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

ROBERT PETERSON, “Gods favorite,” 2023 (oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches / 182.9 x 243.84 cm). | © Robert Peterson. Permanent collection of Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio. Courtesy the artist and GAVLAK


Robert Peterson Joined GAVLAK Gallery
GAVLAK gallery announced its representation of the Oklahoma artist Robert Peterson (b. 1981). Peterson’s figurative paintings explore the Black experience, centering family and community and “themes of strength, resilience, and the often unseen softer side of Black life.” He was commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to paint a portrait of the great novelist Ernest Gaines (1933-2019) for the 46th stamp in the Black Heritage Series, which was issued last year Shortly after, “Robert Peterson: Homecoming,” the rising artist’s first solo museum presentation, opened at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla. In September, a solo exhibition of the artist opens at the Wichita Art Museum in Kansas. GAVLAK has locations in Los Angeles, Calif., and Palm Beach, Fla. Peterson is among the artists the gallery is showing next week at Flaming June, a pop-up exhibition in East Hampton, N.Y. (June 28-July 7). In December, his work will also be included in GAVLAK’s presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach. The gallery’s first solo exhibition with Peterson is scheduled for November 2025 in Palm Beach. (6/20) | More


NOBEL KOTY, 2024 Ellipse Prize recipient. | Courtesy ellipse art projects


French Art Prize Goes to Nobel Koty
Nobel Koty (b. 1988), a Benin-born painter who works in self-portraiture, won the 2024 ellipse Prize. The annual award focuses on an emerging art scene in a specific geographical area. This year it was Benin. ellipse art projects, a nonprofit based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France endows, the award, which includes a production grant, professional support, a communications campaign, and an exhibition in the ellipse art projects booth at AKAA, the Also Known As Africa art fair, from Oct. 18-20, 2024. (6/18) | More

In Canada, Sobey Art Award Shortlist Announced
Following the April release of the long list of 30 artists under consideration for the 2024 Sobey Art Award, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) in Ontario announced the group has been narrowed down to a short list of six artists, one from each of the nation’s six regions. Five Black artists were on the long list. June Clark of Ontario (Toronto) is the only one that made the shortlist. Clark produces autobiographical works across photography, sculpture, and collage. An exhibition presenting works by the shortlisted artists will be on view at NGC, from Oct. 4, 2024-March 16, 2025. The winner of Canada’s most prominent contemporary art prize will be announced on Nov. 9 and receives $100,000. (6/11) | More


36th São Paulo Biennial Conceptual Team: From left, Keyna Eleison, Anna Roberta Goetz, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Alya Sebti, Thiago de Paula Souza, and Henriette Gallus. | © Fundação Bienal de São Paulo


São Paulo Biennial Names Conceptual Team
After being named chief curator of the 36th São Paulo Biennial in Brazil, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung announced the exhibition’s conceptual team. Members include co-curators Alya Sebti, Anna Roberta Goetz and Thiago de Paula Souza; co-curator at large Keyna Eleison; and strategy and communication advisor Henriette Gallus. Forthcoming announcements will name additional team members and collaborative partners and outline the curatorial focus of the biennial. The São Paulo Biennial opens in September 2025. (5/29) | More


Left: Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys in new Jordan x Nina Chanel Abney Collection; Right: Air Jordan 3 Retro x Nina Chanel Abney – Bicoastal and Malachite | © Nike, Courtesy Nike


Nina Chanel Abney Dropped New Air Jordan Collection
Nina Chanel Abney, the first artist given the opportunity to reimagine the iconic “Jumpman” logo, dropped her second Air Jordan collaboration with Nike. Her retro-style AJ3s are designed with a unique orange and green colorway. Despite what the artist called a “malicious attack” that complicated an early raffle (June 15), the AJ3s launched as scheduled June 20 and sold out quickly, similar to her first AJ2 project in 2022. The marketing campaign features Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys modeling the artist’s Jordans and new Jordan x Nina Chanel Abney apparel collection. (The musicians are collectors of her work, which is included their Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Giants.”) See the whole line on Abney’s Super Cool Studios website. Abney also partnered with MoMA Design Store on the project. The collaboration coincides with “Nina Chanel Abney: LIE DOGGO,” a major exhibition on view through Oct. 5 at Jack Shainman Gallery at The School in Kinderhook, N.Y. (6/20) | More

