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

THORNTON DIAL, “History Refused to Die,” 2004 (okra stalks and roots, clothing, collages drawings, tin, wire, steel, Masonite, steel chain, enamel, and spray paint, 102 x 87 x 23 inches). | © Estate of Thornton Dial, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Blum & Poe announced its representation of the Estate of Thornton Dial (1928-2016). A self-taught African American artist from the South, Dial’s parents worked as sharecroppers in rural Alabama. He worked for three decades as a metalworker for the Pullman Standard Company, the railroad manufacturer, and then took up various skilled trades—house painting, highway construction, commercial fishing, and pipe fitting. He was a “working man” for five decades before devoting himself to art full time. Drawing on his hard-won labor skills, Dial explored his personal experiences and more universal social justice issues. His diverse practice spanned assemblage works composed of found objects, dramatically textured paintings, and muted neo-expressionist works on paper. The estate was previously represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery beginning in 2015.

Kevin Beasley joined Regen Projects in Los Angeles. Born in Lynchburg, Va., Beasley is based in New York. He expresses himself through a variety of mediums—sculpture, drawing, installation, sound, music, and performance. His practice “is deeply invested in drawing out the histories latent in everyday materials and connecting these pasts to the present cultural landscape. This interest manifests in works that are produced by subjecting historically charged materials to transformative processes, reconfiguring and recontextualizing them to make new meaning. Harnessing the personal, cultural, and political associations of objects, Beasley investigates the history of power and race in America.” Beasley’s first solo exhibition with Regen Projects is planned for April 2022. He continues to be represented by Casey Kaplan in New York.


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched the Searchable Museum, digitizing its exhibition content and making the institution’s narratives and objects accessible to audiences worldwide. | Hyperallergic

In recent years, more than 30 museum have made gift/purchase agreements with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, acquiring more than 500 works by more than 110 African American artists from the South. The Atlanta, Ga.-based foundation announced this group now includes five university museums: Blanton Museum of Art (The University of Texas at Austin); Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Va.; Hood Museum of Art (Dartmouth College), Hanover, N.H.; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, N.J.; and RISD Museum, Providence, R.I. Four of the museums (Hampton, Hood, Princeton, and RISD) are also partnering with Souls Grown Deep to provide paid internships to BIPOC undergraduate students for the Spring 2022 semester.



The cover of the Nov. 25, 2021 edition of LA Weekly features the work of Lorna Simpson, illustrating inside coverage of “Everrrything,” her exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, which is on view through Jan. 9.

Blackstar Film Festival released the third issue of its magazine Seen. The publication coincides with the appointment of Dessane Lopez Cassell as editor-in-chief. A curator and former museum worker, Cassell guest-edited the second edition of Seen. Previously, she served as reviews editor at Hyperallergic.

IMAGE: Above left, Artist Lorna Simpson gets cover treatment for latest issue of LA Weekly.


“Choice Works,” a benefit auction organized by Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida is live on Artsy through Dec. 7, 2021. The auction features 21 works donated by the artists, including Francesca DiMattio, Futura, Sam Gilliam, Carmen Herrera, Jenny Holzer, Simone Leigh, Amy Sherald, and Shinique Smith.


Nov. 17, 2021: Artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley attend the American Express X The Studio Museum Art Discussion at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express

More News

On Dec. 1 in Miami Beach, American Express is unveiling new designs for its Consumer Platinum Card featuring artwork by artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley. Amex customers will be able to request the cards beginning Jan 20, 2022. The collaboration coincides with a $1 million dollar donation to the Studio Museum in Harlem, where both artists participated in the museum’s renowned artist-in-residence program. (Wiley is teaming up with American Express for the second time this year. In August, he signed on to create a new design for the Centurion Card, Amex’s invitation-only black card.)


Applications are open for the 2022 Socrates Annual Fellowship and exhibition program at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queen, N.Y. Based on the prompt “Sink or Swim Climate Futures,” proposals should be submitted with the goal of presenting a public artwork for a group exhibition. Fellows receive an $8,000 production grant, $2,000 honorarium, and access for three months to the resources and fabrication facilities of the Park’s outdoor artist studio. Submission deadline is Dec. 6, 2021. | More Info

The Aspen Institute‘s Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative (AEFI) is requesting letters of interest for a consulting assignment. The individual would be working from January to December 2022 on the following AEFI project: Building the Artist-Endowed Foundation Community’s DEAI Capacity to Host BIPOC Interns and Fellows. Submission deadline is Dec. 6, 2021. | More Info

After a tumultuous period, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) installed a new executive director and is hiring in key positions across departments. MOCA opportunities include director of curatorial affairs, senior curator, assistant curator, assistant registrar, director of people and culture, and chief communications officer. | More Info


The announcement of the American Express collaboration with artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley, follows the Nov. 4 launch of “Always Welcome” merchant signage designed by artists Shawna X, Reyna Noriega, and Mariell. | Video by American Express


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