THIS WINTER IS PROVING TO BE UNPREDICTABLE, with massive snow expected one week and relatively mild temperatures the next. On the art front, the forecast this season is more reliable with a robust slate of exhibitions, from New York, San Francisco and Ontario to London and Munich, featuring a range of modern and contemporary black artists. The Brooklyn Museum is presenting a much-anticipated survey of Kehinde Wiley’s 14-year career and the Philadelphia Museum is showcasing important works from its collection of African American art. Titus Kaphar’s first exhibition at Jack Shainman is mounted in both of the gallery’s Chelsea spaces. A series of previously unpublished, pre-civil rights era photos by Gordon Parks are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Toyin Odutola is showing new mixed-media drawings at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Programming at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta features Dox Thrash, Romare Bearden, Wilfredo Lam, Fahamu Pecou, Nellie Mae Rowe and Parks. And in Shanghai, Mark Bradford is mounting his first major exhibition in Asia. For your winter agenda, a selection of 25 exhibitions:

devin troy strother - space jam
Installation view of “Devin Troy Strother: Space Jam” at Marlborough Chelsea | via the gallery

Jan. 10 – Feb. 14, 2015
1. “DEVIN TROY STROTHER: Space Jam” @ Marlborough Chelsea | New York
With just a couple of months to prepare for his second solo exhibition at Marlborough Gallery, Los Angeles-based Devin Troy Strother turned to sports and pop culture for inspiration. “The work is talking about identity and talking about artists’ practices, but I’m facilitating all of that through basketball and the movie ‘Space Jam,’” Strother told the New York Times T magazine.

 

Jan. 10 – April 5, 2015
2. “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art” @ Philadelphia Museum of Art | Philadelphia
“Represent” showcases the breadth and depth of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of African American art. Assembled over the past century, beginning with its 1899 purchase of Henry O. Tanner’s “The Annunciation” and including contemporary artists such as Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson, the holdings feature major figures across generations who work in a range of mediums and genres.

 

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JACOB LAWRENCE, “Struggle … From the History of the American People, no. 13: Victory and Defeat,” 1955 (egg tempera on hardboard). | Private Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. © 2015 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jan. 10 – Aug. 9, 2015
3. “JACOB LAWRENCE: Struggle…From The History of the American People” @ Phillips Collection | Washington, D.C.
Ten years after Jacob Lawrence completed his celebrated Migration series, he painted 60 canvases documenting significant moments from the Revolutionary War to the great westward expansion of 1817. The Phillips is presenting 12 panels from the series “Struggle … From the History of the American People” (1954-55).

 

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DOX THRASH, “Georgia Cotton Crop,” 1944–1945 (carborundum mezzotint and etching on paper). | High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Fund, 2011.107

Jan. 10 – May 10, 2015
4. “DOX THRASH: An American Journey” @ High Museum of Art | Atlanta
In 2011, the High Museum acquired “Georgia Cotton,” a carborundum mezzotint and etching print created in 1944-45 by Dox Thrash (1893-1965). A celebrated printmaker, Thrash played a key role in developing the carborundum printmaking process, along with colleagues at the Federal Art Project. “An American Journey” presents 43 of the artist’s works—watercolors, relief prints, lithographs, etchings—and features “Georgia Cotton,” along with other carborundum mezzotints.

 

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ROMARE BEARDEN, “Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model,” 1981 (collage on fiberboard). | Courtesy High Museum of Art

Jan. 10 – May 31, 2015
5. “A Painter’s Profile: The High Celebrates ROMARE BEARDEN” @ High Museum of Art | Atlanta
Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was incredibly prolific, but he is only known to have made one self-portrait, which the High Museum acquired last year. Much more than a portrait of Bearden, “Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model,” tells his story. Described by the museum, the collage “brings together important memories and spiritual influences from his youth in the South with broader art historical themes that guided his career for more than four decades.” The exhibition presents the self-portrait along with eight other works by Bearden in the museum’s collection.

