LONG OVERDUE, THE COLORFUL AND EXPRESSIVE abstract works of Alma Thomas (1891-1978), pictured above, are being celebrated with a groundbreaking retrospective at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in upstate New York. This summer, Thomas’s first solo museum exhibition since 2001 will travel to the Studio Museum in Harlem, which is co-organizing the show.

Major exhibitions throughout the United States and around the world feature the work of important African and African American artists this season. David Hammons is mounting a career survey in collaboration with Mnuchin Gallery in New York, the first such exhibition of the elusive artist’s work in two decades. Rashid Johnson is making his first solo debuts in Italy and Russia. Expanding beyond the rhinestone embellished paintings for which she is recognized, Mickalene Thomas continues to explore new mediums with her first exhibition of photographs at the Aperture Foundation and a presentation of film and video work at the Aspen Art Museum.

Ryan Lee Gallery in New York is presenting a selection of works by Emma Amos, the youngest and only female member of Spiral, a short-lived collective of African American artists co-founded by Romare Bearden in 1963. Glenn Ligon is occupying both New York locations of Luhring Augustine Gallery with a pair of exhibitions that channel Richard Pryor and James Baldwin. In Philadelphia, “Rodney McMillan: The Black Show” is the first of three exhibitions of the Los Angeles-based artist’s work opening on the East Coast in the coming months.

A selection of exhibitions on view this winter and beyond, from Los Angeles, Cincinnati and West Palm Beach, to Johannesburg and Singapore, follows:


El Anatsui - Adinkra-Sasa
El Anatsui’s first major exhibition in Australia features more than 30 works by the Ghanaian artist from the 1970s to present, including “Adinkra Sasa.” | via Jack Shainman Gallery

1. “EL ANATSUI: Five Decades” @ Carriageworks, Redfern, New South Wales, Australia | Jan. 7 – March 6, 2016

The exhibition features large black-and-white photographic images of collages, “photostat projections,” produced by Romare Bearden in 1964, including “Evening 9: 10 461 Lenox Avenue.” | Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami. © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY via PAMM

2. “Project Gallery: ROMARE BEARDEN” @ Perez Art Museum, Miami, Fla. | Jan. 14-June 26, 2016

glenn ligon - live - 2014
The exhibition features GLENN LIGION, “Live,” 2014 (silent seven channel video installation; Edition of 3 and 1 AP; Duration: 80 minutes, 51 seconds), which is based on the 1982 film “Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip.” | © Glenn Ligon; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

3. “GLENN LIGON: We Need To Wake Up Cause That’s What Time It Is” @ Luhring Augustine, Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y. | Jan. 16-April 17, 2016

Crosby_Njideka Akunyili_1
The museum describes this presentation of 15 paintings as Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s first survey. Works featured include “Nwantinti,” 2012, acrylic, charcoal, colored pencil, collage and transfers on paper. | Image courtesy of Marc Bernier. © Njideka Akunyili Crosby

4. “NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY: I Refuse to be Invisible” @ Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla. | Jan. 20-April 24, 2016

Beau McCall - darkmuskoilegyptiancrystals&floridawater:redpotionno.1, 2014 - Buttons, fabric, thread, cast iron tub
Curated by Souleo, this group exhibition presents buttons “reimagined and repurposed in contemporary art.” Works by 11 artists are featured, including “darkmuskoilegyptiancrystals&floridawater/redpotionno.1,” 2014 (buttons, fabric, thread, cast iron tub) by BEAU MCCALL. | via Rush Arts Gallery

5. “The Button Show” @ Rush Arts Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 21-March 12, 2016

yinkashonibare girl balancing knowledge
YINKA SHONIBARE, “Gift Balancing Knowledge,” 2015 (fiberglass mannequin, dutch wax printed cotton textile, books, globe, steel baseplate). | via Pearl Lam Galleries

6. “YINKA SHONIBARE: Childhood Memories” @ Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore | Jan. 21-March 13, 2016

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery represents the estate of NORMAN LEWIS and is presenting a selection of the artist’s works, including “Blue Red,” 1963 (oil on canvas) | via Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

