’s “Sacrafice” features a carnival game head resting in the artist’s hands cast in bronze. | Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography


Nick Cave Talks About Racially Charged Objects at the Center of his New Exhibition
Two exhibitions at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York present a new body of work by Nick Cave. Best known for his masterfully crafted Sound Suits, in ARTINFO Cave explains the ideas and concepts behind his new mixed-media sculptures composed of racially charged objects he found at flea markets and antique stores.


Hank Willis Thomas Reports from Burning Man via Instagram
The In Search of the Truth booth was installed at Burning Man where artnet News noticed that Hank Willis Thomas, co-creator of the art project, documented the experience in the Nevada desert via Instagram. CT


Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.