“Untitled #7” (1975) by Howardena Pindell

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

The New York Times profiled Betye Saar in advance of her fall solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Saar, who emerged during the male-dominated Black Power movement and a white-dominated feminist movement, explores personal history, spirituality, and “national racism” in her work. Holland Carter described the 93-year-old who is finally getting major institutional attention as “one of the country’s most inventive and influential makers of intimately scaled assemblage.” The New York Times

Inspired by her recent work, Simone Leigh collaborated with Zendaya on a photo shoot for Issue 17 of Garage Magazine and Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem engaged the artist and actress in a conversation about “a new vision of black womanhood.” Garage Magazine

The recipient of the 2019 Artist Award is Howardena Pindell. Administered by the Artists’ Legacy Foundation, the $25,000 award was created with a bequest from sculptor Viola Frey (1933-2004) to recognize “an outstanding painter or sculptor who has created a body of work where evidence of the hand is a significant factor.” Artists’ Legacy Foundation


Eva Langret was named artistic director of the Frieze London art fair. Previously, Langret was head of exhibitions at Tiwani Contemporary gallery in London, where she curated Maren Hassinger’s first solo show outside the United States. She has also worked with Simone Leigh, Zina Saro-Wiwa, ruby onyinyechi amanze, Theo Eshetu and Kapwani Kiwanga, among other artists. Langret assumes her new role in November. Frieze

Architectural Record announced recipients of the 2019 Women in Architecture awards recognizing women’s leadership in five categories. Mabel O. Wilson, a curator, author, and professor of architecture and African American and African Diasporic studies at Columbia University, was honored for her distinguished work as an educator. Architectural Record


Meklit Hadero joined the Yerba Buena Arts Center as chief of program. A singer-songwriter, composer, and cultural activist, Hadera is charged with program strategy at the San Francisco contemporary art center. Her portfolio spans visual arts, performing arts, film, and civic and community engagement. Yerba Buena Arts Center


This year’s LVMH Prize for Young Designers went to South African designer Thebe Magugu, 25. He is the first designer from the African continent to win the prestigious talent prize, which includes about $333,000 and a year of mentorship. The New York Times

Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Chairman Tom Ford made four appointments to the CFDA board of directors: Virgil Abloh, Maria Cornejo, Kerby Jean-Raymond, and Carly Cushnie. The new members add diversity to the board, where Tracy Reese serves as vice chair. Ford also created an advisory board with representatives from a variety of creative disciplines, including Bethann Hardison. CFDA

Curator and critic Antwaun Sargent has a new book out next month with Aperture. The New York Times published an essay from “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion.” Showcasing the work of young photographers such as Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Awol Erizku, and Tyler Mitchell, the volume includes conversations with Shaniqwa Jarvis, Mickalene Thomas, and Deborah Willis. The New York Times

Vanity Fair magazine released probably its most diverse annual best-dressed list ever. Under Radhika Jones, editor-in-chief since 2017, the 2019 Vanity Fair Best-Dressed List includes artist Kehinde Wiley, collector and philanthropist Pamela J. Joyner, musician/artist Solange Knowles, Rihanna, Billy Porter, Zendaya, Jeremy O. Harris, whose Slave Play opens on Broadway Sept. 10, and Cicely Tyson, 94, who inspired a Henry Taylor painting, among many, many others. The judging committee included fashion designer/curator Duro Olowu and writer/curator Kimberly Drew who also profiled Lupita Nyong’o for the October cover. Vanity Fair



The SCAD Museum of Art at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Ga., is hiring a head curator. The position was previously held by Storm Janse van Rensburg, who recently joined the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa. More Information

For the first time, the Lagos Biennial is hosting a weeklong Curatorial Intensive Program, coinciding with the Lagos Biennial in October. Emerging curators are encouraged to apply. The deadline is Sept. 10. More Information


Eva Langret is the new artistic director of Frieze London. | Photo by Deniz Guzel


TOP IMAGE: HOWARDENA PINDELL, “Untitled #7,” 1975 (ink on paper collage, 6 x 10 ½ inches). | Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York


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