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

Representing Great Britain, Sonia Boyce’s exhibition won the Golden Lion for best national pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. | Photo by Felix Hörhager/picture alliance via Getty Images

Awards & Honors

On April 23, British artist Sonia Boyce and American artist Simone Leigh won Golden Lion awards at the 59th Venice Biennale. Boyce won the biennale’s top prize for Great Britain, the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, for her exhibition “Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way.” Boyce is the first Black artist to represent the UK with a solo show in the British Pavilion. The Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the International Exhibition “The Milk of Dreams” went to Leigh, who contributed “Brick House” (2019), a monumental bronze sculpture. Leigh is also representing the United States with a solo exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion, the first Black female artist to do so. In addition, a Special Golden Lion for National Participation was awarded Uganda. The East African nation is presenting its inaugural exhibition. The Venice Biennale is open through Nov. 27. | More


Installation view of SIMONE LEIGH, “Brick House” (2019) at “Milk of Dreams,” International Exhibition, Curated by Cecilia Alemani, Giardini and the Arsenale, 59th Venice Biennale (2022). | Courtesy Venice Biennale

More Biennial News

A five-member jury awarded the official prizes at the 59th Venice Biennale on April 23. The international panel included Adrienne Edwards, curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and co-curator of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, an independent curator who will join Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin as director in 2023. Edwards served as president of the jury. | More

The Sharjah Biennial 15 (Feb. 7-June 11, 2023) announced the artist list for the forthcoming United Arab Emirates event. Titled “Thinking Historically in the Present,” the biennial was conceived by Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019) and is now being curated by Hoor Al Qasimi. More than 140 artists are participating. Celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the biennial, 30 artists, including John Akomfrah, Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Manthia Diawara, Coco Fusco, Lubaina Himid, Isaac Julien, Mohammed Ibrahim Mahama, Kerry James Marshall, Steve McQueen, Wangechi Mutu, Doris Salcedo, Yinka Shonibare, Nari Ward, and Carrie Mae Weems, have been commissioned to produce new works. | More


MARTHA PETTWAY (1911-2005), “Housetop,” variation, 1930s (cotton, 84 x 74 inches). | © Matha Pettway, Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio


Over the past several years, the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership has been working with American museums to add artworks by Black artists from the U.S. South to their collections through gift/purchase agreements. Those efforts are now international. Souls Grown Deep announced new acquisitions by Tate Modern in London (four quilts by Gee’s Bend, Ala., artists Mary Lee Bendolph, Aolar Mosely, Louella Pettway, and Annie Mae Young); National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia (a quilt by Gee’s Bend artist Martha Pettway); and the Pinault Collection in Paris, France, and Venice, Italy (five sculptures by James “Son Ford” Thomas). The foundation reports placing about 500 works by more than 110 artists with more than 30 museums. | ArtDaily


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York announced four new board appointments, including Natalie Nixon. A creativity strategist, Nixon is CEO of Figure 8 Thinking and founding director of the Strategic Design MBA at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. She also authored “The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work” and edited “Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services and Beyond.” | More

In Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the appointment of Stacey Johnson as chief financial officer. Johnson previously served as CFO of the American Federation of Teachers and CFO of Alexandria Public Schools in Virginia. | More

More News

In San Diego, Calif., community leaders and local elected officials have proposed a San Diego Black Arts and Culture District that would be established in the neighborhood of Encanto. | KPBS

When Questlove accepted the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for his directorial debut “Summer of Soul” on March 27, he wore a quilted jacket that was a Gee’s Bend x Greg Lauren collaboration. Six Gee’s Bend, Ala., quilt artists contributed to the jacket (Claudia Pettway Charley, Sharon Williams, Stella Pettway, Cassandra Hall, Katie Mae Pettway, and Kristin Pettway) and their names are sewn inside the garment. |



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.