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

Scale model of Martin Puryear’s permanent commission for Storm King Art Center. | © Martin Puryear Studio. Photo by SandenWolff


Storm King Art Center commissioned Martin Puryear to create a site-specific sculpture for its permanent collection. Puryear uses a variety of materials in his sculptural practice, including wood, bronze, cast iron, steel, and granite. For this commission, he is working with brick for the first time. The work will be sited on the highest overlook on the center’s grounds in New Windsor, N.Y., occupying a clearing at the edge of the North Woods. The sculpture is expected to debut in 2023. About the commission, Puryear said: “This work is especially significant for me because it will be a permanent artwork in Storm King’s extraordinary landscape. And I’m taking the idea of permanence seriously—the materials I’m proposing to work with, the methodology I’m trying to employ, and the history of the material speaks to something timeless.”

British artist Lubaina Himid received the annual Robson Orr TenTen Award, winning a commission for the UK Government Collection. “Old Boat, New Weather,” the limited edition print she created, is inspired by Black Lives Matter and makes a comment about climate change. Fifteen copies of the work will be displayed in UK government office buildings and overseas embassies and 11 copies will be sold to raise funds to buy works by emerging artists for the collection. | The Art Newspaper


RASHOD TAYLOR, “LJ in My Parents Backyard,” 2020. | © Rashod Taylor, Images courtesy of Rashod Taylor

Honors & Awards

Rashod Taylor won the 2021 Arnold Newman Prize For New Directions in Photographic Portraiture for his body of work titled “Little Black Boy.” Administered by Maine Media Workshops + College, the $20,000 prize includes an exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Mass., featuring images by the winner and three finalists (Golden, Christian K Lee, and Donavon Smallwood, who won the 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize.)

Celebrating the arts in Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser presented the 36th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. Winners in 14 categories included artist Sam Gilliam, who received the Award for Distinguished Honor, recognizing “achievements spanning 20 years or more with local, regional, and national impact.”

The National Academy of Design announced the election of eight new National Academicians, including artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, and Gary Simmons. An induction ceremony will be held Oct. 27.


Bayeté Ross Smith, inaugural artist-in-residence at Columbia Law School, talks about some of the concepts and challenges he explores in his practice: identity, perception, interpersonal interactions, and diversity of thought. | Video by McColl Center


Bayeté Ross Smith is the inaugural artist-in-residence at Columbia Law School. The Harlem-based photographer, artist, and educator will be in residence for the 2021–2022 academic year. The new program is designed “to examine and broaden how the institution honors its history and values, while also celebrating its vibrant and diverse community.”

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts University announced new Fine Arts faculty appointments, including Triton Mobely, new media artist and researcher; writer and film director Ng’endo Mukii; artist Mike Smoot; and Professor of the Practice Kelli Morgan, who is serving as the inaugural director of curatorial studies. (Morgan’s appointment was first reported by Culture Type in July).


The Rubell Museum, established by influential Miami, Fla., collectors Don and Mera Rubell, is opening a second venue in Washington, D.C. Located at the former Randall Junior High School in Southwest, the space is expected to open by the end of 2022. The Rubell’s launched “30 Americans” with selections from their collection, more than a decade ago, and the exhibition is still touring. The group show featuring works by 30 prominent African American contemporary artists opens Oct. 9 at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina. | Artnet News

The Museum of Contemporary Art(MOCA) Los Angeles hopes to entice new members with the offer of “Skittles” (2003/2019), a limited-edition print by Arthur Jafa. The work is available to the first 100 who join or renew museum membership at the Curator’s Circle level ($1,500) or higher.


Public Art

Monument Lab released its National Monument Audit. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the reports surveyed about 50,000 U.S. monuments and found that of the 50 figures represented most frequently, 88 percent are white men, 50 percent were slave holders, 10 percent are Black or Indigenous, and only six percent honor women. The findings will help guide the Mellon Foundation’s $250 million Monuments Project. | New York Times

Four sculptures by Black artists have been installed on the campus of Harvard Business School (HBS). “Wind Sculpture (SG) V” (2019) by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (shown at right) was acquired by HBS this year for the C. Ludens Ringnes Sculpture Collection. “Searching for the Word” (1989/2019) by Melvin Edwards and two sculptures by Thaddeus Mosley (“Illusory Progression,” 2020, and “Rhizogenic Rhythms,” 2020) are on loan to the school for the 2021/22 exhibition. Mosley’s works were commissioned for the 2020 Frieze Sculpture exhibition at Rockefeller Center in New York.

Rashid Johnson installed two 9 x 25 foot mosaic panels on the grand tier landings at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Each carry the same title: “The Broken Nine.” An extension of his Anxious Men series, the panels “comprise chorus lines of imposing standing figures pieced together from thousands of fragments of colorful ceramics, mirror and branded wood, across which the artist has painted improvisationally in oil stick, wax and spray enamel.” | New York Times

IMAGE: Above right, YINKA SHONIEBARE CBE RA, Wind Sculpture (SG) V, 2019 (stainless steel armature with hand painted, glass reinforced polyester cast, 275 1/2 × 100 × 78 5/8 inches). | © 2021 Yinka Shonibare CBE. All Rights Reserved, DACS/ARS, NY 2021. C. Ludens Ringnes Sculpture Collection, Harvard Business School


The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU) is hiring an assistant professor of Photography & Imaging, a tenure-track position. Application deadline is Oct. 15, 2021. | More Info

The Photography & Imaging opportunity (above) is part of NYU’s cluster hire initiative, which coincides with the launch of the new Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice & Public Health (CASJPH) and includes several additional positions in the Tisch School of the Arts.


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