 

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Installation view. At right, STANLEY WHITNEY, “Champagne and Wine,” 2014 (oil on linen). | Photo via Team Gallery

Jan. 11 – Feb. 22, 2015
6. “STANLEY WHITNEY: Team Colors” @ Team (bungalow) Gallery | Venice, Calif.
Defined by composition and color, the work of New York-based painter Stanley Whitney is being presented in Los Angeles for the first time. “Team Colors” features new paintings that exemplify his aesthetic. The gallery describes his approach thus: “By allowing color to provide structure, Whitney erases the partition between these two essential components of the medium. While the works are characterized by their improvisational nature, they are wrought with a discernable logic—the artist’s understanding of color is as studied as it is preternatural.”

 

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TITUS KAPHAR, “Behind the Myth of Benevolence,” 2014 (oil on canvas). | Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery

Jan. 15 – Feb. 21, 2015
7. TITUS KAPHAR @ Jack Shainman Gallery | New York
“Through the manipulation of seemingly classical and canonical imagery, [Titus] Kaphar introduces us to an alternate history that runs concurrent to the dominant narrative,” according to Jack Shainman Gallery. Once he paints the images, he further manipulates them, cutting, slashing, white washing and peeling back the surfaces of his canvases in an effort to “ignite and recharge” them. In his first exhibition with the gallery, Kaphar’s work is on view in both Chelsea spaces. “Drawing the Blinds” features new works and “Asphalt and Chalk” expands on the Jerome Project, currently installed at the Studio Museum.

 

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TOYIN ODUTOLA, Detail of diptych “He Just Was,” 2014 (charcoal, pastel, marker,and graphite on paper). | © Toyin Odutola. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Jan. 16, – Feb 28, 2015
8. “TOYIN ODUTOLA: Untold Stories” @ Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Toyin Odutola is embracing change. Recognized for both for her ebony-hued portraits and her elevated use of pen and ink in their creation, last year Odutola began working with an wider selection of mediums. For this exhibition, the Nigerian-born artist has produced a new series of mixed-media drawings (works on paper made with charcoal, pastel marker, graphite and acrylic ink), including her first foray into working with text.

 

Elizabeth Catlett, Roots, 1981, Mixed media
ELIZABETH CATLETT, “Roots,” 1981 (mixed media). | Art © Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.

Jan. 16 – April 5, 2015
9. “The Art of ELIZABETH CATLETT: Selections from the Collection of Samella Lewis” @ Museum of the African Diaspora | San Francisco
On view in the museum’s newly renovated gallery space, this exhibition features nearly 40 works drawn from the personal collection of artist and educator Samella Lewis. Sculptures and prints by Elizabeth Catlett are presented in context with a handful of works by Lewis and Francisco Mora, Catlett’s husband. Catlett taught Lewis in the 1940s and the two artists became lifelong friends.

 

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GORDON PARKS, “Husband and Wife, Sunday Morning, Detroit, Michigan,” 1950 (gelatin silver print). | Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation via MFA Boston

Jan. 17 – Sept. 13, 2015
10. “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott” @ Museum of Fine Arts Boston | Boston
In 1950, acclaimed Life magazine photographer Gordon Parks returned to his segregated hometown to trace the whereabouts of his childhood classmates. Planned for a magazine feature called “Back to Fort Scott” that never appeared, the unpublished, pre-civil rights era photographs are finally on view.

 

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BRENNA YOUNGBLOOD, “Blade Runner: Painter of Light,” 2014 (mixed media on canvas). | Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles

Jan. 20 – May 17, 2015
11. “Project Sereies 50: BRENNA YOUNGBLOOD” @ Pomona College Museum | Claremont, Calif.
Brenna Youngblood creates moody-hued abstract paintings that are gaining wide regard. A few months ago, Youngblood won the Gwendolyn Knight | Jacob Lawrence Prize, an honor that includes a solo exhibition later this year at the Seattle Art Museum. For this exhibition at Pomona College, she is presenting new “paintings that explore gestural abstraction, color field painting, and collage, and that pose questions about memory, identity, and class.”

 

Jan. 21 – March 29, 2015
12. RENEE GREEN, “Begin Again, Begin Again” @ MAK Center for Art and Architecture | Los Angeles
Presenting new and earlier film and audio works at the center’s Schindler House in West Hollywood, Renee Green “continues to play with variables of time and location, space and things, amongst reflections on relays, delays, movement, exile, migration, displacement and reinvention.” Green’s recently published book is “Other Planes of There: Selected Writings.”

