The former director of Haus der Kunst and artistic director of the 2015 Venice Biennale, Okwui Ewezor gave an extensive interview to Spiegel about his tenure at the Munich museum. He also spoke recently to the Art Newspaper. | Photo by Joerg Koch for Getty Images

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

Okwui Enwezor, who was director of Haus der Kunst, resigned his post due to illness in June. In August, the Munich museum announced the cancellation of two major exhibitions with globally recognized artists Joan Jonas and Theaster Gates, due to financial mismanagement in the recent past. Shortly thereafter, Enwezor gave an interview to Spiegel defending his leadership and accomplishments during his tenure. (The Q&A was translated by Peter Stein with help from Google Translate and posted on e-flux.) “It’s an insult, yes. I am almost perplexed. The achievements and successes of seven years are swept under the rug,” Enwezor said.

“It’s an insult, yes. I am almost perplexed. The achievements and successes of seven years are swept under the rug.” — Okwui Enwezor

LIVES

Sterling Stuckey, the black historian who taught at the University of California at Riverside from 1989-2004, has died. He was 86. Stuckey “challenged his white colleagues by documenting how uprooted Africans not only retained their culture while they survived slavery but eventually suffused the rest of American society with their transplanted folkways…” Shortly before his death, Stuckey finished writing his latest book, “The Chambers of the Soul: Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville and the Blues.”

 


From left, Curators N’Goné Fall, Jade Powers (featuring a detail of Nari Ward’s “Breathing Panel: Oriented Right,” 2015), and Alex Assam, recently accepted new appointments. | Photos: By F.diouf Photography, Courtesy Institut français; By Kenny Johnson, Courtesy Kemper Museum; and Courtesy Saint Louis Art Museum

 
APPOINTMENTS

N’Goné Fall has been named general commissioner of the Season Africa 2020. A grand undertaking initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, Season Africa 2020 is “an invitation to look, learn and understand the world from an African perspective” and will occur over six months beginning June 2020 in metropolitan France and its territories. Senegalese-born Fall is a scholar, art magazine editor, and cultural policy consultant, who has curated exhibitions in Africa, Europe, and the United States.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas, Mo., announced the appointment of Jade Powers as assistant curator. Powers previously served as 2017–2018 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Alex Assam is joining the Saint Louis Art Museum as its 2018-19 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history from Florida State University.

 


Karyn Olivier’s gold leaf work installed high in the Memorial Hall dome at the University of Kentucky, includes a quote by Frederick Douglas: ““There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.” | Video by Lexington Herald Leader

 
INSTALLATIONS/UNVEILINGS

A new work by Karyn Olivier featuring a Frederick Douglass quote was installed in the dome at Memorial Hall at the University of Kentucky to counter a 1934 mural in the same space that depicts the state’s history with images of black slaves crouched in a field and a Native American man wielding a tomahawk. Olivier is an American Academy in Rome 2018-19 Rome Prize fellow.

“Equilibrium,” a mural by Amy Sherald installed outside Parkway Theater in Baltimore, was dedicated on Aug. 22. The image is based on an original painting by Sherald in the permanent collection of the Embassy of the United States in Dakar, Senegal.

African American art is on display at the 50th U.S. Open (Aug. 27-Sept. 9, 2018) in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery curated the President’s Suite, a court side duplex at Arthur Ashe Stadium that hosts VIPs throughout the championship tournament. Works by nearly 20 artists including Richmond Barthé, Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Beauford Delaney, Norman Lewis, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, and William T. Williams are on view. The gallery was selected by United States Tennis Association (USTA) Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams, the first African American and first former pro tennis player to lead the 135-year-old USTA.

 


LAUREN HALSEY, Detail “The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project (Prototype Architecture),” 2018, Installation view, Made in L.A. 2018, June 3-Sept. 2, 2018 | Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo by Brian Forrest

 
AWARDS & HONORS

The Hammer Museum’s 2018 Mohn Award went to Lauren Halsey this year. She was recognized for her Crenshaw District Hieroglyph project. Presented in conjunction with Made in L.A., the museum’s biennial, the prize includes $100,000 and the production of a monograph. Awards were also given to Daniel Joseph Martinez (Career Achievement Award) and EJ Hill (Public Recognition Award), which was decided by the museum’s visitors.

Dominique Moody, who describes herself as a traveling artist and storyteller, has been named 2018 Artist-in-Residence at Side Street Projects in Pasadena, Calif. Beginning Sept. 8, she is leading six workshops as a part of her project “Our Garden of Dreams.”

 


In one evening, Kanye West shared a slew of works by Kerry James Marshall on Twitter. The last image he posted is from a 2016 article by Caroline Picard published in The Seen journal, a Chicago publication.

 
MEDIA

After making a series of puzzling and uninformed statements recently about slavery and his fondness for the current U.S. president, Kanye West was loving Kerry James Marshall on Aug. 28. He posted 19 images of the Chicago artist’s paintings on Twitter, including “A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of Himself” (1980), “Portrait of Nat Turner with the Head of His Master” (2011), “Untitled (Studio)” (2014), and “Untitled (Policeman)” (2015). All of the posts were un-captioned, except for the last one in which West thanked Marshall “for the amazing work you put in the world.”

Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Va., was named one of Time magazine’s 31 People Changing the South. “This war impacted everyone. The fact that I’m a black woman helps me see things that others may not because I ask questions of history. I’m looking for a fullness in the narrative,” she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “This conflict, even though it was 150 years ago, has very real and modern ramifications that we deal with constantly.”

 
OPPORTUNITIES

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) is seeking project proposals for its Emerging Curators Program. The selected curator/curatorial team receives $5,000 to produce an exhibition in partnership with LACE, which provides gallery space, exhibition consultation, installation expertise and assistance, and marketing and promotion services. Applicants must be Los Angeles-based. Deadline is Nov. 1, 2018.

The U.S. Mint is seeking experienced artists to create coin and medal designs. To be considered for the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP), the application deadline is Oct. 29, 2018. CT

 


WATCH TRAILER: A hit at Sundance, the HBO documentary “The Price of Everything” examines the money-driven contemporary art world. Directed by Nathaniel Kahn, whose films include “My Architect: A Son’s Journey” about his father Louis Kahn, “The Price of Everything” features insights from collectors, dealers, auctioneers, and artists, including Los Angeles-based Njideka Akunyili Crosby. It debuts in select theaters Oct. 19 and on HBO Nov. 12. | Video by HBO

 

BOOKSHELF
A diverse slate of artists working in a range of mediums is featured in “Made in L.A. 2018.” The catalog for the Hammer Museum’s latest biennial, explores the work of each artist and includes a roundtable conversation led by curators Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale about the evolving landscape of cultural institutions and artistic communities in Los Angeles. Released by Phaidon, “Kerry James Marshall” is a fully illustrated documentation of the artist’s career and includes a conversation with fellow artist Charles Gaines. “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry,” a comprehensive, cloth-covered catalog was published to accompany the artist’s 30-year survey.

 
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