Basquiat Estate Teaming Up with H&M
A collaboration between the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and H&M, designed by Ev Bravado and Téla D’Amore of Who Decides War is coming soon. The designers are 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists and previously worked with Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s family on its King Pleasure exhibition. The artist’s estate has engaged in numerous other collaborations with brands such as Uniqlo, Gap, Coach, Tiffany, Reebok, Converse, Crocs, Lee, Swatch, Alice & Olivia, Supreme, and Comme des Garçons (interestingly, Basquiat wore the Japanese label and walked in its Spring/Summer 1987 show). Bravado said they are seeking to do something new with this project: “…When I see a lot of the other collabs that people have done with the estate, we always see the same things. But it’s like, ‘Okay, here’s a man who’s probably the most renowned artist of all time, let’s tell the story of the people who influenced him. and how we were influenced by him, and how we will continue to influence and continue to push forward Black art and culture.” The Basquiat collection includes menswear and womenswear looks and will be available at H&M online and in select stores July 18, 2024. (6/19) | Vogue


ISAAC JULIEN, Installation view of “Ten Thousand Waves,” 2010. | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, by exchange, through a gift of Michael D. Abrams, © Isaac Julien. Photo courtesy of EYE Filmmuseum


SFMOMA Announced New Acquisitions
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art announced new acquisitions by more than 65 artists, including Virgil Abloh, Merikokeb Berhanu, Beverly Buchanan, Vaginal Davis, Ulysses Jenkins, Rashid Johnson, Isaac Julien, Doyle Lane, Mire Lee, Glenn Ligon, Oscar Murillo, and Amy Sherald. “For Love, and for Country” (2022) by Sherald will anchor the artist’s first mid-career survey opening at SFMOMA in November. “The acquisitions announced today capture an incredible depth of artistic ambition, formal innovation, and social and cultural experience,” SFMOMA Director Christopher Bedford said in a statement. “The group reflects SFMOMA’s driving vision to enhance our collection with works by a diverse spectrum of artists who engage with an equally diverse range of subject matter, whether focused on aesthetic experimentation or on grappling with central issues of their time. I’m grateful for the thoughtful consideration that our curatorial teams have brought to this selection and to our broader acquisition strategies. I look forward to sharing these extraordinary works, and the narratives they hold, with our community.” (6/18) | More


Museum Hue announced 10 BIPOC leaders of New York organizations focused on BIPOC histories and cultures selected to participate in a six-month professional leadership program. The inaugural HueArts New York State Leadership Cohort (HALC) includes Jaleel Campbell, co-founder of Black Artist Collective (Syracuse, N.Y.); Georgette Grier-Key, executive director and chief curator of Eastville Community Historical Society (Sag Harbor, N.Y.); Devon McLeod, national director and first company soloist at Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre (Auburn, N.Y.); and Brenda Simmons, founder and executive director of Southampton African American Museum (Southampton, N.Y.). Founded in 2015 by Stephanie A. Johnson-Cunningham and Monica Montgomery, Museum Hue provides support for Black, Indigenous, and all people of color in the museum and cultural sector through resources, training, collaborations, and partnerships. The leadership program is designed to respond to the needs of cultural workers of color based on findings from HueArts NYS research and 2023 Brown Paper Report. (6/20) | More


Nominations Open for Don Tyson Prize
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark,, is accepting nominations from the public for the 2024 Don Tyson Prize for the Advancement of American Art. Living individuals and institutions in the United States are eligible for the biennial prize, which includes a $200,000 cash award. The family of the late Don Tyson (1930-2011), former chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods (1967-1991), established the prize in his honor. The prize “recognizes those who have changed the way we look at, think about, or experience art and impacted the field through innovation, outside-the-box thinking, and risk taking. In doing so, the recipients have raised awareness, challenged preconceived notions, removed barriers, and ultimately increased accessibility.” Previous recipients include Deborah Willis, Project Row Houses, vanessa german, and the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The next recipient will be announced this fall. The nomination deadline is June 30, 2024. | More


TELEVISION | Trailer for new HBO series “Breaking New Ground,” which follows Robert Hartwell as he renovates a 200-year old plantation-style house in Great Barrington, Mass. Hartwell is a Broadway performer, who has appeared in a few productions, including Motown: The Musical, and founder of The Broadway Collective. He said the house was built in 1820 and on the market for years (because potential buyers were daunted by the amount of work it required) before he purchased it on Juneteenth 2020. The show is produced by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN and Scott Brothers Entertainment (Drew and Jonathan Scott). The six-episode series debuts June 27. | Video by HBO


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