Artists Simone Leigh and Henry Taylor have joined Hauser & Wirth.

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

One of the world’s largest galleries with nine locations (and a 10th planned in Menorca), Hauser & Wirth started off the new year with significant additions to its roster, including George Condo, Henry Taylor, and Simone Leigh. The gallery has not officially announced its representation of Taylor and Leigh, but the news has been previously reported, and was confirmed to Culture Type by a spokesperson for Hauser & Wirth.

Based in Los Angeles, Taylor’s recognition has markedly grown in the past several years with exhibitions around the world and a sharp increase in his prices at auction. He was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, a major monograph of was published in 2018, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art plans an expansive survey exhibition. Going forward, Taylor will work with Hauser & Wirth and continue his relationship with longtime gallery Blum & Poe.

Leigh is joining Hauser & Wirth in the wake of a banner year, which included her Hugo Boss exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York, the inaugural High Line Plinth commission, participation in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and an interview on CBS This Morning. Previously represented by Luhring Augustine since 2016, Brooklyn-based Leigh joined David Kordansky in June 2019. She is now represented exclusively by Hauser & Worth.

In Chicago, Mariane Ibrahim gallery announced its representation of Jerrell Gibbs. He makes figurative portraits. Describing his work, the gallery said: “The setting of the works act as scenes from history, retracing his family memories while examining the origin of his own life by representing intimate and often jubilant moments, affirming the multilayered experience of the African-American diaspora.” Gibbs grew up in Baltimore and is earning an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2020. His work is currently featured in “Disembodiment” at UTA Artist Space in Los Angeles. Marian Ibrahim is mounting his first solo exhibition with the gallery in 2021. Marian Ibrahim

“The gallery is delighted to welcome Jerrell Gibbs to our program of talented and defining artists. We have have been tremendously dazzled with Jarrell’s ability to re-define portraiture, each work emphasizing historical elements, yet appear strikingly contemporary.” — Mariane Ibrahim

JERRELL GIBBS, “Ella es,” 2019 (oil on canvas, 60 x 84 inches). | © Jerrell Gibbs


Stan Douglas is representing Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2021. Internationally recognized, Douglas is one of Canada’s most prominent contemporary artists. Active since the early 1980s, his multidisciplinary practice spans film, photography, and more recently theater. This year, he was among the artists featured at the international exhibition in the Central Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. He splits his time between Vancouver and Los Angeles. National Gallery of Canada

The artist list is out for Made in L.A. 2020, the Hammer Museum biennial. Thirty Los Angeles-based artists have been selected to participate, including Aria Dean, Harmony Holiday, Kahlil Joseph, Brandon D. Landers, SON. (Justen LeRoy), Ligia Lewis, Umar Rashid, Sonya Sombreuil/COME TEES, Fulton Leroy Washington (aka MR. WASH), and Kandis Williams. The fifth edition of Made in L.A. is organized by independent curators Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler, with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, the Hammer’s assistant curator of performance. Biennial exhibitions and programming will be presented at the Hammer Museum and The Huntington in San Marino, Calif., from June 7-Aug. 30, 2020. Hammer Museum


USA 2020 Fellows: Clockwise, from left, Artists Melvin Edwards, Howardena Pindell, Martine Syms, Nari Ward, and Matthew Angela Harrison.


United States Artists announced its 2020 USA Fellows this morning. Fifty artists working across 10 creative disciplines—from architecture and design to film, dance, theater, and visual art—are each receiving $50,000 unrestricted grants. This year’s visual art fellows span three generations and include Melvin Edwards (New York, N.Y.), Matthew Angelo Harrison (Detroit), Howardena Pindell (New York, N.Y.), Cameron Rowland (Queens, N.Y.), Martine Syms (Los Angeles), and Nari Ward (New York, N.Y.). In related categories, Yasmin Elayat (media, Brooklyn), Guadalupe Rosales (media, Los Angeles), and Sara Zewde (landscape architect and public artist, Harlem), were also recognized. United States Artists


In commemoration of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the Park Avenue Armory in New York is partnering with National Black Theater on a two-part initiative. 100 Years | 100 Women is composed of “Culture in a Changing America,” a daylong symposium (Feb. 15) and 100 commissions made to women artists in collaboration with 10 additional cultural institutions, including Apollo Theater, The Juilliard School, The Laundromat Project, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and four departments at NYU, the Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture, among them. A second gathering on May 16 will be devoted to showcasing the commissions. Park Avenue Armory


