THE YEAR AHEAD is brimming with unprecedented opportunities to explore the work of historic and contemporary artists. Among the most anticipated are landmark surveys of Sargent Claude Johnson, the first Black artist active in California to gain national renown, and Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, the first woman of color to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design. Another headliner is “The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism,” curated by Denise Murrell at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum surveys of Awol Erizku, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Lubaina Himid and retrospectives of Stanley Whitney, Robert Earl Paige, and Joyce J. Scott are also on the horizon.

The year 2024 marks the centennial of James Baldwin’s birth and inspired a new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Marking another centennial milestone, 100 years after its founding, the Morgan Library & Museum is exploring the life and work of the Black librarian/curator who built the institution’s foundational collection. Meanwhile, new monographs explore the portraiture of Barkley L. Hendricks, photography of Ernest Cole, and the activist letterpress practice of Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

An array of important books, lectures, and exhibitions on view from California to Texas, New York, and beyond are forthcoming this year. In chronological order, the following selections highlight what to look forward to in 2024:


“Black Artists in America: From Civil Rights to the Bicentennial,” By Celeste-Marie Bernier with Earnestine Lovelle Jenkins, and Alaina Simone (Yale University Press, 144 pages), Hardcover

BOOK | Black Artists in America: From Civil Rights to the Bicentennial, By Celeste-Marie Bernier with Earnestine Lovelle Jenkins, and Alaina Simone. | Published Jan. 9, 2024

Following the publication of “Black Artists in America: From the Great Depression to Civil Rights” in 2022, this book is the second in a three-volume series. Focusing on the 1950s to 70s, the publication explores how the work of artists such as Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Ed Clark, Beauford Delaney, Norman Lewis, Howardena Pindell, Alma Thomas, Charles White, Kenneth Victor Young, and members of AfriCOBRA responded to the social, political, and cultural climate of the times. Essays about art historian James Porter; artist and collector Merton Simpson; and Spiral, the short-lived artist collective (1963-65), are featured in the fully illustrated volume. The catalog accompanies a traveling exhibition of the same name organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tenn., and curated by Earnestine Jenkins. It recently opened at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif. (Feb. 4-May 19, 2024).


“Ernest Cole: The True America,” Photographs by Ernest Cole, Text contributions by Raoul Peck, James Sanders, and Leslie M. Wilson, Design by Oliver Barstow (Aperture, 312 pages), Hardcover

BOOK | Ernest Cole: The True America, Photographs by Ernest Cole. Text by Raoul Peck, James Sanders, and Leslie M. Wilson | Published Jan. 6, 2024

South African photographer Ernest Cole captured the atrocities of apartheid in the landmark publication “House of Bondage,” first published in 1967. In the years following, he documented racial disparities in American cities and rural communities. The images were thought to be lost until the negatives were located in Sweden in 2017. This publication is the first to showcase the remarkable trove of photographs, shedding light on the state of race and freedom in the United States in the periods immediately before and after the 1968 assassination of Marin Luther King Jr.


STANLEY WHITNEY (American, born 1946), “No to Prison Life,” 2016 (oil on linen, 96 x 96 inches / 244 x 244 cm), Signed and dated verso. | Artwork © Stanley Whitney, Photo by Adam Reich

EXHIBITION | Stanley Whitney: How High the Moon @ Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Buffalo, N.Y. | Feb. 9-May 26, 2024

The first career-spanning museum retrospective of Stanley Whitney presents five decades of abstraction, from “early breakthroughs to mature formal experiments.” Large and small paintings, drawings, and prints will be on view with a selection of the Whitney’s sketchbooks. The exhibition is traveling to Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minn. (Nov. 14, 2024–March 16, 2025) and ICA Boston (April 17–Sept. 1, 2025) and includes a new exhibition catalog.


