FROM ST. LOUIS TO MIAMI and New York, five photography exhibitions are showcasing the work of Black image makers. John Edmonds, Awol Erizku, and a new generation of fast-rising photographers are exploring fashion, art history, and contemporary culture. On the documentary front, two photographers capture New York. Lyle Ashton Harris’s archival work tracks the city’s Black creative community, dating from the early 1990s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, while Kay Hickman’s images frame moments from a few months ago during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine:


JOHN EDMONDS (American, born 1989), “Two Spirits,” 2019 (archival pigment photograph, 50 × 381/2 inches / 127 × 97.8 cm). | © John Edmonds. Courtesy the artist and Company, New York

“John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance,” Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y. | Oct. 23, 2020–Aug. 8, 2021

This show is being presented as a result of John Edmonds winning the inaugural UOVO Prize, which recognizes an emerging Brooklyn artist with a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, a commission for an installation on the facade of UOVO art storage facility in Brooklyn, and a $25,000 cash grant. Edmonds works with photography and video producing works that “center Black queer experiences and reimagine art historical precedents.” For his first solo museum exhibition, Edmonds is presenting new and recent portraits of his friends and fellow creatives and still lifes of Central and West African sculpture drawn from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, select objects donated to the museum by the estate of Ralph Ellison.


YAGAZIE EMEZI, “Lilith,” 2020. | © Yagazie Emezi, Courtesy Barrett Barrera Projects

“Just Pictures,” Curated by Antwaun Sargent, Projects + Gallery, St. Louis, Mo. | Sept. 10-Nov. 21, 2020

Curated by Antwaun Sargent, this group exhibition brings together the work of eight international artists whose practices straddle fine art, fashion photography, and the history of photography: Arielle Bobb-Willis, Yagazie Emezi, Joshua Kissi, Mous Lamrabat, Renell Medrano, Ruth Ossai, Justin Solomon, and Joshua Woods. In a statement about the exhibition, Sargent said, “I am particularly interested in bringing together young image makers who are working between the commercial and conceptual by creating worlds entirely their own…” Tour exhibition


KAY HICKMAN, “Apollo Theater: Keep Ya Head Up,” 2020. A closed and empty 125th Street, a street usually packed with people shopping in the many stores along the street. | © Kay Hickman, Courtesy New-York Historical Society

“Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” Curated by Kevin Powell and Kay Hickman New-York Historical Society, New York, N.Y. | Aug. 14- Nov. 29, 2020

Over a period of two days at the height of the COVID-19 quarantine in New York (April 8-9, 2020), photographer Kay Hickman and writer Kevin Powell traversed the city’s five boroughs—from Brooklyn and Queens, to Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island—seeking out images and stories that spoke to the crisis. Among their subjects they found tragedy, anxiety, resilience, creativity, and newfound closeness. The project is presented in an open-air exhibition in the museum’s rear courtyard and features more than 50 photographs and a dozen audio interviews. Read More


Installation view of “Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax,” The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, N.Y., 2020. Shown, “Fuck Twelve” (the phrase means fuck the police), 2018 (neon light on coated stainless steel, 195.5 x 305 x 10 cm / 77 x 120 1/8 x 4 inches; Edition of 3 + 2 AP). | Photo by Steven Probert, Courtesy The Flag Art Foundation

“Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax,” The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, N.Y. | Sept. 26-Nov. 14, 2020

Conceptual artist Awol Erizku is showing a new body of photo-based works, drawings made from incense smoke and ash, sculpture, and a series of short films. The works “act as a counternarrative to the historically westernized discourse on African and African American culture” and invoke themes drawn from Trap music and Islam. Ethiopian-born Erizku lives and works in Los Angeles. Take virtual tour


Installation view of “Lyle Ashton Harris: Ektachrome Archive,” Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, 2020. | Photo by Zachary Balber, Courtesy ICA Miami

“Lyle Ashton Harris: Ektachrome Archive,” Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Miami, Fla. | Sep 23, 2020-Nov. 21, 2021

Dating back to the early 1990s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, New York artist Lyle Ashton Harris produced a seminal body of work documenting his community—an emerging generation of Black cultural producers and activists whose practices center race, gender, masculinity, identity, and inclusion issues. Prominent figures including artists Glenn Ligon, Gary Simmons, and Carrie Mae Weems; curator Thelma Golden; late filmmaker Marlon Riggs; and activist scholars bell hooks and Michele Wallace, are among those featured. The exhibition presents 36 documentary photographs and 15 journals from Harris’s Ektachrome Archive.


BEFORE YOU GO Contact each venue directly for updated visiting hours and COVID-19 health and safety protocols.


Published in 2017, “Lyle Ashton Harris: Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs: Selections from the Ektachrome Archive” documents the artist’s 35 mm Ektachrome archive and boasts nearly 20 contributors, Adrienne Edwards, Malik Gaines, Thomas Allen Harris, Rashid Johnson, Thomas J. Lax, Sarah Lewis, Robert Storr, and Mickalene Thomas, among them.. “Lyle Ashton Harris: Excessive Exposure: The Complete Chocolate Portraits” is accompanied by an essay from Okwui Enwezor, conversation with the artist conducted by Chuck Close, and a foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Earlier volumes include “Lyle Ashton Harris” featuring an essay by Anna Deveare Smith. Antwaun Sargent published two recent books: “Young Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art” and “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion,” which features Awol Erizku and a few of the photographers included in the “Just Pictures” exhibition.


Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.