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

Artist Stanley Whitney. | Photo by Jeannette Montgomery Barron/Trunk Archive


After presenting a solo exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney at Gagosian Rome in 2020, the international mega-gallery announced its representation of the artist today. Whitney, who splits his time between New York and Parma, Italy, has been expressing himself through abstraction since the mid-1970s. “Dividing square canvases into sequences of loosely defined rectangular blocks of saturated color that are demarcated by linear bands,” his approach is an ordered spontaneity akin to the improvisation and call-and-response of jazz. “Stanley Whitney: The Italian Paintings” is currently on view at the Palazzo Tiepolo Passi in Venice through Nov. 27. “Stanley Whitney: Dance with Me Henri” opens at the Baltimore Museum of Art on Nov. 20. In New York, the forthcoming Buffalo AKG Art Museum (previously known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) plans a major retrospective of Whitney in 2024. Meanwhile, Gagosian will show the artist’s work at its Grosvenor Hill, London gallery in 2023. | More

Brooklyn artist Lisa Corinne Davis is now represented by Miles McEnery Gallery in New York. She will also continue a relationship with Jenkins Johnson, a Black-owned gallery based in San Francisco with an outpost in Brooklyn. Davis makes abstract paintings and works on paper. The works “encompass intricate layers of color and forms to communicate her lived experience through abstraction. The artist’s paintings weave two phenomenons of abstraction: rigid, geometric lines and systematic, measured grids against bodily shapes and organic applications of oil paint. She coalesces the logical and visceral until the composition reaches a degree of complexity and intricacy, reminiscent of maps and pathways.” Miles McEnery is planning its first solo show with Davis in spring or summer 2023. | More


Lisa Corinne Davis in her Brooklyn, N.Y., studio. | Courtesy the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery


The International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, announced Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama will serve as artistic director of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts in 2023. | More

Peterborough, N.H.-based MacDowell, the nation’s first artist residency program, elected four new board members, including Julius Tapper, who heads inclusive innovation and equity-centered design at the Ethos and Doblin divisions of Deloitte. | More


From left, artists Tourmaline and Helena Uambembe. | Photo courtesy The Baloise Group

Awards & Honors

South African artist Helena Uambembe and New York-based Tourmaline won the Baloise Art Prize at the Swiss edition of Art Basel today. The art fair’s biggest artist award includes $30,000 and the acquisition and donation of works by Tourmaline and Uambembe to the Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt (MMK) and Mudam, the Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg. | More

Ethiopian artist Tegene Kunbi won the 2022 Grand Prix Léopold Sédar SENGHOR, the main prize at Dak’Art, 14th Biennale of Contemporary African Art in Dakar, from May 19-June 21. | Contemporary And

Tiffany E. Barber (right) won the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Director’s Essay Prize. An assistant professor of Africana studies and art history at the University of Delaware, Barber was recognized for “Narcissister, a Truly Kinky Artist,” her essay published in the spring 2020 issue of Art Journal. The prize includes $3,000 and a Sept. 9 ceremony at the Washington, D.C., museum, where she will deliver a related paper (“Black Women’s Visual Alterity”). | More

Public Art

In Miami, Fla., six artists are raising awareness about mass incarceration and calling for judicial reform. “8×5” is a public art exhibition organized by Art at a Time Like This in collaboration with Save Art Space. (The title references the dimensions of an average prison cell.) Works by Guerrilla Girls, Shepard Fairey, Trenton Doyle Hancock, as well as Sherrill Roland and poet Faylita Hicks, who have direct experience with incarceration, are taking over billboards and bus stops across Miami (June 13-July 20) and will subsequently travel through 2023 to New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. | More


Sherrill Roland (@sherrillroland)⁠. Miami Locations: NW 1st St & NW Miami Ct; SW 1st Ave & SW 1st St; W Flagler St & NW 2nd Ave

More News

On June 13, the Smithsonian Board of Regents voted to deaccession 29 Benin bronzes from the collection of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian said the bronzes were “removed” in 1897 during the British raid of Benin City and will repatriated to Nigeria via its National Commission for Museums and Monuments. | More

As one American and European museum after another announces the repatriation of objects stolen during the colonial period from West African nations including Nigeria and Benin, Chidi Nwaubani has launched a project called “Looty” seeking his own form of reclamation and ownership restoration. He is visiting Western museums, making 3-D images of stolen artifacts, and selling them as NFTs with a portion of the proceeds going to funding grants for young African artists aged 25 and under. | Reuters


Brandywine Workshop and Archives (BWA) in Philadelphia, Pa., seeks an executive director. Founded in 1972, BWA is a nonprofit visual arts institution that promotes the fine art of printmaking, working primarily with artists of color through printmaking residencies, exhibitions, educational programming, and other initiatives. Succeeding retiring founder Allan L. Edmunds, the executive director is a foundational role responsible for staff management, programming and institutional advancement/fundraising, strategic planning, financial management, and operations. Originally June 17, the application deadline has been extended to widen the pool of qualified candidates considered and is ongoing through the summer or until an adequate number of applications is received. | More here and here


On June 14, the San Diego City Council voted to designate a Black Arts and Culture District in the neighborhood of Encanto. The official district will span multiple blocks along Imperial Avenue, from 61st to 69th Streets. Envisioned as a cultural destination with public art installations, special funding will also promote economic opportunities in the historically Black area. This news report from February provides background about the community and the proposed district, which has now been approved unanimously by the city council. | Video by CBS8


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