AMY SHERALD (born Columbus, Ga., 1973), “Deliverance,” 2022 (oil on linen, two parts: each 108 1/4 × 124 1/4 inches / 274.8 × 315.5 cm). | The Dean Collection, Courtesy of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. © Amy Sherald, Courtesy of Amy Sherald and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Joseph Hyde

EXHIBITION | Giants: Art From the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys @ Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y. | Feb. 10–July 7, 2024

The first major museum exhibition of the collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys features nearly 40 works by “giant” figures, including Ernie Barnes, Kwame Brathwaite, Jordan Casteel, Barkley L. Hendricks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Odili Donald Odita, Ebony G. Patterson, Deborah Roberts, Jamel Shabazz, Amy Sherald, Malick Sidibé, Lorna Simpson, Henry Taylor, and Kehinde Wiley. Among the highlights: iconic photographs by Gordon Parks and large-scale paintings by Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Titus Kaphar, and Meleko Mokgosi, and a massive sculpture by Arthur Jafa. Curated by Kimberli Gant, the exhibition will be accompanied by a new catalog.


NANCY ELIZABETH PROPHET, “Walk Among the Lilies,” circa 1931-32 (carved and polychromed wood panel, approx. 24 x 18 x2 1/4 inches). | Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund. RISD Museum, Providence, R.I.

EXHIBITION | Nancy Elizabeth Prophet: I Will Not Bend An Inch @ RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I. | Feb. 17-Aug. 4, 2024

Born in Providence, R.I., to parents of African American and Narragansett descent, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet (1890-1960) was the first woman of color to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1918. She lived, studied, and worked in Paris from the early 1920s to the early 1930s. Upon her return to the United States, she taught for a decade in the Spelman College art department, where she was a founding faculty member. The first museum survey of Prophet includes marble and wood sculptures, painted wood friezes, watercolors, and photographic documentation of lost or destroyed sculptures. A new fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition, which will travel to the Brooklyn Museum and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in 2025.

Nancy Elizabeth Prophet’s “work reflects skills developed through academic training with a distinctly Modernist sensibility.”


SARGENT CLAUDE JOHNSON, “Chester,” 1931 (terracotta, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 7 inches). | Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Albert M. Bender Collection, bequest of Albert M. Bender. Photo by Don Ross

EXHIBITION | Sargent Claude Johnson @ The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, Calif. | Feb. 17-May 20, 2024

The first Black artist based in California to gain national regard, Sargent Claude Johnson worked in a range of mediums, but is best known for his modernist sculptural portraits. This career survey presents 41 works, including a monumental organ screen from the Huntington’s collection and works on loan from other public and private collections, many being shown publicly for the first time in decades. Spanning the 1920s to 1960s, the exhibition is organized in six sections exploring several aspects of Johnson’s practice, including his role in the Black Renaissance, contributions to the federal Works Project Administration in California, works reflecting his travels in Latin America, and examples of his experimentation with materials such as fired enamel. Curated by Dennis Carr with Jacqueline Francis and John P. Bowles, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.


MICHAEL ARMITAGE, “Conjestina,” 2017 (oil on Lubugo bark cloth, 86 3/4 × 67 1/16 × 1 5/8 inches / 220.3 × 170.3 × 4.1 cm). | © Michael Armitage. Photo © White Cube by Ben Westoby

EXHIBITION | The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure @ National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. | Feb. 22-May 19, 2024

A survey of 22 leading contemporary UK and U.S. artists, this exhibition considers the presence and absence of the Black figure in Western art history through the lens of three key themes: double consciousness; persistence of history; and kinship and connection. Curated by Ekow Eshun, 55 paintings, sculpture, and drawings made between 2000 and the present, are featured, with a selection of works displayed publicly for the first time. The participating artists are: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Jordan Casteel, Noah Davis, Godfried Donkor, Kimathi Donkor, Denzil Forrester, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Chris Ofili, Jennifer Packer, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Thomas J Price, Amy Sherald, Lorna Simpson, Henry Taylor, and Barbara Walker.