From left, Nell Painter. | Photo by Dwight Carter, Courtesy MacDowell Colony; Jason Segreti. | Photo by Bryan Conley, Courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art; and Annicia Manyaapelo. | Courtesy Zeitz MOCAA


Author, scholar, and visual artist Nell Painter is the new chair of MacDowell Colony Board of Directors. A two-time MacDowell Fellow, Painter is the author of “Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over” and “The History of White People,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobigraphy). MacDowell Colony

The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announced four new senior leadership appointments, including Jason Segreti, director of visitor services. Artforum

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, made two hires on its advancement team, including Annicia Manyaapelo, as head of marketing and communications. Zeitz MOCAA

Bennie F. Johnson was named executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. Based in New York City, AIGA has more than 70 chapters and 18,000-plus members. AIGA

EXPO Chicago appointed Eboni S. Gates head of VIP Relations and Strategic Initiatives. Her primary responsibility is collector relations. The next edition of Chicago’s annual international showcase of modern and contemporary is Sept. 24- 27. Chicago Business Journal

American film director Spike Lee is serving as president of the jury for the next Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. His Oscar-winning film “BlacKkKlansman” (Best Screenplay), won the Grand Prix at Canne in 2018. Lee is the first black person to head the jury and will award the Palme d’or, the film festival’s highest prize, at the close of the 73rd edition (May 12-May 23, 2020). Cannes Film Festival

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be President of the Cannes Jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised, and proud all at the same time.”
— Spike Lee

The forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles acquired the Separate Cinema Archive, a massive collection assembled by John Duke Kisch over four decades. The archive documents more than a century of African American film, from 1904 to 2019, providing “a comprehensive and sweeping view of the history of black cinematic production.” Comprised of more than 37,000 rare items, the archive includes original film posters, lobby cards, film stills, publicity material, scripts, and a substantial reference library. Oscar Micheaux, Gordon Parks, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, and Diana Ross, are among the many figures

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., added works by four female artists to its collection: Amy Sherald, Lorraine O’Grady, Marie Watt, and Dyani White Hawk. The acquisitions include Sherald’s “Precious jewels by the sea” (2019), a large-scale painting depicting four teenagers at the beach. A series of 14 photographs, “Untitled (Mlle Bourgeoise Noire)” (1980-83/2009) documents a performance piece that is O’Grady’s first public art work. Wearing a gown and cape made with 180 white opera-length gloves, she adopted the persona of Miss Black Middle-Class 1955 and randomly showed up at exhibition openings, yelling out poems and her objections to the black and white art worlds. The museum plans to display both works in early 2020. Crystal Bridges

Howard University received a substantial gift, a collection of African American art valued at more than $2.5 million. Patricia Turner Walters made the generous donation in honor of her late husband, scholar/activist Ronald W. Walters (1938-2010), who served for 25 years as a professor in Howard’s Department of Political Science, including nearly a decade as chair. Howard is acquiring 152 works of art—paintings, sculpture, prints, and photography. The expansive collection features artists active in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, Edward M. Bannister, Grafton Tyler Brown, Robert S. Duncanson (at right), Aaron Douglas, Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, and Kehinde Wiley, among them. Patricia first began collecting art in the late 1980s, acquiring most of her works after 2002. Howard University


“Lou Stovall: New Work” opens Jan. 25 at Addison/Ripley Fine Art in Washington, D.C. Renowned artist and printmaker Lou Stovall has collaborated with Sam Gilliam, Jacob Lawrence, Gene Davis, and Lois Mailou Jones, among many others. He is presenting a new series of assembled collages. Testaments to the beauty and possibilities of color, the works are composed of fragments of Stovall’s abstract prints. Addison/Ripley


IMAGES: Top of page: From left, Simone Leigh. | Photo by Paul Mpagi Sepuya; Henry Taylor. | © Cassi Amanda Gibson, Courtesy Rizzoli; USA 2020 Fellows: Clockwise, from left, Melvin Edwards. | Photo by RossCollab; Howardena Pindell. | Photo by Nathan Keay, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York; Martine Syms. | Photo by Hedi Slimane; Nari Ward. | Photo by World Red Eye, Courtesy of the Perez Art Museum Miami; and Matthew Angelo Harrison. | Photo by Tyler Jones, Courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco


Stan Douglas is representing Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2021. He was featured at the international exhibition in the Central Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. | Video by BiennaleChannel


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