7. “NORMAN LEWIS: A Selection of Paintings and Drawings” @ Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 23 – March 19, 2016

Mequitta Ahuja, Off the Edge, 2008, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the African American Art Advisory Association. © Mequitta Ahuja
Featuring more than 40 works in various mediums from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s collection, this exhibition presents the works of early 20th century African American artists, artists who charted America’s transformation during the civil rights era, and contemporary artists challenging racial assumptions and exploring the politics of identity. Above, MEQUITTA AHUJA, “Off the Edge,” 2008 (oil on canvas). | Museum purchase funded by the African American Art Advisory Association. © Mequitta Abuja via The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

8. “Statements: African American Art from the Museum’s Collection” @ The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston | Jan. 24-April 24, 2016

Co-created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith, and Kamal Sinclair, Question Bridge is a five-channel video installation giving voice to black males—exploring identity and a range of issues, highlighting a diversity of thought and experience. | Video by Question Bridge

9. “Question Bridge: Black Males” @ University Museum of Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst | Jan. 27-May 1, 2016

Anthonry Barboza - Easter Sunday in Harlem - 1974
The exhibition features monochrome works such as “Easter Sunday in Harlem” (1974) from the first three decades of New York-based photographer Anthony Barbaoza’s career. | Photo via Keith De Lellis Gallery

10. “ANTHONY BARBOZA: Vintage Photographs, 1963-1990s” @ Keith De Lellis Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 28-Mach 12, 2016

mickalene thomas - Quanikah Goes Up - 136550
This first exhibition dedicated to Mickalene Thomas’s photography includes “Quanikah Goes Up,” 2001/2005 (c-print). | © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy the artist; Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York via Lehmann Maupin

11. “Muse: MICKALENE THOMAS Photographs and tête-à-tête” @ Aperture, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 28-March 17, 2016

Documenting blacks in late 19th century Britain, “Black Chronicles II” is organized by Autograph APB, London, in collaboration with the Hulton Archive, a division of Getty Images.

12. “Black Chronicles II” @ Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta | Jan. 28-May 14, 2016

The Prophecy-1
A select group of artists have contributed works to this group show exploring the “history of activism, intervention, and resistance that has characterized a great deal of African art-making from prehistory to the present,” including FABRICE MONTEIRO’s “The Prophecy,” series of photographs about the environmental devastation of his native Senegal (above, “Untitled #1,” 2013). | via Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

13. “African Art Against the State @ Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass. | Jan. 29- Aug. 28, 2016

henry taylor - mistake room
Los Angeles-based Henry Taylor is the first artist participating in TMR Guadalajara, the Mistake Room’s new yearlong residency-based initiative. | via The Mistake Room

14. HENRY TAYLOR Residency @ The Mistake Room Guadalajara, Mexico | Jan. 30-April 2, 2016

noah purifoy - junk dada
Organized by LACMA, this is the first major museum retrospective of NOAH PURIFOY (1917-2004), the Southern California assemblage artist who died under-recognized more than a decade ago. Purifoy was founding director of the Watts Tower Art Center. Above, “Untitled,” 1967 (multimedia). | John Outterbridge Collection, © Noah Purifoy Foundation, Photo © Robert Wedemeyer

15. “NOAH PURIFOY: Junk Dada,” @ The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio | Jan. 20-April 10, 2016

betye saar - to the manner born
Spanning Los Angeles-based Betye Saar’s six-decade career, this exhibition features early and more recent works, including “To the Manor Born,” 2011 (mixed media assemblage). | Courtesy the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. © Betye Saar via Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

16. “BETYE SAAR: Still Tickin'” @ Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Ariz. | Jan. 30-May 1, 2016

stan douglas - the secret agent - victoria miro
Filmed on location in Lisbon with local actors, this exhibition marks the UK debut of “The Secret Agent” (2015), Canadian artist STAN DOUGLAS’s new multi-screen film installation along with a series of large-scale photographs. | via Victoria Miro Gallery