MARILYN NANCE, FESTAC ’77 closing ceremony: USA contingent, Simba Wachanga Cultural Ensemble, 1977. | © 2024 Marilyn Nance / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

EXHIBITION | Marilyn Nance: The Women of FESTAC ’77 @ Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, Calif. | Feb. 24-April 27, 2024

Photographer Marilyn Nance was only 21 years old when she documented one of the most profound Black cultural moments of the 20th century. More than 15,000 artists, musicians, writers, and cultural figures from dozens of nations gathered for FESTAC ’77, the Second Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria (Jan. 15-Feb. 12, 1977). Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Nance attended as the official photographer for the U.S. delegation. She made more than 1,500 photographs, which serve as an invaluable record of the festival. Following her recent book, “Marilyn Nance: Last Day in Lagos,” this gallery exhibition presents a curated selection of images focused on women artists who attended, including Viola Burley, Carole Byard, Ajuba Douglas, Charlotte Ka, Samella Lewis, Valerie Maynard, Winnie Owens-Hart and Faith Ringgold, among many others. Also featured are archival materials from Betye Saar’s collection, reflecting her FESTAC ’77 experience, including her sketches, personal photos, datebook, official festival documents, and other ephemera. The Nance exhibition coincides with “Betye Saar: New Work,” which is also on view at the gallery.


WILLIAM HENRY JOHNSON (American, 1901–1970), “Woman in Blue,” circa 1943 (oil on burlap, Framed: 35 × 27 inches / 88.9 × 68.6 cm). | Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Permanent Loan from the National Collection of Fine Art, 1969.013. Courtesy Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

EXHIBITION | The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism @ Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y. | Feb. 25–July 28, 2024

Millions of African Americans moved away from the segregated South during the Great Migration. This much-anticipated exhibition explores the way in which artists who landed in Harlem, Chicago, and other “new Black cities,” portrayed modern life in the 1920s-40s. About 160 paintings, sculptures, and drawings by the likes of Charles Alston, Aaron Douglas, Meta Warrick Fuller, Palmer Hayden, Bert Hurley, William H. Johnson, Archibald Motley, Jr., Winold Reiss, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Laura Wheeler Waring are featured. Their work is presented in context with European counterparts whose work portrayed Black subjects, including Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso, as well as Germaine Casse, Jacob Epstein, and Ronald Moody, a Jamaican-born British artist. A significant portion of the works on view were drawn from the collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Curated by Denise Murrell, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.

“The exhibition will establish the Harlem Renaissance and its radically new development of the modern Black subject as central to the development of international modern art.”


LUBAINA HIMID, “Pointless Heroism,” 2023 (acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 72 x 72 inches / 183 x 183 centimeters). | Artwork © Lubaina Himid. Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Image courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Photo by Andy Keate 

EXHIBITION | Lubaina Himid: Make Do and Mend @ The Contemporary Austin in Austin, Texas. | March 1-July 21, 2024

British artist Lubaina Himid works across paintings, prints, drawings and installations exploring the legacy of colonialism, institutional politics, Black representation and identity, and Black creativity, particularly the contributions of Black women artists. An educator, historian, curator and activist, Himid is a pioneer in the UK Black Arts Movement. In 2017, she became the first Black woman and the oldest artist to win the Turner Prize. This presentation is the result of Himid receiving the 2024 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize. The works on view span more than four decades and include two new bodies of work. In September, the show will travel to FLAG Art Foundation in New York. A catalog documenting the exhibition is forthcoming in 2025.


KENNY RIVERO, “Olafs and Chanclas,” 2021 (oil on canvas. 72 x 72 inches). | © Kenny Rivero. Collection of Michael Sherman. Photograph by Ed Mumford, Courtesy of the Artist and Charles Moffett, New York

EXHIBITION | Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940 @ Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas. | March 10-July 28, 2024

Delving into the history of Surrealism in Caribbean and African diasporic art, more than 50 works dating from the 1940s to present are on view in this expansive survey. The show is inspired by “1943: Surrealism and Us,” an essay by Suzanne Césaire (1915-1966), that was published in Tropiques, a literary journal she co-founded in her native Martinique (1941-45). Césaire was a French writer, scholar, and activist engaged with Surrealism, Négritude, feminist theory, and the French Caribbean decolonial perspective. Curated by María Elena Ortiz, the exhibition explores Caribbean aesthetics, Afrosurrealism, and Afrofuturism. Working across a range of mediums, featured artists include Suzanne Césaire and her husband Aimé Césaire, Benny Andrews, Belkis Ayón, Firelei Báez, April Bey, Myrlande Constant, Eldzier Cortor, Emory Douglas, Minnie Evans, Ja’Tovia Gary, David Hammons, Hugh Hayden, Arthur Jafa, Wifredo Lam, Simone Leigh, Hew Locke, Kerry James Marshall, Rene Ménil, Toni Morrison, Wangechi Mutu, Lorraine O’Grady, Zak Ové, Naudline Pierre, Kenny Rivero, Betye Saar, and Bob Thompson.