 

Jan. 26 – Feb. 20, 2015
13. RADCLIFFE BAILEY: Storm at Sea @ University of Arkansas, Fine Arts Center Gallery | Fayetteville, Ark.
Utilizing everyday objects steeped in cultural symbolism, Radcliffe Bailey examines race, history and memory. “Storm at Sea,” the floor installation for which the exhibition is named, invokes “piano keys, an African sculpture, and a glitter-covered ship to suggest leitmotifs associated with the black experience of the transatlantic slave trade.”

 

rashid johnson - smile
Installation view of “Rashid Johnson: Smile.” | via Hauser & Wirth, London

Jan. 28 – March 7, 2015
14. “RASHID JOHNSON: Smile” @ Hauser & Wirth | London
Rashid Johnson’s first solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London, features new paintings and sculpture presented against the backdrop of a storied image. According to the gallery, “The exhibition’s title, ‘Smile’, takes inspiration from a celebrated image by French-American photographer Elliott Erwitt; a young black boy grins broadly while holding a gun to his head. Hundreds of copies of this same image paper the walls of the main gallery, surrounding the viewer. The tension within Erwitt’s image, which is at once joyful and inherently tragic, underpins this entire exhibition.”

 

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David Adjaye designed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, originally scheduled to open this year, now planned for 2016. | via Haus der Kunst

Jan. 30 – May 31, 2015
15. “DAVID ADJAYE: Form, Heft, Material” @ Haus der Kunst Museum | Munich, Germany
In many ways, art is as important as design when it comes to the work of architect David Adjaye, who has designed museums around the world, collaborated with artists on exhibition spaces, designed homes for artists (Lorna Simpson and Chris Ofili, among others), and published a seven-volume exploration of African architecture, “African Metropolitan Architecture.” Curated by Okwui Enwezor, this first extensive survey devoted to the British-based, Ghanaian-born architect’s global practice. “David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material” includes a coinciding catalog published by the Art Institute of Chicago where the exhibition will travel on Sept. 19).

 

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MARK BRADFORD, Detail of “Lazy Mountain,” (mixed media on canvas) 2014. | via Rockbund Art Museum

Jan. 31 – May 3, 2015
16. “MARK BRADORD: Tears of a Tree” @ Rockbund Art Museum | Shanghai, China
Mark Bradford’s first major exhibition in Asia features all new works. A series of buoy-shaped sculptures is suspended from the fifth floor gallery and 100-foot long paintings are displayed on each of the museum’s three floors. Depicting map views of urban Shanghai and its rural mountainous counterpart, the trio was commissioned specifically for the show. Grand in scale, the mixed media painting “are inspired by the [Los Angeles-based] artist’s visits to Shanghai and what he found to be the dynamic melding of disparate cultures, economies and functions in the city—the sprawl, heavy industry, old port city, the French Quarter, and the glamour of the nouveau riche.”

 

Jan 31 – May 31, 2015
17. ISAAC JULIEN: Riot @ De Pont Museum | Tilburg, Netherlands
Surveying 30 years of work, “Riot” features eight films by Isaac Julien, including “Playtime,” which uses satire to critically explore how big money increasingly churns the art world. The museum describes the British artist’s films as “a blend of fact and fiction, aesthetics and critical reflection” and notes that “over the past few years, an architectural arrangement of the projection screens has become striking factor as well.”

 

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NNENNA OKORE, “Akaraka,” 2013 (newspapers, jute rope, dye, acrylic). | via Elmhurst Art Museum

Feb. 7 – May 3, 2015
18. “On the Brink: New Work by NNENNA OKORE” @ Elmhurst Art Museum | Elmhurst, Ill.
Rife with texture, color and organic forms, Nnenna Okore’s abstract sculptural works are infused with narrative elements that draw on the landscapes and environs of Nigeria, where she was raised, and Chicago, where she lives, works and is a professor of art. For this exhibition, she is presenting new work that showcases her innovative methods and materials.

 


Canadian collector Kenneth Montague, Austrian curator Dieter Buchhart, and Canadian artists discuss the significance of bringing Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work to Toronto.