17. “STAN DOUGLAS: The Secret Agent” @ Victoria Miro Gallery, London | Jan. 30-March 24, 2016

rodney mcmillan - a migration tale
Featuring RODNEY MCMILLAN, “A Migration Tale,” 2015, filmed 2014 (single channel video), this exhibition is presented in conjunction with major solo shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem and MoMA PS1. | Courtesy the artist and Maccarone, New York via ICA Philadelphia

18. “RODNEY MCMILLAN: The Black Show” @ ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. | Feb. 3-Aug. 14, 2016

Untitled, Harlem, New York, 1963, silver gelatin print. The Gordon Parks Foundation, Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery
This Gordon Parks exhibition features more than 60 of his photographs documenting the Civil Rights Movement, including “Untitled (Harlem, New York),” 1963 (silver gelatin print), showing Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. | © The Gordon Parks Foundation, Courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery via Jenkins Johnson

19. “GORDON PARKS: Higher Ground” @ Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco | Feb. 4-April 2, 2016 (Updated 3/28/16: Extended through April 30, 2016.)

8. Puryear_Drawing for Maroon_1986 88
This first-ever exhibition of works on paper by MARTIN PURYEAR whose sculptures often begin with sketches and drawings, spans half a century and presents about 70 works on paper from the artist’s own collection, along with a selection of prints and sculptures related to the drawings. Above, “Drawing for Maroon,” 1986/88 (black Conté crayon, with smudging, over graphite, on ivory wove paper). | Courtesy of the artist. © Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

20. “MARTIN PURYEAR: Multiple Dimensions” @ Art Institute of Chicago | Feb. 5-May 1, 2016

Featuring Alma Thomas’s “Deep Red Roses Chant,” 1972 (acrylic on canvas), this exhibition is her first museum retrospective since 2001 and is co-organized by the Studio Museum in Harlem where it will be on view in Summer 2016. | Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York via Tang Museum

21. ALMA THOMAS @ Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Sarasota Springs, N.Y. | Feb. 6-June 5, 2016

Henry O Tanner - Port Aven - 1894
The first in a series of exhibitions highlighting the DuSable Museum’s collection of art by important African American artists features works from the 1800s to 1950s, many being presented publicly for the first time, by artists including William Edouard Scott, William A. Harper, and Archibald Motley Jr. Above, HENRY O. TANNER, “Pont-Aven,” 1894 (oil on canvas).

22. “The DuSable Masterworks Collection I: Paintings” @ DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago | Feb. 6, 2016-Jan. 16, 2017

Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, this retrospective features KEHINDE WILEY’s work over the past 14 years, including this detail of “Portrait of May Hill, Lady Killigrew,” 2013 (oil on canvas). | via Seattle Art Museum

23. “KEHINDE WILEY: A New Republic” @ Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash.| Feb. 11-May 6, 2016

This traveling retrospective is the first look back at MELVIN EDWARDS’s career in more than two decades and includes welded steel works such as “Ame Eghan (Rocker),” 1975 | Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London © 2015 Melvin Edwards / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Jeffrey Sturges via Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University

24. “MELVIN EDWARDS: Five Decades” @ Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio | Feb. 12-May 8, 2016

Thornton Dial Sr. - Heading for the Higher Paying Jobs - 1992 - High Museum_1997.55
This memorial exhibition features a selection of drawings and paintings from the museum’s collection (including “Heading for the Higher Paying Jobs,” 1992, T. Marshall Hahn Collection, 1997.55) by Alabama artist Thornton Dial Sr., who died in January. | via High Museum of Art

25. “Green Pastures: In Memory of THORNTON DIAL SR.” @ High Museum of Art, Atlanta | Feb. 13–May 1, 2016

carrie mae weems - still from i look at women
This exhibitions highlights a range of works and series from throughout Weems’ career. CARRIE MAE WEEMS, “The Considered, See Bergman,” 2012 (inkjet print). | Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Carrie Mae Weems via SCAD Museum

26. “CARRIE MAE WEEMS: Considered” @ Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art, Savannah, S.C. | Feb. 16-June 12, 2016

