Camille Billops (1933-2019), Joe Overstreet (1933-2019)


The following review presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related black culture:


TWO LEGENDARY New York City artists have died. Painter Joe Overstreet passed away yesterday. He co-founded Kenkeleba House, a Lower East Side artist space in 1974. Meanwhile, Camille Billops, a singular figure recognized as a print maker, filmmaker, and archivist, died Saturday. Both were 85 years old.

Today, David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles announced its representation of artist Simone Leigh, whose work is currently on view at the Guggenheim Museum, on the High Line, and in the Whitney Biennial.

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta established a new entity, the Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership, which is designed improve the quality of life in the Southern communities that nurtured and inspired the African American artists represented in its collection through initiatives focused on economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement. Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep also added Lola C. West, co-founder and managing director at Westfuller Advisors in New York City, to its board of trustees.

Supporters hope to establish an endowment to secure the future of the African American Museum in Dallas.

The first UK solo exhibition of Howardena Pindell opened today at Victoria Miro Gallery in Mayfair, London, and Faith Ringgold‘s first exhibition at a European institution opens tomorrow at Serpentine Galleries in London. To mark the opening, Ringgold will be in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist (June 6 @ 7 p.m.).

On Monday, artist Mickalene Thomas and her collaborator/partner Racquel Chevremont were honored by the Aperture Foundation. Artist Kehinde Wiley was recognized by the Gordon Parks Foundation last night at its annual gala where photographer Jamel Shabazz gathered legendary figures to recreate the Great Day in Hip-Hop image. 

The Museum at FIT announced Christian Louboutin, the vaunted shoe designer, will receive the 2019 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. He will be honored Sept. 4.


The volume “Sanford Biggers” documents the first museum exhibition focused on the New York-based Sanford Biggers‘s BAM Series, which recognizes and memorializes black victims of police brutality, gun violence, and killing. Organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the show features quilt paintings, sculpture, and video. The catalog is authored by Lisa Melandri, the museum’s executive director, who organized the exhibition. Contributors include Naomi Beckwith, Christa Clarke, and Khalil Gibran Muhammad. The touring exhibition opens later this month at the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (June 28–Sept. 22, 2019) and then travels to Tufts University Art Galleries in Medford, Mass., this fall (Oct. 8–Dec. 15, 2019). CT


TOP IMAGE: Camille Billops. | © 1991 Ruth Williamson; Joe Overstreet. | Courtesy Eric Firestone Gallery


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