“Barkley L. Hendricks: Solid!,” Edited by Zoé Whitley with contributions by John Jennings, Duro Olowu, Richard J. Powell, Susan Thompson, Susan Hendricks, and Trevor Schoonmaker (Skira, 300 pages), Hardcover

BOOK | Barkley L. Hendricks: Solid! Edited by Zoé Whitley. | Expected March 12, 2024

Over the course of his career, Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) produced an important body of work with his masterful portraits, dating from the 1960s, garnering the greatest attention. In his lifetime, one major volume explored his work, the exhibition catalog “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool,” which was first published in 2008. Posthumously, many more notable books have considered his oeuvre, including the recent exhibition catalog “Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at The Frick” and a series of publications dedicated to the artist’s photography, works on paper, basketball abstractions, and landscape paintings. Edited by Zoé Whitley, “Barkley L. Hendricks: Solid!” concludes the series. The powerful monograph documents the full arc of his distinctive portraiture. Many rarely seen paintings and photographs of subjects that inspired the final works are featured. The fully illustrated volume also includes essays by Whitley, Richard J. Powell, John Jennings, Duro Olowu, and Susan Thompson, alongside a rare conversation between Trevor Schoonmaker and Susan Hendricks, the artist widow. “Solid!” is available as a single volume or part of a boxed set.


“All These Liberations: Women Artists in the Eileen Harris Norton Collection,” Edited by Taylor Renee Aldridge, with contributions by Sophia Belsheim, Susan Cahan, Chelsea Frazier, Thelma Golden, Genevieve Hyacinthe, Kellie Jones, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Kris Kuramitsu, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Steven Nelson, Legacy Russell, Lorna Simpson, and Lowery Stokes Sims (Marquand Books, 272 pages), Hardcover

BOOK | All These Liberations: Women Artists in the Eileen Harris Norton Collection, Edited by Taylor Renee Aldridge. | Expected March 12, 2024

Former educator Eileen Harris Norton is a Los Angeles-based collector, activist, and patron of the arts. She is also a co-founder, with artist Mark Bradford and Allan Dicastro, of Art + Practice, the foundation and exhibition space in Leimert Park. This fully illustrated volume hones in on the women artists represented in Norton’s extraordinary art collection, 50 artists including Belkis Ayón, Sonia Boyce, Sonya Clark, Genevieve Gaignard, Samella Lewis, Sandra McCormick, Julie Mehretu, Adia Millett, Wangechi Mutu, Senga Nengudi, Shirin Neshat, Lorraine O’Grady, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Adrian Piper, Calida Rawles, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Amy Sherald, Doris Salcedo, Alma Thomas, Ruth Waddy, Paula Wilson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Essays by Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Steven Nelson, and Legacy Russell, among others, explore the artists and the political and cultural themes raised in their work, from memory and spirituality to women’s rights and Black feminism. Edited by Taylor Renee Aldridge, the volume features a foreword by Lorna Simpson; interview with Norton conducted by Thelma Golden; roundtable discussion among Susan Cahan, Kellie Jones, Kris Kuramitsu, and Lowery Stokes Sims highlighting the influence of Norton on their careers and the art world; and a chronology of the collector’s remarkable life.


Clockwise, from far left, Co-curators by Meg Onli and Chrissie Iles. | Photo by Bryan Derballa; Isaac Julien, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, Karyn Olivier, Suzanne Jackson, Charisse Pearlina Weston, JJJJJerome Ellis, Dionne Lee, and Torkwase Dyson. | All courtesy Whitney Museum

BIENNIAL | Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing @ Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y. | March 20- 2024

Co-curated by Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli and themed “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” this year’s biennial includes 69 individual artists and two collectives. Twenty-one of the artists are Black, representing about 30 percent of the participating artists. The overwhelming majority of the Black artists are women, including pioneers Suzanne Jackson, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, and Mavis Pusey (1928-2019). The artist list also includes Isaac Julien, Towkwase Dyson, JJJJJerome Ellis, Nikita Gale, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, Dionne Lee, Ligia Lewis, Karyn Olivier, Tourmaline, and Charisse Pearlina Weston, among others. Most of the artists will present their work in the galleries and several will be featured in special film and performance programming available at the museum and online. Collaborating with Iles and Onli, the performance program is guest curated by Taja Cheek, and the film program is guest curated by Korakrit Arunanondchai, asinnajaq, Greg de Cuir Jr, and Zackary Drucker.