This commissioned installation is an homage to “bling” funerals. Increasingly popular among the working class in Kingston, Jamaica, the rites of passage are “powerful declarations of individuality: You may not have noticed me when I was alive, but you will damn well see me as I leave.” | via Atlanta Contemporary

27. EBONY G. PATTERSON, “Invisible Presence: Bling Memories” @ Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, Ga. | Feb. 17-April 21, 2016

Featuring “Positions” 2015, this exhibition “showcases a series of historical works to offer an intimate yet broad introduction to RASHID JOHNSON’s artistic practice” and is the New York-based artist’s first solo museum presentation in Italy. | via GAMeC

28. “RASHID JOHNSON: Reasons” @ GAMeC, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy | Feb. 19-May 15, 2016

Amos, Josephine and the Mountain Gorillas
The youngest and only female member of the Spiral Group, EMMA AMOS joined Ryan Lee earlier this year and her first exhibition with the gallery is a presentation of textile paintings from the 1980s. Above, “Josephine and the Mountain Gorillas,” 1985, acrylic, fabric, and woven linen. | Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York

29. “EMMA AMOS: True Colors” @ Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Feb. 24-April 9, 2016

Featuring works such as “Black Righteous Space: The South African Edition” 2015 (in the video above Marc Bamuthi Joseph performs at the Kadist Art Foundation in interaction with the work) and taking its title from a 1985 James Baldwin Essay, “this solo exhibition amplifies notions of presence and absence, sound and silence, and visibility and invisibility in the work of HANK WILLIS THOMAS.” | Video by Kadist Art Foundation

30. “HANK WILLIS THOMAS: Evidence of Things Not Seen” @ Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco | Feb. 24-April 3, 2016

NICHOLAS HLOBO Ikroti 2016-LM22608 Ikroti 02
Featuring mixed media on canvas paintings as well as leather and wood sculptures, South African artist Nicholas Hlobo’s new body of work is inspired by the migratory patterns of eels and “reconsiders as allegory” his own transformation and artistic journey. Above, NICHOLAS HLOBO, “Ikroti,” 2016 (wood, leather, and ribbon). | Courtesy Lehmann Maupin

31. NICHOLAS HLOBO @ Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie Street, New York, N.Y. | Feb. 24-April 17, 2016

The exhibition features a new suite of seventeen inkjet prints that document the paint-spattered pages of the artist’s well-worn copy of James Baldwin’s seminal 1953 essay “Stranger in the Village” and “Entanglements,” a project curated by GLENN LIGON. | © Glenn Ligon; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

32. “GLENN LIGON: What We Said The Last Time” @ Luhring Augustine, Chelsea, N.Y. | Feb. 27-April 2, 2016

A traveling exhibition presents JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT’s insights and musings in context with relevant works of art, including “Untitled (Crown),” 1982 (acrylic, ink, and paper collage on paper). | Private collection, courtesy of Lio Malca. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Mark-Woods via High Museum

33. “BASQUIAT: The Unknown Notebooks” @ High Museum of Art | Feb. 28 – May 29, 2016

IBRAHIM EL-SALAHI - Alhambra - Installation View - Salon 94
Born in Sudan, IBRAHIM EL-SALAHI lives and works in Oxford, England. In 2013, the Modernist master painter was the first African-born artist to have a major solo retrospective at the Tate Modern in London. This exhibition featuring new works is his first at Salon 94. Above, installation view | via Salon 94

34. “IBRAHIM EL-SALAHI: Alhambra” @ Salon 94 Bowery, New York, N.Y., March 1- April 21, 2016

Mickalene Thomas_Sister_Shug Avery Breakfast- 2016
As the Aspen Art Museum’s 2015–2016 Gabriela and Ramiro Garza Distinguished Artist in Residence, New York–based MICKALENE THOMAS has developed a new body of work, film and video that “recasts and reconfigures notions of beauty, gender, race, and representation.” Above, “Shug Avery Breakfast,” 2016 | Courtesy the artist. Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong and Artists Rights Society (ARS). New York via AAM

35. “MICKALENE THOMAS: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities” @ Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colo. | March 10-June 12, 2016

Henry Taylor, Day Hall (1992)
The earliest works by Los Angeles-based HENRY TAYLOR were completed during the 10 years that he worked at Camarillo State Mental Hospital. On view for the first time, the presentation of drawings and paintings is the inaugural show at the artist’s open-format exhibition space.

