Jacob Lawrence-inspired shirts by Wales Bonner currently for sale at various retailers. The London-based menswear label was founded by Grace Wales Bonner.

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

This blurb originally referenced and linked to a Hyperallergic story that incorrectly reported Wales Bonner used Jacob Lawrence-inspired prints in its Autumn/Winter 2018 menswear collection without authorization. The designer did in fact enter into a limited licensing agreement with the Jacob and Gwen Knight Lawrence Foundation. The article has been retracted and removed from Hyperallergic’s website. Artist Barbara Earl Thomas, the primary contact for the Lawrence Foundation, was quoted in the story. She said, if asked, the foundation would not grant permission for such use. The article also stated that Wales Bonner had been contacted regarding the matter, but had not responded. The Lawrence Foundation has since issued a statement regarding the miscommunication, which Hyperallergic published. Culture Type reached out to Thomas who confirmed the statement, which reads as follows:

    The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation confirm[s] that image reproduction rights for a limited number of Jacob Lawrence images were granted to Wales Bonner in the early months of 2018, for a one-of-a-kind clothing design project. The project approval process was initially completed with DACS in the UK, in conjunction with the US-based ARS. Unfortunately the licence agreement was not shared among all persons at the Lawrence Foundation. The Lawrence Foundation and ARS regret any confusion this miscommunication has caused in the media’s reporting on Wales Bonner’s designs, specifically the suggestion that the images were used without permission. This misunderstanding has now been cleared up and all parties are satisfied that they acted in good faith.

In late August, when news spread about the death of Aretha Franklin, two New York Subway stations offered prime opportunities to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul. A pair of artist/activists altered signs in the Franklin Avenue (Brooklyn) and Franklin Street (Manhattan) stations to read “Aretha” Franklin. The response was not only positive, the illegal gestures were influential. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) decided to officially honor Franklin by temporarily installing “Respect” stickers in the stations.

When “Charles White: A Retrospective” opens at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York next month, the exhibition will feature two works by the artist from the collection of Howard University. The HBCU is loaning “Five Great American Negroes” (1939-1940), White’s first public mural, which was painted for the Federal Art Project in Chicago, and an ink drawing titled “Native Son #2” (1942). White was an artist in residence at Howard in 1945 and, nearly three decades later, served as a distinguished professor (1978) at the school. MoMA is the only venue on the exhibition tour where the Howard works will be displayed.

 


From left, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick and Gwendolyn H. Everett, director of the Howard University Gallery of Art and associate dean for the Division of Fine Arts, stand before Charles White’s “Five Great American Negroes” (1939-1940) in the HBCU’s law library. The painting features images of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and Marian Anderson. | Courtesy Howard University

 
MEDIA

Photographer Dawoud Bey ranks No. 1 on Newcity’s annual Art 50 list. Bey’s work is currently on view at the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art and his exhibition “Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project” opens next week at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. “Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply,” a new volume documenting the photographer’s 40-year career, will be published later this month. In addition to Bey, African American artists Kerry James Marshall (2), Theaster Gates (4), and Richard Hunt (5) topped the list of the city’s artists’ artists. Newcity focuses on visual culture in Chicago. Pope.L, Nick Cave, Hebru Brantley, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Amanda Williams, Faheem Majeed, Rashayla Marie Brown, Edra Soto, Brendan Fernandes, Candida Alverez, Tony Lewis and Nate Young, also made the outlet’s list.

 


From left, Jennifer Francis joined Flowers Gallery; Amanda Williams has been appointed visiting professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago; and David Adjaye is chairing the jury for the RIBA Stirling Prize in architecture. | Photos: Courtesy Flowers Gallery; By Anne Ryan; Courtesy Adjaye Associates

 
APPOINTMENTS

Jennifer Francis has been named gallery director at Flowers Gallery where she will lead global operations. The British gallery has two London storefronts and a location in New York and said it is expanding its reach with a focus on Hong Kong and the South China region. UK-born Francis has broad experience in the art world having worked on three continents. Most recently, she was director of marketing, communications and visitor services at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and previously served as executive director of marketing and communications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has also held posts at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Royal College of Art. Francis will be based at Flower Gallery’s Shoreditch and Mayfair locations in London.

British architect David Adjaye is serving as jury chair for the RIBA Stirling Prize, the prestigious award recognizing excellence in British architecture. Judges are visiting the six shortlisted buildings this month and will announce the 2018 winner on Oct. 10 at the Roundhouse in Camden, London.

Artist Amanda Williams, who trained as an architect, has been named 2018–19 Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Her works “employ color as a way to draw attention to the political complexities of race, place, and value in cities.” A 2018 United States Artists Fellow, Williams exhibited work at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. She is giving a talk about her work on Sept. 10 at SAIC.

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts announced three new fall 2018 visiting faculty members in the Department of Painting + Printmaking—Caitlin Cherry, Sedrick Chisom, and Raque Ford. A writer and painter, Chisom lives and works in New York. Brooklyn-based Ford works with painting, sculpture, and installation.

 


CARRIE MAE WEEMS, “All the Boys (Blocked 1),” 2016 (archival photographic prints with screenprint). | Collection purchase, through the generosity of Charina Endowment Fund, Richard Menschel ’55. © 2018 Carrie Mae Weems

 
ACQUISITIONS

Earlier this year, Syracuse University Art Galleries acquired three works by Carrie Mae Weems, a longtime local resident who splits her time between Syracuse and Manhattan. The late March acquisition of “People of a Darker Hue” (2016), a 15-minute video, and “All the Boys (Blocked 1)” and “All the Boys (Blocked 2)” (2016), photographic prints with screenprint, was made possible by the Charina Endowment Fund, Richard Menschel ’55, and the generosity of Weems. Reflecting urgent contemporary concerns, the works “ask the viewers to contemplate the prejudicial law enforcement practices that impact communities of color.”

 
AWARDS & HONORS

Washington University in St. Louis is awarding its 2018 International Humanities Prize to British architect David Adjaye. The biennial prize “honors the lifetime work of a noted scholar, writer or artist who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the world of letters or the arts.” The prize and $25,000 award will be presented at an Oct. 29. ceremony.

On Sept. 29, the Pratt Institute is presenting six notable graduates with its Alumni Achievement Awards 2018, including artist Derrick Adams (BFA ’96), whose solo exhibition “Transmission” is on view at MCA Denver through Aug. 26, and architect Pascale Sablan (BArch ’06), a senior associate at S9 Architecture in New York City. CT

 

CORRECTION (9/12/18): This post was updated to correct an error regarding the use of Jacob Lawrence-inspired prints by designer Wales Bonner, as reported in a Sept. 6 Hyperallergic story that was linked to in the News section above.

 
TOP IMAGES: From left, Wales Bonner Crowd Print Silk Shirt in Black via LN-CC, Wales Bonner Button Detail Polo Shirt via Totokaelo

 


The third edition of Nigeria’s Art x Lagos art fair is coming Nov. 2-4, 2018, at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. This highlight video features scenes from the previous fairs. | Video by Art x Media

 

BOOKSHELF
“Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series” was published to coincide the “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series,” the Museum of Modern Art exhibition inspired by Lawrence’s seminal series. “Charles White: A Retrospective” is a fully illustrated exhibition catalog that features contributions by the show’s curators, artist Kerry James Marshall, and scholars Kellie Jones and Deborah Willis. “Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply,” a new volume documenting the photographer’s 40-year career, features contributions by Sarah Lewis, Deborah Willis, Maurice Berger, and Hilton Als, among others, and will be published later this month.

 
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