Detail of “Lonnie Holley: Coming From the Earth” at Dallas Contemporary


FOR HIS FIRST EXHIBITION IN TEXAS, Lonnie Holley, 72, is presenting a new series of ceramic works at Dallas Contemporary. The Alabama artist’s creativity is informed by struggle and hardship and draws on his curiosity. Holley works in a variety of mediums but is best known for his assemblage works made with found objects. He also expresses himself through music and poetry.

“Lonnie Holley: Coming From the Earth” is one of several exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging, established, and historic artists of African descent at art museums across Texas. About a dozen shows are currently on view, most remaining open throughout the summer.

Houston artist Jamal Cyrus has a solo exhibition at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where Martin Puryear’s “Ladder for Booker T. Washington” and a new acquisition by Wangechi Mutu (“The Seated III,” 2019) are also on view. The first museum exhibition of fast-rising Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo just opened at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. Also in Houston, the Menil Drawing Institute is presenting “Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw.” Two celebrated exhibitions—”The Obama Portraits Tour” and “Dawoud Bey: An American Project”—are open through Memorial Day weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Coming soon, a two-artist exhibition features Deborah Roberts and Benny Andrews at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio; “Black Every Day” presents a century of photographs from the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth; and photographs of Stokely Carmichael by Gordon Parks will be exhibited for the first time at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A list of these exhibitions and more follows:


NARI WARD, “Spellbound,” 2016 (piano, used keys, Spanish moss, light bulb and wiring, and color video with sound, 9:03 minutes, 52 1/2 x 60 x 28 inches). | Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of an anonymous donor, 2019. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London. Photo by Max Yawney © Nari Ward

Assembly: New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, The University of Texas at Austin, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | Dec. 11 2021-Sept. 4, 2022

“Assembly” features new acquisitions by a dozen artists: Emma Amos, Kevin Beasley, Genevieve Gaignard, James “Yaya” Hough, Arie Pettway, Sally Pettway Mixon, Robert Pruitt, Noah Purifoy, Deborah Roberts, Lorna Simpson, Cauleen Smith, and Nari Ward. Spanning paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, textiles, prints, the works date from 1980 to 2019. The additions to the Blanton Museum’s collection were made possible by an anonymous donor, a woman described as a descendant of slaveholders.


Installation view of “Lonnie Holley: Coming From the Earth” exhibition at Dallas Contemporary. Photo by Kevin Todora

Lonnie Holley: Coming From the Earth @ Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street, Dallas, Texas. | April 16-Aug. 21, 2022

Alabama artist Lonnie Holley made a new collection of ceramic works for his first exhibition in Texas. In an interview with Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko, Holley explained his creative process: “I respond to materials and to my ideas which means each piece of art I create or any song I sing is in hope of understanding. I don’t have any certain plan about a song or a piece of art until I encounter the material or the idea that needs to have a voice.”


JAMAL CYRUS, Detail of “River Bends to Gulf (Double Time),” 2021 (denim, cotton thread, 73 x 110 1/2 inches). | Photo by Allyson Huntsman. © Jamal Cyrus, Courtesy the artist and Inman Gallery, Houston

FOCUS: Jamal Cyrus @ Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, Texas. | April 1-June 26, 2022

The practice of Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus focuses on overlooked Black culture and questions so-called official versions of history. For his Focus exhibition, Cyrus is presenting new works in a variety of mediums inspired by what he calls “sonic territory”—the sound and musical landscape—of the Dallas/Fort Worth region.


Installation view of “The Language of Beauty in African Art.” | Photo by Robert LaPrelle, Kimbell Art Museum

The Language of Beauty in African Art @ Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas. | April 3-July 31, 2022

More than 200 historic and traditional works from public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, are presented in this exhibition with the goal of understanding the meaning, function, and beauty of the works based on “original words and local evaluations” by African communities, rather than Western assessments of the objects in terms of aesthetic and monetary value.


EMMA AMOS, “Three Figures,” 1966 (oil on canvas, 60 x 50 inches). | John and Susan Horseman Collection. Courtesy RYAN LEE Gallery, New York. © Emma Amos

Women Painting Women @ Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, Texas. | May 15-September 25, 2022

This exhibition showcases works by 46 women artists, across four themes—The Body, Nature Personified, Color as Portrait, and Selfhood—dating from the mid-1960s to the present. The diverse group includes Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Emma Amos, Jordan Casteel, Somaya Critchlow, Kim Dingle, Marlene Dumas, Nicole Eisenman, Luchita Hurtado, Chantal Joffe, Danielle Mckinney, Marilyn Minter, Alice Neel, Faith Ringgold, Deborah Roberts, Jenny Saville, Amy Sherald, Lorna Simpson, May Stevens, and Mickalene Thomas. Sherald’s work covers the exhibition catalog.