JOYCE J. SCOTT, “Dead Albino Boy for Sale,” 2021-2022 (glass and plastic beads, thread, wire, 31 × 18 × 13 inches / 78.7 × 45.7 × 33 cm.). | Image Courtesy Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore. © Joyce Scott. Courtesy Goya Contemporary, Photo By Mitro Hood

EXHIBITION | Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams @ Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Md. | March 24-July 14, 2024

Working with countless beads, glass, and other materials, Baltimore artist Joyce J. Scott creates resplendent works that explore Black history and culture, American politics, racism, violence, and gender issues, always with candor, often with humor. This 50-year retrospective presents nearly 150 works, including sculpture, neckpieces, prints, performance footage, a newly commissioned installation, and heirloom quilts made by Scott, her late mother, and other family members, along with ephemera from the artist’s archive. Organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the Seattle Art Museum in close collaboration with Scott, “Walk a Mile in My Dreams” will be documented by a fully illustrated exhibition catalog. At BMA, the exhibition coincides with “Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds, and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott” (through April 28), which explores the work of Scott’s mother. Meanwhile, a concurrent exhibition, “Joyce J. Scott: Messages” is on view at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif. (Jan. 28-June 3, 2024)


ROBERT EARL PAIGE, “Universal Colours of Paige,” 1990 (hand painted and dyed (batik) Crepe de Chine silk. | © Robert Earl Paige

EXHIBITION | United Colors of Robert Earle Paige @ Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Ill. | April 6-Oct. 27, 2024

The highly graphic work of legendary Chicago artist/designer Robert Earl Paige is informed by West African symbolism, modern paintings, and “the patterns, colors, and materials of everyday Black life.” The largest exhibition of Paige to date presents six decades of textile designs and painted fabric alongside recent works spanning collage, clay, wall/floor paintings, and drawings produced during his Radicle Residency at Hyde Park Art Center (2022-23). The show is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide series of programs and exhibitions happening through 2025.


Lorraine O’Grady. | Photo by Lelanie Foster, Courtesy the artist and Mariane Ibrahim gallery

EXHIBITION | Lorraine O’Grady: The Knight, or Lancela Palm-and-Steel @ Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago, Ill. | April 10-May 25, 2024

Lorraine O’Grady joined Mariane Ibrahim in September 2023 and will have her first solo show with the gallery this spring. A New York-based conceptual artist, O’Grady employs the theory of both/and as a framework for institutional and cultural critique. Working across writing, photography, curating, installation, and video, she is best known for a pair of landmark performances, “Mlle Bourgeoise Noire” (1980-83) and “Art Is..” (1983), which featured 15 actors and dancers riding on a float in Harlem’s African-American Day Parade and wading into the crowd to pose with onlookers in empty antique gold frames. The exhibition will showcase select works from two photography series, “Announcement” (2020) and “Body is the Ground of My Experience” (1991/2019). A Black woman-owned gallery, Marian Ibrahim also has locations Mexico City and Paris, France.

“Lorraine’s artistic journey has been marked by resilience, innovation, and a profound exploration of identity, culture, and history. I am excited and eager to champion and honor Lorraine’s legacy.”
— Mariane Ibrahim


Anna Deavere Smith. | Photo by Jeff Riedel

LECTURES | Anna Deavere Smith: 2024 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts @ National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. | April 28, May 5, May 12, May 19, 2024

Anna Deavere Smith, renowned actress, playwright, and professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, is presenting the 2024 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts. Smith’s four-part lecture is titled: Chasing That Which Is Me and That Which Is Not Me. Since 1949, Mellon lectures at the National Gallery of Art have aimed “to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the Fine Arts.” Art historian Richard J. Powell delivered the lectures in 2022.


