IF JANUARY IS ANY INDICATION, 2017 will present plenty of opportunities to see new work, new ideas, and learn more about the practices of a range of artists of African descent. This selection of exhibitions opening this month, features some of the most productive artists in the art world, others whose well-established practices are finally getting the attention they deserve, and promising emerging artists.


This exhibition features works printed by local artist and master printer Lou Stovall who worked with JACOB LAWRENCE on the 15-panel series between 1986-1997. Shown, “Toussaint at Ennery (print based on painting from The Life of Toussaint L’Ouvertureseries),” 1989 (silkscreen on rag paper). | Printed by Workshop, Inc., Washington, D.C., Collection of Di and Lou Stovall

“Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture” @ The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. | Jan. 7-April 23, 2107

This exhibition presents paintings from the 1980s to 2000s by Abstract Expressionist ED CLARK. Shown, “Untitled,” 2002 (acrylic on canvas). | via Tilton Gallery

“Ed Clark: Painting” @ Tilton Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 10-Feb. 18, 2017

A selection of sculptures and drawings on loan from the artist and the Souls Grown Deep Foundation are featured in this solo exhibition. Shown, LONNIE HOLLEY, “The Fifth Child Burning,” 1994 (found materials from a burning house). | Courtesy Souls Grown Deep Foundation via Atlanta Contemporary

“Lonnie Holley” @ Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, Ga. | Jan. 12-April 2, 2017

The exhibition presents more than 300 artifacts from the Beniecke Rare Books & Manuscript Library’s James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters, including materials from intellectual and literary figures, and artists such as Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Laura Wheeler Waring. Shown, E. SIMMS CAMPBELL’s 1932 map of Harlem nightclubs, acquired by the library last year.

“Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance & The Beinecke Library” @ Yale University, New Haven, Conn. | Jan. 13-April 17, 2017

Chicago artist THEASTER GATES joined Regen Projects last year and this is his first exhibition with the gallery featuring all new works. Shown, “Mountain Aura,” 2016.

“Theaster Gates: But To Be A Poor Race” @ Regen Projects, Los Angeles | Jan. 14–Feb. 25, 2017

Curated by Adrienne L. Childs, this exhibition explores images of black people in European art in the era spanning 1750-1914. Shown, JOSE TAPIRO BARO, (Spanish, 1836–1913), “A Tangerian Beauty,” 19th century (watercolor on paper). | Dahesh Museum of Art, New York via Rollins Cornell Fine Arts Museum

“The Black Figure in the European Imaginary” @ Rollins Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Fla. | Jan. 14-May 14, 2017

Curated by Rollins students, this exhibition considers “the complex sociopolitical forces linked to the black imagination in the American experience.” FELRATH HINES (1913–1993), “Third Movement,” 1989 (pastel). | Gift of Dorothy Fisher, wife of the artist via Rollins Cornell Fine Arts Museum

“AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience” @ Rollins Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Fla. | Jan. 14-May 14, 2017

This is MICKALENE THOMAS’s first solo exhibition in New Orleans. Shown, “Racquel Reclined Wearing Purple Jumpsuit #2,” 2014 (color photograph and paper collage on archival board). | Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong

“Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-time Star” @ Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane, New Orleans | Jan. 18-April 9, 2017

SADIE BARNETTE’s first solo show in New York explores her father’s FBI file and the dimensionality of his life as a Vietnam veteran, former Black Panther, family man and owner of the first black gay bar in San Francisco. Shown, “Untitled (Dad, 1968),” 2016 | Courtesy the artist

“Sadie Barnette: Do Not Destroy” @ Baxter Street, Camera Club of New York, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 18-Feb. 18, 2017

This exhibition features works from the late 1990s to present by LUBAINA HIMID, a member of the 1980s Black Arts Movement in Britain. Shown, “Naming the Money,” 2004 (freestanding shaped board). | Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens. Photo by Andy Keate via Spike Island

“Lubaina Himid: Navigation Charts” @ Spike Island, Bristol, UK | Jan. 20-March 26, 2017

This is the first major survey of LUBAINA HIMID’s career. Shown, “Le Rodeur: Exchange,” 2016 | Courtesy the artist & Hollybush Gardens via Modern Art Oxford

“Lubaina Himid: Invisible Strategies” @ Modern Art Oxford, UK | Jan. 21-April 30, 2017

STANLEY WHITNEY’s ordered approach to composition is complemented by his improvisational and experimental use of color. Shown, “SunRa,” 2016 (oil on linen). | via The Modern

“Focus: Stanley Whitney” @ The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas | Jan. 21-April 2, 2017

New York-based artist KEVIN BEASLEY presents mixed-media sculptures inspired by two very different cultures and time periods—Bernini’s 17th century Baroque alter piece in Rome and an iconic image of Black Panther Huey P. Newton. Shown, “Untitled (Crowns), 2016 (resin, house dress, kaftans). | Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York, Photo by Jean Vong