From left, KEHINDE WILEY, “Barack Obama,” 2018 (oil on canvas). | © 2018 Kehinde Wiley, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; AMY SHERALD, “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama,” 2018 (oil on linen). | National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The Obama Portraits Tour @ Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas. | April 3-May 30, 2022

The official portraits of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald were unveiled in 2018 at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. After causing a sensation in Washington, D.C., the Obama Portraits have been touring the nation—from The Art Institute of Chicago and Brooklyn Museum to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the High Art Museum in Atlanta. Houston was expected to be the final stop, but the exhibition schedule has been extended. After their presentation at MFA Houston, the portraits will travel to the de Young Museum in San Francisco (June 18-Aug. 14, 2022) and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Sept. 3-Oct. 30, 2022).


DAWOUD BEY, “Three Women at a Parade, Harlem NY,” 1978, from the Series Harlem U.S.A. (gelatin silver print, printed 2019). | Collection of the artist. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; and Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco. © Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey: An American Project @ Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas. | March 6-May 30, 2022

After opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a presentation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, “Dawoud Bey: An American Project” traveled to MFA Houston. The exhibition surveys eight bodies of work, including the artist’s early Harlem U.S.A. portraits, The Birmingham Project, and his most recent work capturing Underground Railroad sites in Ohio. More than 70 works are on view. Describing the exhibition, Dawoud Bey has said: “My American Project is that piece of the American fabric that is not always engaged or amplified in the great American narrative.”


Marcia Kure explains the meaning behind “Network,” her commissioned wall installation and accompanying sculptures at the Menil Drawing Institute, Menil Collection, Houston. | Video by Zainob + Mathew Create

Wall Drawing Series: Marcia Kure @ Menil Drawing Institute, 1412 W. Main St., Houston, Texas. | Oct. 1, 2021-August 2022

Working with natural, plant-based pigments, Marcia Kure makes paintings and drawings that consider post-colonial legacies and diasporic identities. She is the third artist to participate in an ongoing series of site-specific installations in the entry space at the Menil Drawing Institute. Titled “Network,” her wall drawing “explores line as concept, form, and experience.” Born in Kano, Nigeria, Kure is based between Princeton, N.J., and Abuja and Kaduna, Nigeria.


Installation view of “Joseph E. Yoakum, What I Saw” at Menil Drawing Institute, Houston, Texas, 2022. | Photo by Paul Hester

Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw @ Menil Drawing Institute, 1412 W. Main St., Houston, Texas. | April 22-Aug 7, 2022

Born in Ashgrove, Mo., Joseph Yoakum (1891-1972) traveled with a few circuses and was a U.S. Army veteran before he settled in Chicago, Ill., late in life and began drawing full time. Dense hash marks made with ballpoint and felt-tip pens add dimension to his poetic, dream-like landscapes. After opening at the Art Institute of Chicago and traveling to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the show concludes in Houston. More than 80 works are on view. According to the catalog essay by Édouard Kopp, chief curator of the Menil Drawing Center, Yoakum said: “I had in my mind that I wanted to go to different places at different times. Wherever my mind led me, I would go. I’ve been all over this world four times.”


AMOAKO BOAFO, “Seye,” 2019 (oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches). | © Amoako Boafo. Courtesy Hernandahn Family Collection, Jacinto J. Hernandez and Chat Callahan, and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Photo by Robert Wedemyer

Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks @ Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas. | May 27-Oct. 2, 2022

For his first solo museum exhibition, fast-rising Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo is presenting more than 30 works made between 2016 and 2022. Boafo’s portraits of the people he loves and admires celebrate Blackness—Black identity, dignity, and joy. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the exhibition debuted at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco last fall. The CAMH edition features a site-specific wall painting.


WILLIE COLE, “Sole Sitter,” 2013 (bronze, 72 x 27 x 42 inches / 182.9 x 68.6 x 106.7 cm). | © Willie Cole, Museum purchase with funds from the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts. 2018.30

Spotlight: San Antonio’s K-12 Artists Examine Willie Cole’s The Sole Sitter @ McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, Texas. | May 19-Oct. 16, 2022

A contemplative figure composed of shoe forms, Willie Cole’s “Sole Sitter” is the first outdoor sculpture by an African American artist acquired by the McNay. The Spotlight exhibition features a rotating presentation of artworks in various mediums made in response to Cole’s sculpture by 1,105 student artists from 30 local schools.


Installation view of “Hugh Hayden: Boogey Men,” ICA Miami (2021-22). Shown, “Roots,” 2021 (bald cypress trees). | © Hugh Hayden, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

Hugh Hayden: Boogey Men @ Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, 4173 Elgin Street, Houston, Texas | June 10—Sept. 4, 2022

An artist and carpenter who is formally trained as an architect, Hugh Hayden’s unique practice considers our relationship to the natural world. His latest works created for this show consider “the fraught ideas of the ‘American Dream’ and notions of idealism, culture, wealth, agency, and success.” The exhibition was organized by ICA Miami, where it debuted last fall.