“Glenn Ligon: Distinguishing Piss from Rain: Writings and Interviews,” By Glenn Ligon, Edited by Glenn Ligon and James Hoff with an introduction by Thomas (T.) Jean Jean (Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 400 pages), Paperback

BOOK | Glenn Ligon: Distinguishing Piss from Rain: Writings and Interviews, By Glenn Ligon. | Expected April 30, 2024

Glenn Ligon is known for his text-based paintings, meditations on race, history, culture, and sexuality that draw on the writings of James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, and Richard Pryor, among others. An artist and an accomplished writer, Ligon has published an array of essays and interviews, offering insightful observations about art, society, and the work of his peers (Chris Ofili, Julie Mehretu) and elder artists (David Hammons, Phillip Guston). With an introduction by Museum of Modern Art curator Thomas (T.) Jean Jean, this 400-page volume gathers two decades of writing by Ligon.


LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER, Sandra Gould Ford Wearing Her Work Jacket and Hard Hat in Her Meditation Room in Homewood, PA, from On the Making of Steel Genesis: Sandra Gould Ford, 2017. | © 2023 LaToya Ruby Frazier, Courtesy the artist and Gladstone gallery

EXHIBITION | LaToya Ruby Frazier: Monuments of Solidarity @ Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y. | May 12–Sep 7, 2024

Blending documentary photography and activism, LaToya Ruby Frazier’s work brings attention to the specific experiences of communities in crisis and more universal socio-political issues, such as access to affordable healthcare, livable wages, and clean air and water. Her first museum survey presents several bodies of work, across photography, text, moving images, and performance, dating from 2001 to 2024. The featured series include, among others, The Notion of Family (2001–14); Flint Is Family in Three Acts (2016–20); On the Making of Steel Genesis: Sandra Gould Ford (2017); More Than Conquerors: A Monument for Community Health Workers of Baltimore, Maryland (2022); and The Last Cruze (2019), from the collection of MoMA. Shown for the first time, a “monument” to labor union leader and worker’s rights activist Dolores Huerta will also be on view and a fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.


AWOL ERIZKU, “Arrangement for the historians who’ve re-casted Egypt in an African Context,” 2018-20 (archival pigment print). | © Awol Erizku, Courtesy the artist

EXHIBITION | Mystic Parallax: Awol Erizku @ The Momentary, Bentonville, Ark. | May 19-Oct. 13, 2024

The first museum exhibition of Awol Erizku follows the 2023 publication of “Mystic Parallax,” the coinciding catalog and the first major monograph of the artist. Erizku’s Surrealist images powerfully reinvent Black visual culture and bring new meaning to iconic symbols spanning hip hop and Egyptian history. The exhibition features photography, film, painting, sculpture, and installation, presenting work from the artist’s studio practice alongside high-concept, editorial portraits commissioned by fashion and culture magazines. Born in Ethiopia, Erizku lives and works in Los Angeles.


ZANDILE TSHABALALA, “Two Reclining Women,” 2020 (acrylic on canvas, 91.5 x 122 cm). | Courtesy Maduna Collection and Zandile Tshabalala Studio

EXHIBITION | When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting @ Kuntsmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland. | May 25-Oct. 27, 2024

Exploring Black representation and subjectivity through figuration and portraiture, this landmark exhibition presents more than 200 paintings produced since the 1920s. About 150 artists from throughout Africa and the larger diaspora are featured, including Michael Armitage, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ben Enwonwu, Jacob Lawrence, Chéri Samba, Joy Labinjo, Danielle McKinney, Archibald Motley, Kingsley Sambo, Sungi Mlengeya, Mmapula Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, Amy Sherald, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among others. Works are grouped according to six themes, such as The Everyday, Joy and Revelry, and Triumph and Emancipation. After originating at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town, South Africa, where it was on view for nearly a year (2022-23), the survey is traveling to Kuntsmuseum Basel, where its opening coincides with Art Basel. Later, the exhibition makes its U.S. debut at the de Young Museum in San Francisco (2025). Zeitz MoCAA Director and Chief Curator Koyo Kouoh is lead curator of the exhibition, which is complemented by a fully illustrated catalog.


