DOZENS OF PUBLICATIONS documenting the work of artists of African descent are scheduled to be published this year. Volumes dedicated to Noah Davis, Jordan Casteel, and Zanele Muholi coincide with major first-time exhibitions. Others are long-awaited volumes surveying the careers of established artists, such as Ming Smith, Samuel Fosso, and Richard Mayhew. The monographs and exhibition catalogs explore diverse practices based in Harlem, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, London, and beyond. Fully illustrated, some also include interviews, providing the opportunity to hear directly from the painters and photographers about their work—how they approach it and what inspires it. A selection of new and forthcoming 2020 publications follows:


“The Obama Portraits,” Foreword by Kim Saject, with contributions by Taína Caragol, Dorothy Moss, Richard Powell (Princeton University Press, 152 pages). | Published Feb. 11, 2020

The Obama Portraits

Commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG), the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, painted by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, have garnered the same level of interest and enthusiasm as their tenure in the White House. This volume is a real treasure, documenting the Feb. 12, 2018, unveiling ceremony with photographs by Pete Souza, chief White House photographer during the Obama administration, and transcripts of each speaker’s remarks (the Obamas, the artists, Kim Sajet, director of NPG, and David Skorton, then-Secretary of the Smithsonian). The fully illustrated book features 76 color images, including exclusive photographs of the Obamas sitting for their portraits with the artists. A reversible dust jacket allows readers to choose whether Wiley’s portrait of the President or Sherald’s portrait of Mrs. Obama covers the book.


“Horace Pippin, American Modern,” By Anne Monahan (264 pages, Yale University Press). | Published Feb. 25, 2020

Horace Pippin, American Modern

A wounded Army veteran, Horace Pippin (1888–1946) began painting in the 1930s, despite his injured right arm. Considered the first African American artist to gain international regard, this book analyzes how that dynamic transpired. Described as a “nuanced reassessment that transforms our understanding of this self-taught artist,” the volume illustrates 60 paintings and includes two previously unknown artist statements and an exhibition history and list of artworks, based on new research.


“Richard Mayhew: Transcendence,” Introduction by Mikaela Sardo Lamarche, and essay and interview by Andrew Walker (Chronicle Books, 136 pages). | Published March 3, 2020

Richard Mayhew: Transcendence

This fully illustrated volume is the first career-spanning monograph of Richard Mayhew. For more than 50 years, Mayhew has been painting jazz-inspired “moodscapes,” landscapes infused with emotion and transfixing color stories. He was a member of Spiral, the short-lived African American collective founded in New York in 1963. Today, Mayhew lives and works in Santa Cruz, Calif. The publication features about 70 color images and an interview with the artist conducted by Andrew Walker, director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.


“Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,” Edited by Massimiliano Gioni, with foreword by Lisa Phillips, text by Dawoud Bey, Lauren Haynes, Amanda Hunt, and interviews by Massimiliano Gioni and Thelma Golden (New Museum, 140 pages) | Published Widely April 11, 2020

Jordan Casteel: Within Reach

This volume accompanies “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach” at the New Museum, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in New York. Based in Harlem, Jordan Casteel concentrates primarily on portraiture. Described as her first major monographic publication, the fully illustrated catalog features nearly 40 paintings from throughout her career, interviews with the artist conducted by Massimiliano Gioni and Thelma Golden, and essays by Dawoud Bey, Lauren Haynes, Amanda Hunt. Currently available at the museum shop and Artbook, the catalog will be released more widely next month.


“Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” Photographs by Paul Mpagi Sepuya, with interview by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, and contributions from Malik Gaines, Lucy Gallun, Ariel Goldberg, Evan Moffitt, and Grace Wales Bonner (Aperture/CAM St. Louis, 96 pages). | Published Widely April 7, 2020

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Paul Mpagi Sepuya‘s unique photography practice is dedicated primarily to studio portraits, collaborations featuring friends and fellow artists, and often himself. Through the lens of a black, queer gaze, Sepuya’s fragmented images deconstruct black subjectivity and challenge notions of traditional portraiture. Published on the occasion of a major solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, this fully illustrated volume is the first dedicated to his work to be released widely, and is currently available through Aperture and the museum.


