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

Simone Leigh photographed at Stratton Sculpture Studios, 2020. | © Simone Leigh, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis


BROOKLYN-BASED ARTIST Simone Leigh is departing Hauser & Wirth. ARTnews first reported the development. In a statement provided to Culture Type by Hauser & Wirth, Leigh said: “I love and respect the people I worked with at Hauser & Wirth. But I do not feel the gallery is the right fit for me in the wider sense. I’m still figuring out what I want from a primary gallery relationship.” Leigh is representing the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2022. Her selection is historic. She is the first Black female artist to present a solo exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion, and the third Black artist in a row to do so, following Mark Bradford (2017) and Martin Puryear (2019). Leigh’s longstanding sculptural practice blends figuration, abstraction, and architectural forms centering Black female subjectivity. She has said Black women are also her key audience. Leigh joined Hauser & Wirth two years ago and her first solo exhibition with the global gallery is currently on view in Zurich. Over the past several years, recognition of Leigh’s work has grown exponentially. She received the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Wein Prize in 2017 and the Hugo Boss Prize from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2018. That latter included “The Hugo Boss Prize 2018: Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat,” a solo exhibition presented at the museum in 2019. The inaugural recipient of the High Line Plinth Commission in 2017, Leigh’s monumental “Brick House” sculpture, her first public art work, was on view from 2019-21. During these years, she has worked with three different galleries: Luhring Augustine (2016-19), David Kordansky (2019) and Hauser & Wirth (2019-21). Leigh’s presentation at the Venice Biennale is commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), where her first survey will be on view in 2023. The exhibition will feature works from the Biennale and be accompanied by her first major monograph. “Simone Leigh is a wonderful artist whose unique vision has expanded that of others in the world,” Marc Payot, president of Hauser & Wirth, said in a statement. “We wish her future success and look forward to watching her work evolve and surprise in the years to come.”



The California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles has a new deputy director. Isabelle Lutterodt (right) was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. A curator, arts administrator, and community leader, since 2015, Lutterodt has served as director of Barnsdall Art Park, which includes the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG). Established in 1954, LAMAG is “the longest running institution in Los Angeles devoted solely to exhibiting art.” In a statement, CAAM Executive Director Cameron Shaw said: “We are thrilled to welcome Isabelle Lutterodt to CAAM. Her deep experience leading civic art institutions combined with her commitments to contemporary art, local history, and community engagement will undoubtedly serve CAAM well, as we strive to engage with even wider audiences in Los Angeles, the West, and beyond.” Lutterodt said in a statement: “CAAM has played a significant role in shaping my understanding of the importance of engaging communities in dialogue through exhibitions and public programs. I look forward to building on the Museum’s dynamic curatorial vision, expanding its educational programs, increasing access to the collections, and uplifting the achievements of African Americans throughout California’s history.” She officially joins CAAM on Dec. 2.

Freida Lynn Mitchell was named events manager for Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Reynolda Gardens. Located in Winston-Salem, N.C., the museum is part of Wake Forest University. In February, Reynolda will present the traveling exhibition “Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.”

IMAGE: Above right, Isabelle Lutterodt. | Photo by HRDWRKER, Courtesy CAAM

Awards & Honors

22 artists were shortlisted for the Henrike Grohs Art Award. Established by the Goethe-Institut and the family of Henrike Grohs (1964-2016), who led the institute in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (2013-16), the biennial art prize supports young artists from the continent of Africa. The winning artist or collective will receive a cash prize of 20.000€ and 10.000€ (about $23,000 and $11,500, respectively) toward a publication documenting their work. | See Full Shortlist

The annual Ellsworth Kelly Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts was received by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). The $40,000 award supports a Barbara T. Smith survey planned for 2023. The Smith exhibition is organized by ICA LA senior curator Jamillah James, who is also co-curator of the New Museum Triennial, currently on view in New York.

The 2021 Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz, was awarded to Vienna-born Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński. Given biennially to a photographer “who has published a noteworthy contribution in the magazine Camera Austria International and has made an important contribution to contemporary photography,” the prize includes 15,000 Euros (about $17,500). | Contemporary And



Art collectors Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz.) grace the cover of the December 2021 edition of Architectural Digest (AD), showcasing their oceanside home in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego. Known as the Razor House, the property is a concrete and glass architectural wonder filled with art by Black artists. Envisioned by architectural designer Wallace E. Cunningham, he describes every element of the house as “sculpture.” Interior designer Kelly Behun transformed the sleek structure, bringing in furnishings and accessories that reflect the Deans family-friendly personal style and lets their art collection shine. The open spaces feature works by Derrick Adams, Nick Cave, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Gordon Parks, Radcliffe Bailey, Kwame Brathwaite, Lauren Pearce, Sanlé Sory, Deana Lawson, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Henry Taylor, and more. On the cover, the collectors are captured before a large portrait by Jordan Casteel (“Fallou” 2018). | Architectural Digest

My Barbarian, the performance collective featuring artists Alexandro Segade, Jade Gordon, and Malik Gaines, covers the November 2021 issue of Artforum. The attention includes a feature profile and coincides with a two-part 20th anniversary survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, organized by Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and director of curatorial affairs, with Mia Matthias, curatorial assistant.

More News

“Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I’m Free,” a major touring exhibition exploring the life and artistry of Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), opens Jan. 21 at L.A. Live, an entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. | New York Times

Originally scheduled for 2020, after a long haul, Prospect 5 in New Orleans, co-curated by Naima Keith and Diana Nawi, finally opened in October. Facing challenges due to pandemic lockdowns, travel restrictions, supply-chain issues, and Hurricane Ida, many obstacles were overcome, but no sacrifices were made when it came to the art. | Artnet News


The California African American Museum in Los Angeles is hiring a visual arts curator. | More Info

New York University is seeking applications for an assistant professor in African American or African Diasporic arts, a full-time, tenure-track position in New York, N.Y. Application deadline is Nov 29, 2021. | More Info


Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz.) offer a tour of their expansive, art-filled La Jolla, Calif., home, a cliffside architectural gem by Wallace E. Cunningham. | Video by Architectural Digest


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