MICKALENE THOMAS, “Din avec la main dans le miroir et jupe rouge,” 2023 (rhinestones, acrylic and glitter on canvas mounted on wood panel, 90 x 110 inches /228.6 x 279.4 cm). | © Mickalene Thomas

EXHIBITION | Mickalene Thomas: All About Love @ The Broad, Los Angeles, Calif. | May 25-Sept. 29, 2024

Mickalene Thomas’s dazzling, rhinestone-embellished paintings celebrate Black women and examine the complexities of Blackness and female identity. More than 80 works spanning mixed-media painting, collage, installation, and photography will be on view in this two-decade survey. Co-organized by The Broad and Hayward Gallery in London, in partnership with the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pa., “All About Love” is Thomas’s first major museum exhibition that will tour internationally. Each venue will present a unique version of the show, which is accompanied by a new exhibition catalog.


BEAUFORD DELANEY, James Baldwin, 1963 (pastel on paper). | National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © Estate of Beauford Delaney by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

EXHIBITION | This Morning, This Evening, So Soon: James Baldwin and the Voices of Queer Resistance @ National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. | June 7, 2024-April 27, 2025

A literary icon, James Baldwin (1924-1987) was outspoken about civil rights and America’s race problems during a time when he was unable to be his authentic, queer self in public. Curated by Hilton Als, this exhibition marks Baldwin’s centennial. The show explores his life in context with the experiences of his fellow “voices of queer resistance”: Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Barbara Jordan, Essex Hemphill, and Marlon Riggs. Featuring ephemera alongside portraits by artists Beauford Delaney, Bernard Gotfryd, Richard Avedon, Glenn Ligon, Donald Moffett, Faith Ringgold, Lorna Simpson, and Jack Whitten, the exhibition is titled after a short story by Baldwin published in the Atlantic in 1960.

Viewing Baldwin in the context of his community will reveal how his sexuality, faith, artistic curiosities and notions of masculinity—coupled with his involvement in the civil rights movement—helped define his writing and long-lasting legacy.


“Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Citizen Printer,” By Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., with foreword by Austin Kleon, and contributions by Myron Beasley and Kelly Walters (‎ Letterform Archive Books, 276 pages), Hardcover

BOOK | Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Citizen Printer, Edited by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. | Expected June 18, 2024

After working in corporate America, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., discovered the art of letterpress and devoted himself to the craft at age 40. He earned an MFA, became a professor, and launched Kennedy Prints, a community letterpress center in Detroit, Mich. Focusing on race, politics, history, capitalism, and his support for libraries, Kennedy makes text-driven work in the form of prints and posters for the masses. An artist and activist, he layers the insightful words of leading authors and social justice figures such as Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Audre Lorde (and his own wisdom as well) over boldly colored, patterned backgrounds. Designed by AND, the design studio of Gail Anderson and Joe Newton, this monograph explores Kennedy’s unique story and profound practice and features more than 500 reproductions, along with images of the artist in his studio. The publication of this volume coincides with the release of “Sista Said: Words of Wisdom from Women of Color in Social Justice & the Arts,” a set of letterpress postcards by the Kennedy.


Artists-in-residence Devin Johnson and Zohra Opoku take in the ocean views near Rock Black Sénégal. | © 2023 Kehinde Wiley and Black Rock Senegal, Photo by Abdoulaye Ndao

EXHIBITION | Black Rock Senegal @ Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, N.C. | Aug. 9, 2024-Jan. 20, 2023

Since 2019, Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal has welcomed more than 60 international artists to Accra. Works by a selection of artists who have participated in the artist-in-residence program will be on view in Charlotte, N.C., in a group exhibition curated by Dexter Wimberly. The show is part of a slate of special programming the Gantt Center is staging throughout the year in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Black Rock is collaborating with the center on three exhibitions between 2024 and 2029.


