AMONG EXHIBITIONS OPENING in March, presentations at major museums include Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry” survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the last stop on its critically praised, three-venue tour. And Theaster Gates has a tightly curated show that just opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. “In the Tower: Theaster Gates, The Minor Arts” is only the forth solo exhibition by a living artist the museum has organized in its history. One of the other artists was Marshall in 2013—the first living African American artist to have a show originate at the institution.

Meanwhile, Henry Taylor, Pope.L, and Deana Lawson are among 12 African American artists participating in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. There are also a few must-see gems opening this month, featuring work by black female artists Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015), Johannesburg-based Turiya Magadlela, and London photographer Vron Ware. In addition, “Shifting: African American Women Artists and the Power of Their Gaze” presents work by 39 black female artists at the David Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. A selection of March exhibitions at both museums and commercial art galleries follows:


Derrick Adams in front of “Fabrication Station #4,” 2016. | Photo by Andy Romer via CAAM

“Derrick Adams: Network” @ California African American Museum, Los Angeles | March 2-June 11, 2017

A new slate of spring exhibitions opens this month at CAAM. In “Network,” multidisciplinary works by Derrick Adams considers how television programming and media influence contemporary cultures. Presenting drawings and performance, “Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced” foregrounds the issue of missing black women who have disappeared due to colonialism, human trafficking, homicides, and other forms of erasure. Twenty-five years hence, “No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992” examines the Los Angeles uprising through photography, video, and historic documents.


BEVERLY MCIVER, “Quiet Stare,” 2013 (oil on canvas). | Loan from the Artist, via The David Driskell Center

“Shifting: African American Women Artists and the Power of Their Gaze” @ David Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park | March 2-May 26, 2017

This exhibition features 39 black female artists, spanning three generations and a range of mediums, whose works consider other women or in which they turn inward in an exercise of self-examination. Emma Amos, Chakaia Booker, Nona Faustine, Lois Mailou Jones, Beverly McIver, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Amy Sherald, Renee Stout, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, are among the contributors.


Installation view of “Work” by LEONARDO DREW at CAM Raleigh. | via CAM Raleigh on Instagram

“Leonardo Drew: Work” @ Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, N.C. | March 2-June 4, 2017

Materials including wood, metal, and paper, transformed through burning and oxidation, define Leonardo Drew’s abstract sculptures and installations. The Brooklyn-based artist is presenting a new installation titled “Work” at the museum.


BARBARA EARL THOMAS, “Retake” (cut Tyvek and rag construction paper). | via Claire Oliver Gallery

“Barbara Earl Thomas: The Blood Catcher and Other Stories” @ Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, N.Y. | March 2-April 8, 2017

Working in linocut, vitreography, cut paper and painting, among other mediums, Barbara Earl Thomas explores “a chaotic dream world, cross pollinated with fragments of bible stories, folklore and superstition brought forth from the artist’s ‘deep south’ childhood…” Louisiana-born Thomas lives and works in Seattle, where celebrated artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) served as a mentor, according to the gallery.


BEVERLY BUCHANAN (1940-2015), “SO. FLA. Hurricane Survey House, November, 2008,” 2008 (wood, acrylic). | via Andrew Edlin Gallery

“Beverly Buchanan and William Christenberry: The Streaming Light Through All Your Shacks Cracks” @ Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, N.Y. | March 3-April 15, 2017

This exhibition presents two artists whose work explores Southern structures. Full of spirit and character, Beverly Buchanan’s loosely constructed shacks are inspired by childhood visits with her father, a professor who studied the economic and social conditions of tenant and farm laborers in South Carolina. Recently on view, “Beverly Buchanan: Ruins and Rituals” at the Brooklyn Museum was her most comprehensive exhibition to date. As early as the 1960s, William Christenberry (1936-2016) documented the stores, houses, churches, and graveyards in his native Hale County, Ala., through photography, and paintings and drawings.


Installation view of THEASTER GATES, “A Game of My Own,” 2017 (On view in “Theaster Gates: The Minor Arts” at National Gallery of Art). | Courtesy of the artist, White Cube, and Regen Projects, National Gallery of Art, Washington


“In the Tower: Theaster Gates, The Minor Arts” @ National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. | March 5-Sept. 4, 2017

In a reference to the minor arts, or traditional crafts and trades such as ceramics and roofing, Theaster Gates extends his consideration of time, place, history and culture in a series of new works that incorporates the roof of a decommissioned church, the gym floor of a shuttered high school, and an archive of Ebony magazines.


KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “The Lost Boys,” 1993 (acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas). | Collection of Rick and Jolanda Hunting. Photo courtesy MCA Chicago

“Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” @ Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles | March 12-July 2, 2017

Kerry James Marshall’s 35-year career survey has been presented in three major art centers—Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles—all cities that have profoundly influenced his life and practice. This final stop in Los Angeles, where he grew up and visited a museum for the first time (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), concludes a critically reviewed tour presenting more than 70 paintings by Marshall, imaginary and visionary works interpreting the many facets of the African American experience.


READ MORE about Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry” survey on Culture Type


VRON WARE, Black People’s Day of Action, March 2, 1981 | via Autograph ABP

“Vron Ware: 13 Dead, Nothing Said” @ Goldsmiths University of London | March 9-May 27, 2017

In this Autograph ABP exhibition, Vron Ware’s photographs documenting Black People’s Day of Action in 1981 are on display for the first time. The protest was organized in response to media hostility and government indifference to the deaths of 13 youth killed in a fire. The building was ignited while they were attending a 16-year-old’s birthday party in a London neighborhood plagued by racially motivated arson attacks.


Using sections of roof from an old school on the South Side Chicago, THEASTER GATES has created flat, textured sculptures cast in bronze. | Image via White Cube

“Theaster Gates: Tarry Skies and Psalms for Now” @ White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong | March 21–May 20, 2017

Theaster Gates is presenting new sculptures and paintings inspired by the roofing trade that consider “the condition of labor through a physical engagement with materials, interrogating in turn notions of society, class and race.” The show coincides with Art Basel Hong Kong (23–25 March 2017), where White Cube is featuring a slate of its artists including Gates and Mehretu.


GLENN LIGON, “End of Year Reports,” 2003 (suite of eight screen prints on handmade paper). | Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Thomas Dane Gallery, London via BronxArtSpace

“The Intricacies of Love: Julia Brown, Glenn Ligon, John Waters” @ BronxArtSpace, The Bronx, N.Y. | March 16-April 15, 2016

Developed at Project Row Houses in Houston, Julia Brown’s “The Young Mothers Project” probes the economics of young motherhood and captures the loving bond she has with her daughter. Glenn Ligon’s “End of Year” reports are reproductions of his grade school report cards which were saved by his mother. “In re-presenting these reports, Ligon reclaims ownership of his teachers’ comments; he exposes the often-divergent realities of self-perception and third party observation.” For “Kiddie Flamingo” filmmaker John Waters recasts and reinterprets his 1972 X-rated movie “Pink Flamingos.”


TURIYA MAGALELA, “Theta Tati I (Say what you need to say Thati),” 2017 (nylon and cotton pantyhose and sealant on canvas). | ©Turiya Magadlela. Courtesy of the artist, blank projects and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

“The Past is Present: Brad Kahlhamer, Turiya Magadlela, and Hank Willis Thomas” @ Jack Shainman Gallery, West 24th Street, New York, N.Y. | March 16-April 22, 2017

This three-artist show speaks to “materiality and contemporary culture” and features multidisciplinary artist Brad Kahlhamer, photo conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, and Turiya Magadlela, who lives and works in Johannesburg. Working with fabrics, Magadlela produces abstract compositions, often creating “gestural paintings” by stretching women’s pantyhose across canvases.


Artists participating in the 2017 Whitney Biennial include, clockwise, from left, Deana Lawson, Pope.L, Lyle Ashton Harris, Maya Stovall, and Cauleen Smith (center).

Whitney Biennial @ Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y. | March 17-June 11, 2017

This year’s Whitney Biennial explores the “formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society” and features the work of 63 artists and collectives including African American artists Lyle Ashton Harris, Deana Lawson, Pope.L, Cauleen Smith, Maya Stovall, and Henry Taylor.


READ MORE about African American artists at Whitney Biennial on Culture Type

READ MORE about Henry Taylor paintings at Whitney Biennial on Culture Type


ROMARE BEARDEN, “Bayou Fever: The Swamp Witch,” 1979 (collage and acrylic on fiberboard). | Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York

“Romare Bearden: Bayou Fever and Related Works” @ D.C. Moore Gallery, New York, N.Y. | March 23-April 29, 2017

This exhibition features 29 collages by Romare Bearden that envision a ballet hoped Alvin Ailey would choreograph, but was never staged. The 1979 works are being shown for the first time in New York. An illustrated catalog with an essay by Robert O’Meally will be published to coincide with the exhibition.


SEDRICK HUCKABY considers the works in his “The 99% Project” to be” like a quilt, so that these individual voices were heard as one unified community.” | via Steven Harvey Fine Art Project

“Sedrick Huckaby: The 99%” @ Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, N.Y. | March 25-April 23, 2017

Paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints are featured in this exhibition of portraits from Sedrick Huckaby’s “The 99% Project” and “Family” series. Fort Worth, Texas-based Huckaby was shortlisted for the top prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. This is his first solo gallery exhibition in New York.


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