Latest News in Black Art features news updates and developments in the world of art and related culture

Artist Christina Quarles is now represented by Hauser & Wirth. Shown in her Los Angeles studio, 2021. | Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. Photo by Ilona Szwarc


The Los Angeles Times surveyed major Southern California arts organizations—10 museums and 10 performing arts companies to assess their board representation in terms of Black people and people of color. The headline reads: “Black people hold just 32 of 585 board seats at L.A.’s top arts groups.” The results specific to the museum surveyed found Black people accounted for 18 out of 334 board members, just 5.4 percent, while making up about 9 percent of L.A. County’s population. “Broadening to look at all BIPOC board members, the discrepancy is even more startling,” the Times reported. “While nearly 74% of L.A. County is nonwhite, only 19.5% of the museum board members identified as nonwhite.” | Los Angeles Times

On May 20, the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (FRIENDS), sent a letter to Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, asking that he ensure the forthcoming museum be built on the National Mall. More than 100 “influential supporters,” including John Leguizamo, Ruben Blades, Frankie Miranda, and Maria Teresa Kumar, were original signatories. Now the public can sign on to the letter, too. | Hyperallergic


British artist Sonia Boyce, OBE RA, has joined Ryan Lee Gallery. | Courtesy Ryan Lee Gallery


British Afro-Caribbean artist Sonia Boyce, OBE RA is now represented by Simon Lee Gallery. Boyce is representing Britain at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. A key figure in the 1980s British Black Arts Movement, early on she made pastel drawings and photo collages that dealt with race and gender issues. Since the 1990s, she has transformed her practice “bringing people together in a dynamic, social practice that encourages others to speak, sing or move in relation to the past and the present. Incorporating film, photography, print and sound in multi-media installations, Boyce’s practice is fundamentally collaborative and inclusive, fostering a participatory approach that questions artistic authorship and cultural difference.” Boyce is the first Black British woman to have her work represented at Tate. A professor at University of the Arts London, she holds the inaugural Chair in Black Art & Design. Boyce is also represented by Apalazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy. Her first exhibition with Simon Lee is scheduled for fall 2022.

Hauser & Wirth announced its representation of Christina Quarles in collaboration with one of her existing galleries, Pilar Corrias in London. Los Angeles-based Quarles paints bodies that are flexible and free, contorted and constricted, intertwined and engaged, reflecting the pressures and pleasures of life and the complexities of identity. The images stem from her personal experience as a biracial, queer, cisgender woman and resonate universally. Quarles currently has two solo museum shows. “Christina Quarles: Dance by tha Light of tha Moon” at X Museum in Beijing, China, runs through May 30. The largest presentation of her work to date is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, through Sept. 5, and travels to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Wash., where it opens Feb. 12, 2022. Hauser & Wirth will present its first solo exhibition with Quarles in fall 2022.

White Cube now represents Cinga Samson, a South African artist who lives and works in Cape Town. Samson’s figurative paintings explore themes of power, desire, mortality, and spirituality. In October, he will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the FLAG Art Foundation in New York. Samson’s first solo show with White Cube opens in London in 2022.


CINGA SAMSON, “Inyongo 2,” 2020 (oil on canvas, 89 × 104 3/4 inches / 226 × 266 cm, framed). | © Cinga Samson. Courtesy the artist and White Cube

Awards & Honors

Ayana Ross won the 2021 Bennett Prize. The $50,000 award recognizes rising female artists working in figurative painting. She lives and works in McDonough, Ga.

New York-based textile artist Malaika Temba received the National YoungArts Foundation’s 2021 Jorge M. Pérez Award, which includes a $25,000 prize. | Press Release

AIGA, the professional association for design, announced its 2021 AIGA Medalists, including Archie Boston Jr., Cheryl D. Miller, and Thomas Miller.


Art Mile, a citywide digital art exhibition in Detroit (June 14-July 11) made several programming announcements this week. Among them, Juana Williams is serving as the inaugural Art Mile Curatorial Fellow and will organize a special curatorial fellow exhibition.


The Black Art Futures Fund awarded $75,000 in grants to eight arts organizations, each receiving $7,000 to $10,000. The grantees are C. Williams Rush Museum of African-American Arts & Culture, Kingstree, SC; Community Music Center of Houston; George Floyd Global Memorial Project, Minneapolis; Harlem Needle Arts, New York; Ko-Thi Dance Company, Milwaukee; Selah Gospel Choir, Pasadena CA; Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, New York; and Tiny Farm Wagon, Philadelphia. BFF plans three more funding cycles in 2021. | Artforum

Through Nike, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brands announced grants to three organizations today: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture ($3 million); Morehouse College, for the school’s Journalism and Sports Program; and Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ($1 million). The grants are part of Jordan’s Black Community Commitment to combat racism, a $100 million initiative over 10 years first announced on June 5, 2020.


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.