EARLIE HUDNALL JR. (b. 1946), “Wheels,” 1993, printed 1997 (gelatin silver print, image: 14 15/16 x 14 15/16 inches / sheet: 19 7/8 x 15 15/16 inches). | © Earlie Hudnall Jr. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, P1997.1

Black Every Day: Photographs from the Carter Collection @ Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3301 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas. | June 11–Sept. 11, 2022

Drawing from the Carter Museum’s collection, “Black Every Day” explores the “fullness and richness of Black culture” over the past century through photographic representation. The exhibition features more than 100 vernacular images by unidentified photographers and more than 50 works by major figures, including Roy DeCarava, Dorothea Lange, Deana Lawson, Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, and Garry Winogrand, as well as regional photographers such as Earlie Hudnall Jr., who was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., and lived and worked in Houston, Texas.


KEHINDE WILEY (American, born 1977), “Judith and Holofernes,” 2012 (oil on linen). | Purchased with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes in honor of Dr. Emily Farnham, by exchange, and from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), 2012. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy the North Carolina Museum of Art and Sean Kelly, New York

SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley @ Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas. | July 19-Oct. 9, 2022

A focused exhibition featuring two paintings, “Slay” presents markedly different interpretations of the Old Testament story of Judith and Holofernes painted 400 years apart. Kehinde Wiley’s 2012 version is a portrait of a regal woman brandishing a severed head against one of the American contemporary artist’s signature floral backgrounds. Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, represents a rare example of a woman with an active painting practice circa 1612–17 when she created her work, a brutal and bloody scene reflecting the protagonist’s traumatic experience.


SAMUEL FOSSO, Autoportrait (Malcolm X), from the series Africa Spirits, 2008 (gelatin silver print, 64 x 48 inches / 162.6 x 121.9 cm). | Private Collection, Courtesy Jean Marc Patras. © Samuel Fosso

Samuel Fosso: African Spirits @ Menil Collection, Main Building, 1533 Sul Ross St., Houston, Texas. | Aug. 5, 2022-Jan. 15, 2023

In 2008, Samual Fosso made self-portraits that masterfully recreated iconic images of Black liberation figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Patrice Lumumba, Angela Davis, and Muhammad Ali. The exhibition features the 14 large-scale gelatin silver prints from Fosso’s African Spirits series. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the FotoFest Biennial 2022, taking place Sept. 24–Nov. 6, 2022, at Sawyer Yards in Houston.


PAUL ANTHONY SMITH, “Dog an Duppy Drink Rum,” 2020-21 (unique picotage). | © Paul Anthony Smith. Image Courtesy the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Paul Anthony Smith: Standing In @ Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, 4173 Elgin Street, Houston, Texas. | October 2022—March 2023

Jamaica-born, New York-based Paul Anthony Smith has developed his own photographic medium: picotage. Drawing on his ceramic training, he employs carving tools to “re-sculpt the image and thicken its meaning.” Smith uses this process to embellish and transform the countless images of people and places he’s photographed throughout the Caribbean. This mid-career survey of Smith is co-organized with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.


From left: DEBORAH ROBERTS, “True Believer,” 2020 (collage on canvas). | © Deborah Roberts. Collection of the McNay Art Museum. Museum Purchase with the Helen and Everett H. Jones Purchase Fund 2021.43; BENNY ANDREWS, “The Cop,” 1968 (oil on canvas with fabric collage). | © Estate of Benny Andrews. Museum Purchase with the Helen and Everett H. Jones Purchase Fund, Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

True Believers: Benny Andrews & Deborah Roberts @ McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas. | Oct. 6, 2022-Jan. 22, 2023

“True Believers” considers the Black experience through the work of Georgia-born Benny Andrews (1930-2006) and Texas-born Deborah Roberts (b. 1962), who were born three decades apart. The exhibition “explores the deep connections between the work of these two artists in relation to formal similarities, specifically the utilization of collage, as well as their shared interest in themes of activism, racial injustice, family, and religion.”


GORDON PARKS, Untitled, Bronx, New York, 1967, printed 2022 (gelatin silver print0. Courtesy of and © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power @ Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas. | Oct. 16, 2022–Jan. 16, 2023

In 1966 and 1967, Gordon Parks (1912-2006) traveled around the country with Stokely Carmichael, the Black Power activist and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Parks took more than 700 photographs as Carmichael addressed protestors, visited with supporters, and registered voters. Life magazine published a 1967 profile of Carmichael, written and photographed by Parks. The five images featured in the article are presented in the exhibition, alongside about 50 additional photographs and contact sheets displayed publicly for the first time. CT


“The Obama Portraits” documents the historic portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Featuring a portrait by Amy Sherald on the cover, “Women Painting Women” was published to accompany the exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Several volumes document the work of Dawoud Bey including “Dawoud Bey: Two American Projects,” “Dawoud Bey on Photographing People and Communities: The Photography Workshop Series,” “The Birmingham Project” and “Street Portraits.” “Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply” is a retrospective of his practice and “Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue” is forthcoming next month. “The Language of Beauty in African Art” accompanies the Kimbell Art Museum exhibition. Also consider, “Something to Take My Place: The Art of Lonnie Holley.”


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