“Hammer Projects: Kevin Beasley” @ Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles | Jan. 21-April 23, 2016

The museum is presenting JACOB LAWRENCE’s The Migration Series for the first time in two decades on the West Coast. Shown, “The Migration Series, Panel 3: From every southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.,” 1940–41 (casein tempera on hardboard). | Acquired 1942, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., © 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

“Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series” @ Seattle Art Museum | Jan. 21-April 23, 2017

Hauser & Wirth is presenting its first solo show with JACK WHITTEN since he joined the gallery last year. The exhibition features new paintings from a few series—Spatial Dialogues, Quantum Wall, and Portals—and new works on paper. His first exhibition at the gallery’s London space, focusing on paintings from the 1980s, opens in September. Shown, “The Quantum Wall, II (Missing Matter),” 2016 (acrylic on canvas). | © Jack Whitten, Courtesy Jack Whitten and Hauser & Wirth via Hauser & Wirth

“Jack Whitten” @ Hauser & Wirth, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 26–April 8, 2017

DEANA LAWSON’s large-format photographs run counter to traditional representations of the black body. Shown, “Walking Home on Some Road, Gemena, DR Congo,” 2015 (inkjet print, mounted on Sintra
, Edition 1 of 3, with 2 APs). | Courtesy the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago via CAM St. Louis

“Deana Lawson” @ Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Mo. | Jan. 27-April 16, 2017

This group show was organized in response to increasingly visible, lawful violence against black bodies and features works by five of the center’s artists-in-residence—Marcus Kiser + Jason Woodberry, Shaun Leonardo, Dread Scott, and Charles Williams. Shown, DREAD SCOTT, “On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, performance still,” 2014 (pigment print). | Project produced by More Art, Collection of the artist. © Dread Scott. Photo by Mark Von Holden Photography via McColl Center

“The World is a Mirror of My Freedom” @ McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, N.C. | Jan. 27-March 25, 2017

A pair of exhibitions featuring photographs by MICKALENE THOMAS and a selection of images curated by Thomas by fellow artists whose practices have inspired her own. Shown, “Tamika Sur Une Chaise Longue,” 2008 (c-print).
 | Courtesy of the artist and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“Mickalene Thomas: Muse and Tête-à-Tête” @ Meyerhoff Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore | Jan. 27-March 12, 2017

The title of the exhibition comes from the Gikuyu words for mud and trees, the materials used to make the objects in Mutu’s new body of work. Gikuyu is spoken by Kikuyu people, the ethnic origin of the Kenyan-born artist. Shown, Installation view of “Wangechi Mutu: Ndoro Na Miti” at Gladstone Gallery. | via Gladstone Gallery

“Wangechi Mutu: Ndoro Na Miti” @ Gladstone Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Jan. 27-March 25, 2017

Featuring 42 contemporary artists from around the world whose work spans painting, sculpture, photography, and video, this exhibition explores issues of politics, religion, and racism. The exhibition Here + Now coincides with the show. Shown, KEHINDE WILEY, “Design for a Stained Glass Window with Wild Man,” 2006 (oil on canvas). | via UICA

US IS THEM: Art from the Pizzuti Collection @ Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), Grand Rapids, Mich. | Jan. 27-May 14, 2017

This exhibition features more than 50 works of African American art selected from the 100 donated by the Thompsons in 2012 when they also endowed a curatorship. Shown, MILDRED THOMPSON (1936–2003), “Open Window Series V,” 1977 (serigraph). | Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection of African American Art, Courtesy Georgia Museum of Art

“Expanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection” @ Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Ga. | Jan. 28-May 7, 2017

Emerging painter JORDAN CASTEEL was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2015-16). Shown, “James,” 2015 (oil on canvas). | Courtesy Anita Blanchard

“Jordan Casteel: Harlem Notes” @ Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, N.C. | Jan. 28-July 8, 2017

ALISON SAAR’s work explores “motherhood, the role of women, the intensity of their hearts and their embodiment as nature and its forces.” This exhibition features sculptures, mixed-media works, and prints, including “Weight,” 2012 (wood, rope, cotton scale and miscellaneous objects). | Courtesy of the Artist and L.A.Louver Gallery

“Alison Saar: The Nature of Us” @ Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, N.C. | Jan. 28-July 8, 2017

The first U.S. presentation on the subject, this exhibition introduces a youth dance culture emanating from South African townships— “energetic, acrobatic, virtuosic” moves performed by crews—through a series of photos and videos by Chris burden. Shown, Pantsula Rea Iketsetsa, Soweto. | Photo by Chris Saunders, Courtesy UCLA Fowler Museum

“Pantsula 4 Lyf: Popular Dance and Fashion in Johannesburg” @ Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles | Jan. 29-May 7, 2017

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.