Front row, from left, Melanie Keen, Amira Gad, and Zoe Whitley (second from right), are among the UK curators selecting women artists for a special section at Frieze London. | Photo by Tom Jamieson, Frieze London

The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:

The facilities department at Northeastern University sent a letter to the African-American Master Artists-in-Residence Program, telling the artist collective known as AAMARP which is affiliated with the university, that it must vacate its space due to building code violations and “safety and security concerns.”

The recent Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) conference in Houston was co-hosted by Fleurette Fernando, who established the Master of Arts in Arts Administration program at the University of Houston five years ago. Nearly 200 administrators from across the country attended the gathering which carried the theme “Building Communities of the Future: Arts Administrators as Agents of Change.”

“U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth,” a new report from Bank of America, finds art collectors continue to be drawn to acquiring works because of their love of art, but increasingly view it as an asset. 46 percent of collectors say they are likely to sell an artwork this year. This is particularly the case with younger collectors. More collectors are buying online (up 43 percent from last year), with marked increases driven by women collectors. (See page 5)


Jan. 11, 2011: South African photographer David Goldblatt at Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris on the eve of of the opening for his exhibition “TJ 1948-2010” (for Transvaal Johannesburg). | Photo by Francois Guillot, AFP/Getty Images


South African photographer David Goldblatt died June 25 in Johannesburg. He was 87. Writing about his life and work, The Washington Post said he “cast a sensitive and penetrating light on both sides of the country’s racial divide during the apartheid era.”

Joe Jackson (1928-2018), the hard-driving patriarch of the Jackson family who envisioned his young sons as the Jackson Five, died on June 27. He was 89. The popular singing group established in 1964 eventually launched the meteoric solo career of Michael Jackson (1958-2009), who came to be known as the King of Pop. The day after his father’s death, “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” (June 28-Oct. 21, 2018) opened the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition explores how the world-renowned performer has influenced more than 40 contemporary artists, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Emma Amos, Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Todd Gray, David Hammons, Lyle Ashton Harris, Rashid Johnson, Isaac Julien, Glenn Ligon, Rodney McMillian, Lorraine O’Grady, Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.


“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” is on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London through Oct. 31, 2018. | Video by National Portrait Gallery


Trevor Schoonmaker has been named deputy director at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Schoonmaker, who was artistic director of Prospect.4, the most recent New Orleans triennial, had been serving as chief curator at the Nasher Museum since 2013.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa was named curatorial director of Gibney, a newly created position at the New York–based performing arts and social justice nonprofit, whose foundation is in dance.


Six artists and collaborators have been shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award, including Larry Achiampong and David Blandy whose work, “The Finding Fanon Series,” is inspired by the lost plays of Frantz Fanon (1925-1961). The winner of the Jarman Award, which “recognizes and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation,” will be announced in November.

Aimed at criminal justice reform, the Art for Justice Fund established by philanthropist and art collector Agnes Gund announced its second round of grants, nearly $10 million to 38 recipients. Ranging from $25,000 to $2 million, the latest grants emphasize support for organizations, programs and projects focused on women and children. Artists Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, Titus Kaphar, and former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey are among the recipients.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced eight new recipients of 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, including Marion Coleman, an African American quilter from Castro Valley, Calif. Coleman’s quilts are art, combining the traditions she learned from her grandmother growing up in Wichita Falls, Texas, innovative materials such as paint, plastic, bead, paper, buttons, and recycled fabric and clothing, and new methods and technology such as photo transfer techniques. Fellows receive $25,000 and will be honored at a ceremony on Sept. 26.


Art X Lagos 2018 Prize winner Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola (center), with finalists, Ayo Akinwande and Williams Chechet. | Courtesy Art X Lagos


Dubbed West Africa’s premier international art fair, Art X Lagos announced the recipient of its 2018 Art X Prize is Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola. The prize recognizing an emerging Nigerian artist includes project support, networking and mentoring, and a solo booth presentation at the fair November 2-4.

artnet News is keeping a running list of artists representing their countries at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Artists confirmed thus far include the Miracle Workers Collective for Finland and Remy Jungerman and Iris Kensmil representing The Netherlands with a tribute to late artist Stanley Brouwn.

This fall’s Frieze London (Oct. 4-7) art fair will feature Social Work, a special section devoted to women artists who pushed against the male-dominated art market in the 1980s. A panel of 11 curators and critics from UK institutions (shown at top of page), including Tate Modern curator Zoe Whitley, curator Amira Gad of Serpentine Galleries, and Melanie Keen, director of Iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts), will select the participating artists.


At the New-York Historical Society, works featured in the forthcoming exhibition Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” include, from left, Unidentified artist, “Dred Scott,” after 1857 (oil on canvas). | New-York Historical Society; “Marriage certificate,” 1874 | Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Louis Moran and Douglas Van Dine


The New-York Historical Society announced a major initiative dedicated to exploring race through the lens of freedom, equality, and civil rights in America. Launching in fall 2018 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th amendment, the inaugural exhibition, “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow,” opens Sept. 7.

Maren Hassinger debuted her “Monuments” (June 16, 2018–June 10, 2019) installation in Marcus Garvey Park. Part of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s inHarlem project, she created eight site-specific sculptures. Formed with branches, the works respond to the park’s landscape.

For Freedoms inaugurated a new headquarters in Fort Gansevoort, an art space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, that will serve as central hub and programming platform for its 50 State Initiative throughout the summer and fall up to the November 6 midterms elections. CT


David Goldblatt’s photography has been published in many volumes. Newly released in May, “Structures of Dominion and Democracy” features images from 1949 to 2016 and draws on many of his previous series. One of his earliest books “David Goldblatt: In Boksburg” was reissued in 2016. Boksburg was a white-only town that relied heavily on black labor. Other titles include “Regarding Intersections,” “The Transported of KwaNdebele,” “On the Mines,” and “David Goldblatt: Photographs: Hasselblad Award 2006.” Catalogs for exhibitions organized by Trevor Schoonmaker include “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp” and “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool.” Due to be published widely in September, “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” documents the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and is currently available through the London museum.


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