“Barkley L. Hendricks: Landscape Paintings,” By Barry Schwabsky (Skira/Jack Shainman Gallery, 96 pages). | Forthcoming April 21, 2020

Barkley L. Hendricks: Landscape Paintings

Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) is closely associated with his celebrated portraits. A five-volume collection provides a posthumous record of his diverse practice, beyond portraiture. Following the first installment focused on his works on paper, this publication considers his Jamaican landscape paintings. Hendricks studied landscape painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, before earning his BFA and MFA degrees from Yale University. Beginning in the 1990s, during vacations at his second home in Jamaica, Hendricks painted seascapes and landscapes en plein air. Additional volumes will be devoted to his basketball paintings and photography. The final publication is a monograph providing an overview of the artist’s multifaceted oeuvre.


“Zanele Muholi,” Edited by Allen Sarah and Yasufumi Nakori (Tate Publishing, 192 pages). | Forthcoming April 21, 2020

Zanele Muholi

South African visual activist Zanele Muholi gained international attention for a striking body of portraits representing the humanity and individuality of members of the LGBTQI community in their home country. Turning to self-portraiture has transformed the artist’s practice. Accompanying Muholi’s first major UK survey at the Tate Modern in London, this catalog illustrates the breadth of their work over the past 20 years, including a selection of new images shown for the first time.


“Steve McQueen,” Edited by Clara Kim, with contributions from Solveig Nelson and Paul Gilroy, and interview by Hamza Walker (Tate Publishing, 176 pages). | Published Widely May 26, 2020

Steve McQueen

A powerful tribute to Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, this lavishly illustrated volume coincides with a major exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, his first in the UK in two decades. Presenting immersive video and film installations created since 2000, the catalog includes critical texts by Solveig Nelson and Paul Gilroy, and an interview with McQueen conducted by Hamza Walker, director of Laxart in Los Angeles. Currently available at the museum bookstore, the volume will be published widely in May.


“Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait,” Edited with text and interview by Okwui Enwezor, foreword by Artur Walther and Jean-Marc Patras, and contributions from Quentin Bajac, Yves Chatap, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Terry Smith, Claire Staebler, and James Thomas (Steidl/The Walther Collection, 188 pages) | Forthcoming June 1, 2020

Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait

Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso is recognized for his unique conceptual practice devoted to self-portraiture, self-presentation, and performance. The first volume to survey his career, this landmark monograph explores series dating back to the 1970s, including African Spirits (2008), a well-known body of work in which Fosso poses as black cultural icons, including Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., and Patrice Lumumba. An interview with Fosso conducted by Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019) is also featured.


“Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art,” By Antwaun Sargent, with contributions by Thomas Lax, Jamillah James, Jessica Brown, Graham Boettcher, Connie H. Choi, Anthony Graham, Lauren Haynes, Hallie Ringle, Adeze Wilford, Gordon Dearborn Wilkins, Bernard Lumpkin, and Thelma Golden (D.A.P., 256 pages). | Forthcoming July 28, 2020

Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art

Collectors Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi have championed emerging artists of African descent through acquisitions, museum loans, and institutional support. This lavishly illustrated volume showcases their mission-driven collection and contextualizes works by more than 30 artists with an essay from editor Antwaun Sargent, text contributions by a new generation of contemporary art curators, and a conversation with the collectors conducted by Thelma Golden. The volume accompanies an exhibition at Lehman College Art Gallery in West Bronx, N.Y.


“Noah Davis,” Edited by Helen Molesworth, with contributions by Lindsay Charlwood, Dagny Corcoran, Daniel DeSure, Thomas Houseago, Deana Lawson, Henry Taylor, and Venus X (David Zwirner Books/Underground Museum, 160 pages). | Forthcoming Sept. 1, 2020

Noah Davis

This is long-awaited volume documents the practice of Noah Davis (1983-2015), a brilliant figurative painter whose stirring compositions and dream-like scenes invoke magical realism. Featuring full-color images of his work, documentary photographs, and insights from his friends and collaborators, the publication accompanies exhibitions organized by Helen Molesworth at David Zwirner Gallery in New York and the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, which was co-founded by the artist.


“Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph,” With contributions by Emmanuel Iduma, Janet Hill Talbert, M. Neelika Jayawardane, Namwali Serpell, Greg Tate, Arthur Jafa, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Yxta Maya Murray (Aperture, 224 pages). | Forthcoming Sept. 22, 2020

Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph

The first major monograph dedicated to New York photographer Ming Smith, this fully illustrated volume is a comprehensive exploration of three decades of her career. Smith was the first female member of Kamoinge, the Harlen-based African American photography collective founded in 1963 and the first African American woman to have her photographs enter the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. CT


IMAGE: Above, Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph cover image not yet available. Shown, Ming Smith, Screenshot from Soul of a Nation video by Brooklyn Museum, 2018


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