36. “HENRY TAYLOR: Camarillo State Hospital” @ Henry Taylor’s, Los Angeles | Open by appointment, March 12-April 30, 2016

david hammons - orange is the new black - mnuchin gallery
Featuring work such as “Orange is the New Black,” 2014 (mixed media), this career survey is the first exhibition to show the work of David Hammons on this scale in more than two decades. | via Mnuchin Gallery

37. “DAVID HAMMONS: Five Decades” @ Mnuchin Gallery, New York, N.Y. | March 15-May 27, 2016

BH15.001 John Wayne (installed) HR copy
BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS is presenting new paintings depicting characters he has encountered in his travels and others who, reflect the current political climate and culture plucked from the headlines. Above, “JohnWayne,” 2015 (oil and acrylic on canvas. | © Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

38. BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS @ Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 W. 24th Street, New York, N.Y. | March 17-April 23, 2016

MS07.010 Surprise Party HR
MALICK SIDIBE lives and works in Bamako, Mali, where he captured his black and white images beginning in the 1960s. The exhibition features vintage and contemporary photographs, many on view for the first time. Above, “Surprise Party,” 1964/2004 (gelatin silver print). | © Malick Sidibé. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

39. MALICK SIDIBE @ Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W. 20th Street, New York, N.Y. | March 17-April 23, 2016

RASHID JOHNSON’s installation in the newly constructed museum’s atrium is his first project in Russia and the largest work the New York-based artist has ever made. | Video by Garage MCA

40. “RASHID JOHNSON: Within Our Gates” @ Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia | March 17-Aug. 31, 2016

glenn ligon - untitled - bruise-blues - 2014
The gallery is presenting GLENN LIGON’s “Untitled (Bruise/Blues),” 2014, a neon installation that was featured in his exhibition “Call and Response” at the Camden Arts Centre in London (2014). A similar work was also on view at the central exhibition of All the World’s Futures, during the 2015 Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor.

41. GLENN LIGON @ Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa | March 17-April 15, 2016

Lorna Simpson, Wigs (Portfolio), 1994, waterless lithograph and felt. © Lorna Simpson
This traveling exhibition drawn primarily from the Rubbell Family Collection in Miami features more than 60 works (including LORNA SIMPSON, “Wigs (Portfolio),” 1994 © Lorna Simpson) by some of the most critically recognized African American artists of the past three decades.

42. “30 Americans” @ Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio | March 19 – Aug. 28. 2016

The Darker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice
Featuring sculpture and paintings (including HENRY TAYLOR’s “The Darker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice”), this group exhibition organized by Hammer Museum curator Jamillah James considers the intersection between figuration and abstraction. | via Hammer Museum

43. “A Shape that Stands Up” at Art + Practice, Los Angeles | March 19 – June 18, 2016

kerry james marshall - heirlooms and accessories - 2002
In collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Underground Museum is presenting exhibitions envisioned by its late founder Noah Davis. The second exhibition in the series, “Non-Fiction,” features artworks from MoCA LA’s collection that “investigate, either explicitly or implicitly, the culture of violence perpetrated on black citizens,” including KERRY JAMES MARSHALL’s “Heirlooms and Accessories,” 2002 (ink-jet prints on paper in wooden artist’s frames). | via MoCA LA

44. “The Underground Museum: Non-fiction” @ The Underground Museum, Los Angeles | On view beginning March 20 (press previews and by appointment only). Public opening May 1, 2016-March 1, 2017 CT

TOP IMAGE: Alma Thomas with her work at the Whitney Museum, 1972 | unidentified photographer. | Alma Thomas papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution


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