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

RASHID JOHNSON, “New Poetry,” 2023 (black steel, ceramics, grow lights, plants, wood, shea butter, books, films on CRT monitors, 190 x 359 1/2 x 65 inches / 482.6 x 913 x 165 cm). | © Rashid Johnson. Photo by Max Touhey


The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York commissioned Rashid Johnson to create a new work for its renovated ground-floor restaurant space, now home to a Frenchette Bakery and cafe. Johnson’s “New Poetry” (2023) is a black steel indoor/outdoor installation. Standing 15-feet high and 30-feet wide, the sculptural work features shelves of plants, grow lights, ceramic vessels, books, shea butter, and monitors playing video works. In December, “Nourish,” a large, wall size ceramic tile work by artist Dyani White Hawk will be installed in the museum’s eight-floor restaurant, which is scheduled to open in 2024. (11/1) | New York Times

“Poetry is a vehicle for the exploration of critical concerns, aesthetics, and the romantic. It is a mode that acts as a mirror of all other mediums. I consider this sculpture to be a poem.” — Rashid Johnson

An outpost of the Victoria & Albert Museum, V&A East is a forthcoming storehouse and museum at East Bank in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London. V&A East announced its inaugural exhibition will be “The Music Is Black: A British Story,” showcasing 125 years of Black music in Britain. The launch of the exhibition coincides with the spring 2025 opening of the museum. Five initial members of the museum’s cultural council, including artist Yinka Shonibare, were also named, and new brand identity, designed by The Face’s creative agency, was introduced. Gus Casely-Hayford is the director of the forthcoming V&A East. Previously, he was director of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., from 2018-19. (11/1) | More

Awards & Honors

The National Portrait Gallery in London announced the winners of the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023 and portraits of Black people took top honors. London-based Serena Brown‘s “me nana fie (my grandma’s house)” (March 2022), at right, was awarded the new £8,000 Taylor Wessing Photographic Commission. Last year, Brown visited her family in Accra, Ghana, returning for the first time since she was two, and captured a candid, casual, and engaging portrait of her sister and a young boy they recently met sitting on the porch. Alexandre Silberman won first prize for “Diena” (July 2022) and Gilleam Trapenberg received second prize for “Kisha and LaDarayon” (March 2023). The Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023 exhibition (Nov. 9, 2023-Feb. 25, 2024) is currently on view at the museum, featuring 58 portraits by 51 photographers, ranging from amateurs to professionals, including the prize winners. (11/6) | More

The winner of the Eye Art & Film Prize 2023 is artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley. The prize includes 30,000 Euros to support the production of new work and an exhibition at the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. She received the honor on Nov. 10 at the museum. Based in New Orleans, La., Bradley’s award-winning work includes the multichannel film installation “America” (2019) and “Time” (2020), an Oscar-nominated documentary feature. She was selected for the prize based “her courageous, visually compelling work, which takes on themes including racism and exclusion with exceptional energy.” (11/2) | More

Monica de Miranda (left) won the first edition of the EXPOSED Grant for Contemporary Photography at a Nov. 4 award ceremony at the Gallerie d’Italia in Turin, Italy. de Miranda received a prize of 20,000 Euros and the opportunity to present an exhibition at EXPOSED: Torino Foto Festival, a new international photography festival scheduled for May 2-June 2, 2024, in Turin. A Portuguese artist and filmmaker of Angolan descent, she works at the intersection of documentary and fiction, exploring politics, history, gender, space, and memory. | More

IMAGE: Above right, SERENA BROWN, “me nana fie (my grandmother’s house),” March 2022 (chromogenic print). | © Serena Brown


Kaloki Nyamai. | Photo by Nii Odzenma


Painter Kaloki Nyamai (above) joined James Cohan in New York. His debut solo exhibition with the gallery will be presented in March 2024. Born in Kitui, Kenya, Nyamai lives and works in Nairobi. He was one of four artists featured in the Kenyan Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. Nyamai is now represented by James Cohan in collaboration with Barbara Thumm Gallery in Berlin, Germany. (11/7) | More


The Valerie J. Maynard Foundation launched a new internship in collaboration with the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). Honoring the legacy of Baltimore-based artist Valerie J. Maynard (1937–2022), who died last year, the idea for the internship was generated by Maynard herself with the goal of extending her longstanding role as an educator and mentor committed to supporting new generations. The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship officially launched this fall with two interns. Working with both the museum and the foundation, the paid opportunity provides experiences across research, preservation, exhibition development, and the artist’s estate. The next cohort will be selected by BMA and the foundation through an open call and interview process. Future interns will receive a stipend of an undisclosed sum for a semester of work. (11/8) | More


“As We Rise: Sounds from the Black Atlantic,” LP format, 12 tracks. Cover: SAMUEL FOSSO, “’70s Lifestyle, 1975–78.” | © Samuel Fosso, Courtesy the artist and JM Patras, Paris. | Published by Aperture, Oct. 26, 2023


Organized by Aperture, the international traveling exhibition “As We Rise: Photography From the Black Atlantic” is drawn from the Wedge Collection, which was established by Kenneth Montague in 1997. Currently on view at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., the show is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog and now the project has a soundtrack. “As We Rise: Sounds from the Black Atlantic” is the first record released by Aperture. A self portrait by Cameroonian-born, Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso graces the cover. Montague compiled the LP’s tracklist. The selection of classic and contemporary Black music includes British funk group Cymande, Jamaican dancehall legend Tenor Saw, South African artist-singer-activist Miriam Makeba, and The Dramatics, a 1970s American soul group. (10/24) | More


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