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

Conrad Egyir in his studio, 2024. Shown, at left, “Milk, Honey and Refuge,” 2024 (oil, acrylic, and mounted wood, on canvas, 77 x 60 inches / 198.1 x 152.4 cm). | Courtesy the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery


Conrad Egyir Joined a New Gallery
Miles McEnery Gallery in New York, N.Y., announced its representation of Conrad Egyir (b. 1989). Ghana-born Egyir is based in Detroit, Mich. The artist’s narrative, multimedia portraits explore the identity and personas of his subjects through a variety of signifiers, including “religious symbols, Ghanaian visual language, migration ephemera, and nods to Black creative luminaries.” Egyir’s work was featured in Miles McEnery’s booth at EXPO Chicago earlier this month. (4/17) | More


Remembering Designer Leader Lisa Hunt
Lisa Hunt, a co-founder of Black Artists + Design Guild, died Jan. 20 in Maplewood, N.J., from a rare muscle cancer called leiomyosarcoma. She was 55. Hunt spent 20 years in the magazine industry, where her experience included serving as creative director at Essence magazine. She transitioned her career in 2014, becoming an artist and designer focused on screenprinting, painting, and collage. Her signature graphic patterns featuring geometric forms and gold leaf accents were inspired by West African textiles, African American quilt designs, Art Deco, and Gustav Klimt. Last spring, Hunt’s work was included in “Too Much Is Just Right: The Legacy of Pattern and Decoration,” a group exhibition at Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina. Hunt was also featured among five New York area designers Elle Decor (November 2023) suggested big brands should be seeking out for collaborations. (1/31) | Hyperallergic and Elle Decor


African Art Curator Annissa Malvoisin Officially Joins Brooklyn Museum Staff
The Brooklyn Museum announced the appointment of Annissa Malvoisin (right) as associate curator for Arts of Africa. Previously, Malvoisin was a Bard Graduate Center/Brooklyn Museum postdoctoral fellow in the Arts of Africa (2021-24). During her tenure, she co-curated the “Africa Fashion” (2023) exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Malvoisin hails from Toronto, Canada. Her prior experience includes a multi-year internship at the Royal Ontario Museum, where she concentrated on African art. “It is absolutely thrilling to be part of an innovative team dedicated to unique storytelling and high-level scholarship,” Malvoisin said in a statement. “I am eager to continue contributing to the Brooklyn Museum’s remarkable African art collection through interpretation that highlights the ancient world, the worldwide diaspora, and contemporary perspectives.” Malvoisin officially started in her new role at the Brooklyn Museum in February. (4/23) | More

Nelson-Atkins Museum Hired a New Curator of African Art
Rachel Kabukala was appointed associate curator of African art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Mo. Kabukala previously worked for five years at the museum rising to curatorial assistant in the African art department (2014-19). She departed to pursue her Ph.D., in art history with a focus on African studies at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. During her time away, she engaged in a number of curatorial and research projects at Indiana University, the College of Visual Arts & Design Galleries at the University of Texas in Denton, and Irma Stern Museum at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In January, Kabukala began working remotely in her new role at the Nelson-Atkins and officially returned to Kansas City earlier this month. (4/9) | More

IMAGE: Above right, Annissa Malvoisin. | Photo by Liz Ligon, Courtesy Brooklyn Museum


Artist Michael C. Thorpe pictured with “house Lou Jones built,” 2024 (quilting cotton, batting, thread, 50 x 80 inches). | THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion Art, Photo by George Almaraz


EXPO Chicago Announced Purchase Prizes
Each year, EXPO Chicago facilitates institutional acquisitions of works featured at the art fair, with funding from its sponsors. This year, Northern Trust supported acquisitions for three museums: High Museum of Art was awarded a work by Natia Lemay from Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles; the Milwaukee Art Museum received a work by Michelle S. Cho from Fragment gallery in New York; and a work by Braxton Garneau was added to the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The acquisitions also included the inaugural purchase prize sponsored by Macerich’s Fashion Outlets of Chicago. The shopping center commissioned a large-scale quilt work by Michael C. Thorpe for its holdings, THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion. “house Lou Jones built” (2024) is an imaginative interpretation of Thorpe’s burgeoning practice and the home studio of his mentor, artist Lou Jones. Thorpe lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work was showcased by Chicago’s Anthony Gallery at EXPO Chicago. (4/12) | More

Minia Biabiany Wins $100,000 Moving Image Award
Artist and filmmaker Minia Biabiany (b. 1988), left, of Guadalupe is the recipient of a handsome new moving image prize. Initiated by the Han Nefkens Foundation, The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach – Moving Image Commission 2024 awards $100,000 for the creation of new work. Biabiany will produce three editions, the first focusing on ecology, “exploring the increasing urgencies related to the environmental crisis engulfing Planet Earth, amplified by humankind!s unsustainable reliance on the natural habitat.” The commission prize is a collaboration among the Han Nefkens Foundation; MACBA, Barcelona; MUAC, UNAM, Mexico City, and The Bass Museum. (4/11) | More

IMAGE: Above left, Minia Biabiany. | Photo © Minia Biabiany


Sarah Elizabeth Lewis Speaking at Pratt Commencement
Art and cultural historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis will be among the honorary degree recipients at Pratt Institute’s May 15 commencement at Radio City Music Hall. An associate professor at Harvard University and founder of the multi-platform Vision & Justice project, Lewis will also deliver the commencement address. (4/16) | More


Published Summer 2016 and edited by Sarah Lewis, the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture was produced with two different covers: A color portrait by Awol Erizku, “Untitled (Forces of Nature #1),” 2014; and a black-and-white image of Martin Luther King Jr., with his father, Martin Luther King, and his son, Martin Luther King III, in Atlanta on March 22, 1963, by Richard Avedon.


Vision & Justice is Now a Book Series
In 2016, Harvard University professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis guest-edited the “Vision & Justice” edition of Aperture magazine. The issue explored “the role of images in constructions of citizenship, race, and justice.” The tenets of the project have also been the focus of public conversations and university courses, and have most recently inspired a new book series published by Aperture. The series is co-edited by Lewis with Leigh Raiford and Deborah Willis. “Race Stories: Essays on the Power of Images,” the first posthumous collection of writings by Maurice Berger (1956–2020) will launch the series in October, followed by monographs of artists Doug Harris (b. 1943) and Coreen Simpson (b. 1942). (4/4) | New York Times


Artists are Focusing on Democracy and the Presidential Election
People for the American Way (PFAW) is collaborating with prominent artists, launching a get-out-the-vote campaign designed to defend democracy, reclaim fundamental freedoms and rights, and defeat Donald Trump in the November presidential election. Co-chaired by Carrie Mae Weems and Shepard Fairey, Artists For Democracy 2024 is a multi-platform project focused on battleground states. The campaign will produce billboards, visual prints, custom-made merchandise, radio ads, digital ads, bus wraps, and celebrity videos. In addition to Weems and Fairey, more than 20 artists are participating, including Victoria Cassinova, Titus Kaphar, Christine Sun Kim, Beverly McIver, and Hank Willis Thomas. Television producer Norman Lear (1922-2023) founded PFAW in 1980 to oppose the Christian right and promote “truth, justice, and the American way.” (4/2) | More


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