“Contextures,” Edited by Linda Goode Bryant and Marcy S. Philips, with afterword by Thomas (T.) Jean Lax (Pacific/Primary Information, 112 pages), Paperback

BOOK | Contextures, Edited by Linda Goode Bryant and Marcy S. Philips. | Exptected Sept. 10, 2024

Four years after Linda Goode Bryant founded Just Above Midtown, the gallery published a landmark exhibition catalog focused on Black artists active in post-war abstraction (1945-78) and conceptual art (1970s) at a time when their contributions were largely absent from the white-dominated canon. About two dozen artists are featured, including Frank Bowling, Ed Clark, Mel Edwards, Fred Eversley, Sam Gilliam, David Hammons, Suzanne Jackson, Senga Nengudi, Howardena Pindell, Adrian Piper, Alma Thomas, and William T. Williams. Only a few hundred copies of the original publication were printed in 1978. This new edition is published in facsimile form by Pacific, a boutique press founded by Adam Turnbull and Elizabeth Karp-Evans.


George Washington Carver working with plants. | Courtesy Tuskegee University Archives

EXHIBITION | World Without End: The George Washington Carver Project @ California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. | Sept. 18, 2024-March 2, 2025

George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943), the agricultural engineer and inventor famous for his experimentation with peanuts, was an early advocate of sustainable agriculture. For nearly half a century, Carver was a professor at Tuskegee Institute, where he was head of the agriculture department. He was also an artist whose science background factored in his practice. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view Carter’s paintings, paint samples, and lab equipment in conversation with works by contemporary artists and scientists inspired by his groundbreaking ideas. Co-curated by Cameron Shaw and Yael Lipschutz, the show will be accompanied by a catalog rife with previously unpublished archival materials and documentation about Carver’s life and work. The exhibition is part of the Getty Foundation’s citywide Pacific Standard Time initiative. Now occurring every five years and titled PST Art, the 2024 edition is themed “Art and Science Collide.”

George Washington Carver “used sustainable materials such as peanut- and clay-derived dyes and paints in his many weavings and still-life paintings.”


From left: TEBBS & NELL, East Room of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library, between 1923 and circa 1935. | The Morgan Library & Museum, ARC 1637; CLARENCE H. WHITE (1871–1925), Belle da Costa Greene, 1911. | Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies

EXHIBITION | Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy @ The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, N.Y. | Oct. 25, 2024-May 4, 2025

This exhibition explores the storied life of librarian, scholar, and curator Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950), who was Black and passed as white. J.P. Morgan (1837-1913), the American banking tycoon who financed railroads and helped organize major corporations such as U.S. Steel and General Electric, famously owned a collection of rare books, historical manuscripts, and master drawings and prints. In 1905, Morgan hired Greene as his personal librarian and she was largely responsible for assembling the exceptional collection. When Morgan died, she continued in the role under his son, and served as inaugural director, after The Morgan Library & Museum was established as a public institution on Madison Avenue in 1924. Marking The Morgan’s centennial, the exhibition presents a selection of materials and portraits that shed light on Greene’s legacy and background—her family history, education, and career, which included traveling internationally in pursuit of acquisitions.


Prospect.6 Participating Artists. | Images Courtesy the artists and Prospect New Orleans

TRIENNIAL | Prospect.6, Various Venues, New Orleans, La. | Nov. 2, 2024-Feb. 2, 2025

Curator Miranda Lash and artist Ebony G. Patterson are co-artistic directors of the forthcoming edition of Prospect New Orleans. Organized around the theme “the future is present, the harbinger is home,” the citywide, contemporary art triennial will feature mostly newly commissioned works across 20 locations in a series of institutional exhibitions, large-scale installations in public spaces, and presentations in alternative venues. The international list of 49 participating artists include Shannon Alonzo, Ewan Atkinson, Mel Chin, Bethany Collins, Myrlande Constant, Christopher Cozier, Ronald Cyrille aka B.Bird, Abigail DeVille, Jeannette Ehlers, Brendan Fernandes, Nadia Huggins, Deborah Jack, Kelley-Ann Lindo, Joan Jonas, Tessa Mars, Jeffrey Meris, Joiri Minaya, Meleko Mokgosi, Karyn Olivier, Marcel Pinas, Didier William, and Amanda Williams. Several artists live and work in New Orleans, including Hannah Chalew, Abdi Farah, L. Kasimu Harris, Ruth Owens, and Ashley Teamer. CT


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.