IT WAS A THRILL TO OPEN the January issue of W magazine and find photographer Lorna Simpson’s evocative images of the cast of “12 Years a Slave” and conclude the year with a package delivered after Christmas containing “Du Bois in Our Time,” a visual testament to the intellectual’s legacy. In the months between, some of the best art books of 2014 were published and the work of several Black artists graced the covers of a range of important magazines. From Nick Cave discussing his new monograph at the New York Public Library to Callaloo announcing it will begin producing a special visual art issue each year and Titus Kaphar painting the Ferguson Protesters for Time magazine, it was a remarkable year in publishing. A selection of notable moments offers a glimpse.

lorna simpson -w spread

Photographer Lorna Simpson captures the cast of Steve McQueen’s film “12 Years a Slave” for the January 2014 issue of W magazine in images inspired by “Cloudscape,” her 2004 work featuring fellow artist Terry Adkins. Read interview with Simpson


Toyin Odutola - Art News cover

A drawing by Toyin Odutola (“New Growth (Maebel),” 2013, pen ink and bronze marker on board) is featured on the January 2014 cover of ART News, illustrating “Making Cutting-Edge Art with Ballpoint Pens,” an article in which she is featured.


carrie mae weems - modern painters

“Missing Link (Liberty),” an image by Carrie Mae Weems from her The Louisiana Project graces the January 2014 cover of Blouin ARTINFO’s Modern Painters magazine. Inside, Weems talks with Charmaine Picard about fellow artist Mike Kelley; the intersection of art and activism; feeling like an elder stateswoman when she met First Lady Michelle Obama, which was “lovely”; and a new body of work called “Equivalents.” Read more on Weems


kehinde wiley - issue 114

Issue 114 of Harvard’s Transition magazine, which examines anti-gay sentiment in Nigeria and pays tribute to the late Amiri Baraka, features a painting by Kehinde Wiley on the cover.


revolutionary art of emory douglas

First published in 2007, “Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas” is reissued Feb. 4, 2014. Full of color images, the volume considers Emory Douglas‘s art and graphic design work which formed the visual identity of the Panthers. He served as art director of the Panther newspaper and became the group’s minister of culture.


swann shadows uplifted cover

A 1935 “Self-Portrait” by James A. Porter covers the Feb. 13 Swann Auction Galleries catalog, drawing attention to the legacy of the longtime Howard University professor and author of “Modern Negro Art” who has been referred to as the father of African American art history. Read interview with Swann’s Nigel Freeman


to conserve a legacy cover

March marks 15 years since “To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities” was published to coincide with a traveling exhibition of the same name, co-curated by Richard J. Powell and Jock Reynolds. Presenting 19th and 20th century art drawn from the holdings of six HBCUs, the volume documents the collecting legacy of these institutions who began acquiring important works by African American artists generations before the mainstream art world recognized their significance and value.


terry adkins - art forum cover

A detail of “Muffled Drums” (2003–13) by Terry Adkins appears on the cover of the March issue Art Forum, accompanying a conversation between Adkins and artist George Lewis. Adkins died as the magazine was going to press.


ebony g. patterson - frieze cover

A detail of “Strange Fruitz” 2013 (mixed media on paper) by Jamaican-born Ebony G. Patterson appears on the April 2014 cover of Frieze magazine, complementing a survey of “Island Life” inside, which asks curators, writers and artists about the role of contemporary art in the Caribbean.


nka collective cover

For its spring edition, Nka Journal publishes a special issue on Black collectives guest edited by Huey Copeland and Naomi Beckwith.



In advance of his first major solo museum exhibition in the United States (“Night and Day” at the New Museum), a detail of British artist Chris Ofili‘s “Afro Margins” (2007) appears on the cover of the June issue of Art in America. Read more


iraaa - buy black cover

The latest issue of the International Review of African American Art (IRAAA) assesses the Black art market, compiling a list of the top 10 influencers in the Black art; talking with Nigel Freeman, African American fine art expert at Swann Auction Galleries (who is No. 8 on the list); and reporting on the changing demographics of African American art collectors. The edition (Vol. 25, No. 1, 2014) is aptly covered by Kerry James Marshall‘s “Buy Black.”


stephen burks - american craft

New York designer Stephen Burks, whose work was presented at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2011, graces the cover of the August/September 2014 issue of American Craft magazine. His Readymade Projects studio collaborates with artisans from developing countries and high-end European brands to produce furniture and artful home accessories. Read more


