RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to visual art by and about people of African descent, with the occasional nod to cultural matters. This week, Theaster Gates announced a groundbreaking apprenticeship program to provide training for local residents through his Rebuild Foundation in Chicago; Rodney McMillian received an important inaugural art prize; and a number of African American artists were honored at galas and benefit dinners. LaToya Ruby Frazier photographed Noah Purifoy‘s Outdoor Museum and UCLA students created a searchable database of African American silent films. Plus, new exhibitions feature the work of Hurvin Anderson and Glenn Ligon.


From left, Nick Cave’s professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been endowed with a significant gift; Rodney McMillian received a significant art prize and promised exhibition at The Contemporary Austin museum; and Theaster Gates’s expansive practice now includes an artisan training and employment program.



Theaster Gates announced Dorchester Industries, a new apprenticeship program through his nonprofit Rebuild Foundation providing artisan and craft training for unemployed and under-employed residents of Chicago’s South Side.

Nick Cave‘s professorship at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been endowed with a gift of $2 million from Chicago-area arts patrons Stephanie and Bill Sick, longtime friends of artists.



Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian won the inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize—a $100,000 award that also includes a solo exhibition at The Contemporary Austin museum in Texas.

Performa’s benefit gala honored curator Okwui Enwezor and included a commissioned performance by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga.

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum held its annual fundraising gala in New York, a gathering of artists, curators and collectors, where 40 artists including Rashid Johnson, Tony Lewis, Rodney McMillian, and Adam Pendleton, were honored.

hurvin-anderson-%22ebony%22-2016British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE was honored by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York is honoring Mickalene Thomas tonight, presenting the artist with a Community Impact Award at its annual Women’s Event benefit dinner and celebration.

The New Museum in New York honored photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier at its Next Generation dinner.



“A Small Band,” a Glenn Ligon neon work featuring the words ” “blues, bruise, and blood” that was presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale, will go on view election day at Theaster Gates‘s Rebuild Foundation in Chicago.

Photo conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas gave the annual Barbra and Andrew Rothschild Lecture at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

A solo exhibition of new works (above right) by British artist Hurvin Anderson opened at Michael Werner Gallery in New York.

The South African Department of Arts and Culture announced photographer Mohau Modisakeng, along with Candice Breitz, will represent South Africa at 2017 Venice Biennale.


IMAGE: Above right, HURVIN ANDERSON, “Ebony,” 2016 (acrylic on canvas). | via Michael Werner Gallery, NYC


Inspired by similarities between the work of Noah Purifoy and her friend Abigail DeVille, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier set out to document the late artist’s museum in the California desert.



Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier captured for the New York Times a pilgrimage she and installation artist Abigail DeVille made to the Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum, the desert shrine of the late Noah Purifoy.
UCLA film students are drawing attention to the rich history of African American silent movies by creating a searchable database of “race films” made between 1909 and 1930.

For the October issue of Art in American magazine, Los Angeles-based artist and poet Jibade-Khalil Huffman curated a playlist of videos with politically significant images and speech that inspire him.

On the occasion of her new one-woman show, “Notes from the Field,” the New Yorker magazine profiled Anna Deveare Smith. In one scene the playwright visits Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry” retrospective at The Met Breuer. CT


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