Feb. 7 – May 10, 2015
19. “JEAN MICHEL-BASQUIAT: Now’s the Time” @ Art Gallery Ontario | Ontario, Canada
Touted as the first major retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work in Canada, this important exhibition features nearly 85 large-scale paintings and drawings gathered from public and private collections in North America and Europe. The accompanying catalog (Feb. 25) includes an essay by Franklin Sirmans.

 

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YINKA SHONIBARE, From “The William Morris Family Album,: 2015 | Copyright the artist, Courtesy the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, Commissioned by William Morris Gallery

Feb. 7 – June 7, 2015
20. YINKA SHONIBARE: The William Morris Family Album @ William Morris Gallery | Walthamstow, London
Housed in the home where William Morris, the British textile designer, author and social activist lived from ages 14 to 21, the gallery turned to Yinka Shonibare MBE for its first major commission. Inspired by family photos in the Morris archive, the London-born, Lagos, Nigeria-raised artist recreates portrait images using locals as models, dressing them in Victorian-era styles made with “African” batiks fabrics. The gallery explains that “by inviting Waltham Forest residents to help recreate photographs of Morris’s family, he encourages viewers to reflect on the realities of equality in both Morris’s time and our own.”

 

El Anatsui - October Gallery
EL ANATSUI, “TSIATSIA – searching for connection,” 2013 (Aluminium: bottle-tops, printing plates, roofing sheets; and copper wire). | via October Gallery

Feb. 12 – March 28, 2015
21. EL ANATSUI: Selected Works @ October Gallery | London
Closely identified with the generously sized metal sculptures he creates from aluminum bottle tops, El Anatsui’s works drape and fold like regal textiles. Over the years, he has also formed sculptures composed of cassava graters, railway sleepers, driftwood, iron nails and obituary printing plates. Anatsui has been associated with October Gallery for more than two decades, where a selection of his work will be on view.

 

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WILFREDO LAM, “À la fin de la nuit [Le Lever du jour],” 1969 (oil on canvas). | Private collection. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Feb. 14 – May 24, 2015
22. “WILFREDO LAM: Imagining New Worlds” @ High Museum of Art | Atlanta
A rare overview of the career of highly regarded Cuban artist Wilredo Lam (1902-1982), “Imagining New Worlds” features more than 40 paintings, along with drawings, prints and ephemera. Examining Lam’s entire career, the retrospective brings together a wide selection of his masterworks, presented together for the first time.

 

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From left, Artists José Parlá and Fahamu Pecou. Parlá is holding a portrait of Wifredo Lam by Man Ray (© Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2014). | Courtesy High Museum of Art

Feb. 14 – May 24, 2015
23. “Imagining New Worlds: JOSE PARLA and FAHAMU PECOU” @ High Museum of Art | Atlanta
Offering contemporary context to the High Museum’s Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982) retrospective, solo exhibitions by Atlanta-based Fahamu Pecou and Brooklyn-based Jose Parla respond to the work and legacy of the Cuban artist whose influences included Surrealism, the Negritude movement, African imagery and Santeria. Pecou, whose practice explores representations of the black male through hip hop and pop culture, is showiing mostly new work and collaborates with Parla on a special installation.

 

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KEHINDE WILEY, “Colonel Platoff on His Charger,” 2007–8 (oil on canvas) | Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Gift of the Director’s Council and Museum purchase, 2008. © Kehinde Wiley

Feb. 20 – May 24, 2015
24. “KEHINDE WILEY: A New Republic” @ Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, N.Y.
About 14 years ago, Kehinde Wiley found his niche painting grand portraits of young men (and more recently women) he identified by walking the streets of major cities around the world. A survey of Wiley’s career since 2001, the exhibition (and accompanying Kehinde Wiley: A New Republiccatalog) features 60 sculptures and paintings that riff on images from the art historical canon, challenging accepted notions of race, gender and representation.

 

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“Making Africa” explores a new generation of African designers. | Photo via Vitra Design Museum

March 14 – Sept. 19, 2015
25. “Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design” @ Vitra Design Museum | Weil am Rhein, Germany
Since the dawn of the 21st century, Africa has been undergoing a remarkable transformation rooted in technological advances and an entrepreneurial spirit driven by creativity. Developed in consultation with Okwui Enwezor, this exhibition explores the production and intellectual potential of a new “generation of African designers, architects and artists who transcend the boundaries between design, art, photography, architecture and urbanism.” CT

 

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