Nick Cave talks about “Epitome,” his new definitive monograph with Nato Thompson, chief curator of Creative Time who contributes an essay to the book, at the New York Public Library on Sept. 10. (Listen via above audio player (1 hour, 6 minutes), or click here)


david hammons- phillips - under the influence

“Moving to the Other Side,” by David Hammons, a 1969 body print, graces the cover of Phillips Sept. 16 “Under the Influence” auction catalog. Read more


separate cinema cover

Released Sept. 18, “Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art” offers a visual documentation of Black film history via graphic advertisements drawn from The Separate Cinema Archive, a private collection of Black film memorabilia described as containing more than 35,000 movie posters, lobby cards and photographs. The volume expands on an earlier publication released in 1992: “A Separate Cinema: Fifty Years of Black-Cast Posters.”


callaloo art cover

Callaloo, which describes itself as “the premier journal of literature, art, and culture of the African Diaspora,” announces it will begin publishing a fifth issue each year focusing specifically on visual art. The inaugural edition (Vol. 37, No. 4, Art) includes more than 30 artist statements by Edgar Arceneaux, Belkis Ayón (whose work appears on the cover), Jennie C. Jones, Wangechi Mutu, Robert Pruitt and Nari Ward, among others; art-inspired poetry; interviews with Mark Bradford, Kevin Jerome Everson and Julie Mehretu; and features on ways artists have explored the legacy of slavery and the performance art of Saya Woolfalk.


swann - richard long cover

For its Oct. 9 sale, Swann Auction Galleries publishes two catalogs, one featuring a portrait of the late Richard A. Long (1927-2013) by Beauford Delaney on the cover. The estate of Long, an Atlanta educator and collector, commissioned 47 works,including the Delaney painting, for sale. Read interview about Richard A. Long


image of black in western art series

The last installment in the “Image of the Black in Western Art” series is published on Oct. 31. An ambitious project initiated by Harvard University in 2010, based on an archive founded by French-American arts patron Dominique de Menil in the 1960s, the 10-book project assiduously documents artistic depictions of African-descended people, from the earliest known examples to the present. The final book chronicles the 20th century. Featuring a painting by Barkley L. Hendricks on the cover, it is the first to focus on representations of Black people by Black artists.


black male @ whitney catalog

November marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art,” the catalog accompanying the pivotal exhibition curated by Thelma Golden at the Whitney Museum of American Art (Nov. 10, 1994 – March 5, 1995).


In the video above, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier explains the motivation for producing “The Notion of Family,” her recently published first book. The volume explores in images and words generations of racism and economic decline in her industrial hometown of Braddock, Pa. In a lengthy conversation at the Aperture Foundation in October, Frazier discussed the project with fellow photographer Dawoud Bey, who also conducted an interview with Frazier for the book.


speaking of people catalog

“Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art” is published to coincide with the Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition of the same name, exploring the ways 16 artists have been inspired by the historic and culturally significant magazines. Read interview with curator


wangechi mutu - fantastic journey

The 30th annual LoPresti Awards, sponsored by the southeast chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), celebrated “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey” by Trevor Schoonmaker with an honorable mention in the exhibition catalog category. More than 30 entries were considered for the 30th annual awards announced Nov. 18, including “Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project” and “Renee Stout” by Kevin Young.


titus kaphar - ferguson spread

Time magazine commissions Titus Kaphar to paint the Ferguson Protesters, who are shortlisted for its Person of the Year issue, and on Dec. 10 announces the Ebola Fighters as the choice for 2014. Read more



Published Dec. 15, “Du Bois in Our Time documents the fall 2013 exhibition (featuring 10 artists including Radcliffe Bailey, Mary Evans, Ann Messner, Tim Rollins & K.O.S. and Carrie Mae Weems) at the University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and series of talks and events exploring the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois 50 years after his death. Full-color images appear throughout and an 80-page section is devoted to presenting each of the artist’s included works.


represent - phila museum of art cover

Accompanying the forthcoming exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Jan. 10 – April 5, 2015), “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art in the Philadelphia Museum of Art” examines the museum’s collection of objects by Americans of African descent, considering nearly 150 works of art dating from the 19th century to the present, in a range of mediums by about 100 artists. CT


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