Welcome to Culture Type®

Exploring art by and about people of African descent, primarily through the lens of books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type features original research and reporting and shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.

Author Archive
National Portrait Gallery: African Americans and Racial Justice are Popular Subjects at Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

National Portrait Gallery: African Americans and Racial Justice are Popular Subjects at Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

  OCCURRING EVERY THREE YEARS, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition has showcased the work of numerous African American artists. Amy Sherald won first prize in 2016, transforming her career. In the latest cycle, Deborah Roberts, Genevieve Gaignard, Lava Thomas and Nona Faustine are among the finalists, and Wayde McIntosh tied for third prize. Their works...
Los Angeles Art Dealer Steve Turner is Auctioning Off His Extensive Collection of African Americana

Los Angeles Art Dealer Steve Turner is Auctioning Off His Extensive Collection of African Americana

“Mitchell’s Point, Looking Down the Columbia” (1887) by Grafton Tyler Brown   A MIDWEST AUCTION HOUSE is selling more than 300 items of African Americana from the collection of art dealer Steve Turner. In addition to operating a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, Turner has been collecting rare objects documenting African American history since...
Swann Auctions Johnson Publishing Art Collection, Yielding Countless Records and Closing Final Chapter of Iconic Company

Swann Auctions Johnson Publishing Art Collection, Yielding Countless Records and Closing Final Chapter of Iconic Company

  THE CHICAGO PUBLIC ART PROGRAM commissioned a seven-panel series of historic images by Carrie Mae Weems nearly 25 years ago. Composed of framed chromogenic prints and sandblasted text on glass, the untitled work was made in 1996-97 in an edition of three. The first set went to the Bee Branch of the Chicago Public...
Sundance Features Documentaries About Betye Saar and Agnes Gund, Black Women Directors Celebrated With Top Awards

Sundance Features Documentaries About Betye Saar and Agnes Gund, Black Women Directors Celebrated With Top Awards

Betye Saar in the short documentary “Taking Care of Business,” directed by Christine Turner   BLACK FILMMAKERS and black stories are an increasing presence at the Sundance Film Festival. This year a number of projects garnered attention, including documentaries about artist Betye Saar and philanthropist and art collector Agnes Gund, and three films by black...
Auction Results: Jordan Casteel's Portrait of Her 'Mom' Sold for Nearly $667K, Setting New World Record for Artist

Auction Results: Jordan Casteel’s Portrait of Her ‘Mom’ Sold for Nearly $667K, Setting New World Record for Artist

  IN LONDON, when the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale got underway on Feb. 12, the first lot was a serene, painterly portrait of a black woman. “Mom” (2013) by Jordan Casteel, is a portrait of Lauren Young Casteel, the artist’s mother. Expected to yield 180,000-250,000 British Pounds, the painting sold for twice the...
Dallas Museum of Art Names Vivian Crockett Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

Dallas Museum of Art Names Vivian Crockett Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART (DMA) has been shoring up its curatorial department over the past year. The latest addition is Vivian Crockett, who is joining the museum as assistant curator of contemporary art. Crockett brings expertise in art of the African and Latinx diasporas and the Americas. She is currently a Joan Tisch Teaching...
What to See in Los Angeles: 15 Exhibitions Feature Ja'Tovia Gary, Hank Willis Thomas, Betye Saar, Lauren Halsey, Julie Mehretu, Arcmanoro Niles, and More

What to See in Los Angeles: 15 Exhibitions Feature Ja’Tovia Gary, Hank Willis Thomas, Betye Saar, Lauren Halsey, Julie Mehretu, Arcmanoro Niles, and More

  IN LOS ANGELES, it’s art fair season. Frieze Los Angeles is open for its second year at Paramount Pictures Studios. Art Los Angeles Contemporary is happening at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is hosting the Felix art fair and Spring/Break is at Skylight ROW DTLA. At The Kinney in Venice, stARTup...
Houston-Based Artist Jamal D. Cyrus on  Receiving 2020 David C. Driskell Prize: 'The  Symbolism is Extremely Important to Me'

Houston-Based Artist Jamal D. Cyrus on Receiving 2020 David C. Driskell Prize: ‘The Symbolism is Extremely Important to Me’

THE HIGH MUSEUM OF ART in Atlanta named artist Jamal D. Cyrus recipient of the 2020 David C. Driskell Prize. Cyrus lives and works in Houston where his conceptual and research-driven practice mines American history with a focus on better understanding cultural and national heritage in the context of black political movements, social justice issues,...
Amoako Boafo is Latest Young Black Artist to Make Major Auction Debut

Amoako Boafo is Latest Young Black Artist to Make Major Auction Debut

  A RECENT PAINTING by Amoako Boafo portrays a woman with gray hair gathered on top of her head in a loose Afro puff. She’s lounging on a pool float, wearing a white one-piece bathing suit covered with a leafy lemon print. Her lips are red and a pair of sunglasses shields her eyes from...
Curator Denise Murrell and Art Historian Darby English to Receive 2020 Book Awards From College Art Association

Curator Denise Murrell and Art Historian Darby English to Receive 2020 Book Awards From College Art Association

  THIS WEEK IN CHICAGO, the College Art Association (CAA) is holding its annual conference (Feb. 12-15). Amanda Williams, a Chicago-based artist who trained as an architect, is serving as keynote speaker. Kellie Jones will be honored during the Distinguished Scholar Session. And Huey Copeland, a professor of art history at Northwestern University and recipient...
Columbus Museum of Art Announces Faith Ringgold, Kellie Jones, and Curlee Raven Holton Will Select Artist for 2020 Residency Honoring Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson

Columbus Museum of Art Announces Faith Ringgold, Kellie Jones, and Curlee Raven Holton Will Select Artist for 2020 Residency Honoring Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson

  NARRATING AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (1940-2015) worked with a variety of materials, from fabric, to paint, clay, and found materials, making two- and three-dimensional works. Her paintings, quilts, and sculpture, many of them large-scale and made over many years, explored the experiences and legacy of her family, local community, and the...
Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier is Inaugural Recipient of Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier is Inaugural Recipient of Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize

THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION in Pleasantville, N.Y., provides support and opportunities to artists whose practices “reflect and extend” the legacy of Gordon Parks, using photography as a tool for social justice and cultural change. Extending its program of scholarships, awards, and fellowships, the foundation announced a new book prize established in partnership with Steidl, the...
Hirshhorn Museum Plans First U.S. Retrospective of Sam Gilliam in 15+ Years

Hirshhorn Museum Plans First U.S. Retrospective of Sam Gilliam in 15+ Years

“Light Depth” (1969) by Sam Gilliam   THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., plans an expansive look at the six-decade career of pioneering abstractionist Sam Gilliam. Exploring key moments in his innovative painting practice, the retrospective will open at the Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in spring 2022. “Inspired by the...
Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2019

Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2019

  ONCE RELEGATED TO THE MARGINS, artists of African descent continued to migrate toward the center of the art world in 2019, claiming space on just about every front as the decade came to a close. Black contemporary artists won many of the year’s most prestigious and lucrative international art prizes. They shared their work...