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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.

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Ernie Barnes Retrospective Brings Renewed Attention to African American Artist Who Found Fame After Playing Pro Football

Ernie Barnes Retrospective Brings Renewed Attention to African American Artist Who Found Fame After Playing Pro Football

“The Sugar Shack” (1976) by Ernie Barnes   LOS ANGELES—A master storyteller, Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) painted from experience. He captured the brawn of football and the quotidian of life in the segregated South. His representational images depict what he saw growing up in Durham, N.C., where black people gathered for communion and competition on porches and...
Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

From the New York Times video: Pool Party | Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont   FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas has decamped to a property in Salisbury, Conn., during “kids-away-from-school” time with Racquel Chevremont, her partner in work and life, and their three children. Purchased in 2013, Thomas calls the 19th century...
Curator Bridget R. Cooks Explains How the Ernie Barnes Retrospective Landed at the California African American Museum

Curator Bridget R. Cooks Explains How the Ernie Barnes Retrospective Landed at the California African American Museum

  WHEN THE PASADENA MUSEUM of California Art (PMCA) unexpectedly closed last October, after 16 years, there were three final exhibitions on view, including “Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California,” a small survey of Pacific Northwest landscape paintings and commercial lithographs. A pioneer, Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) was the state’s first African American contractor and is...
On View: 'Tricknology: Ektor Garcia and Allison Janae Hamilton,' Curated by Sanford Biggers at Marianne Boesky in Aspen, Colo.

On View: ‘Tricknology: Ektor Garcia and Allison Janae Hamilton,’ Curated by Sanford Biggers at Marianne Boesky in Aspen, Colo.

  On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions PROVIDING A PLATFORM for two up-and-coming artists, Sanford Biggers is presenting the work of Allison Janae Hamilton and ektor garcia at Marianne Boesky. (The gallery has represented Biggers since 2016.) Both artists make complex, narrative works. Garcia employs ceramics, crochet, and weaving techniques working with fibrous materials,...
A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel's Favorite Artwork

A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel’s Favorite Artwork

  WORKS BY MORE THAN 60 ARTISTS, including Faith Ringgold, are featured in “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.” Nearly all the artists are black, except Virginia Jaramillo, Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and Alice Neel (1900-1984), who contributed a portrait of Ringgold to the landmark exhibition. Rinngold has said she posed...
The Hirshhorn Museum Asked Artists About Their Influences. Amy Sherald Chose Deborah Roberts, Jordan Casteel Selected Faith Ringgold

The Hirshhorn Museum Asked Artists About Their Influences. Amy Sherald Chose Deborah Roberts, Jordan Casteel Selected Faith Ringgold

  FOR ITS FIFTH ANNUAL GALA in New York, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is paying tribute to 42 artists, an “intergenerational vanguard” including Jordan Casteel, Faith Ringgold, Amy Sherald, Deborah Roberts, and David Hartt. The museum is assembling the group by inviting 21 artists to identify an additional honoree who “has influenced...
In Los Angeles, Landmark Exhibitions are Showcasing the Photography of Gordon Parks, Kwame Braithwaite, and Figures Who Documented Hip Hop

In Los Angeles, Landmark Exhibitions are Showcasing the Photography of Gordon Parks, Kwame Braithwaite, and Figures Who Documented Hip Hop

“Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite,” Skirball Cultural Center   THREE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS on view at Los Angeles institutions feature the work of Gordon Parks, Kwame Braithwaite, and photographers who have trained their lenses on the legends of hip hop. The Getty Center is presenting Parks’s 1961 images of Flávio da Silva, a...
Truth Teller: Next Month, Henry Taylor is Presenting a Series of New Portraits at Blum & Poe in New York

Truth Teller: Next Month, Henry Taylor is Presenting a Series of New Portraits at Blum & Poe in New York

  WHETHER YOU CALL HIM a figurative painter or a portrait painter, labels he is reluctant to embrace, Henry Taylor paints people, almost exclusively. He paints his family, his friends, people in his neighborhood, and people he meets when he travels. He connects with his subjects and has a real curiosity about their lives, which...
Detroit-Based Painter Ed Clark is Now Represented by Hauser & Wirth

Detroit-Based Painter Ed Clark is Now Represented by Hauser & Wirth

  PIONEERING PAINTER Ed Clark, 93, has joined Hauser & Wirth. A vital figure in post-war American painting and Abstract Expressionism, Clark has been based in New York and Paris over the course of his seven-decade career. Currently, he lives and works in Detroit. Hauser & Wirth shared news of its worldwide representation of Clark...
Kind of Blue: In Menorca, Stanley Whitney's Colorful Grid Paintings are in Dialogue with an Iconic Yves Klein Installation

Kind of Blue: In Menorca, Stanley Whitney’s Colorful Grid Paintings are in Dialogue with an Iconic Yves Klein Installation

  A SUMMER EXHIBITION in Mahon, Menorca, off the coast of Spain, brings together two artists deeply committed to color: Stanley Whitney and Yves Klein (1928-1962). “Stanley Whitney / Yves Klein: This Array of Colors” at Galería Cayón presents six recent paintings by Whitney with Klein’s “Pure Pigment.” A floor installation consisting solely of a...
Latest News in African American Art: Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys Plan Art Center, New Yorker Commissions Toni Morrison Cover by Kara Walker, Smithsonian Acquires Beyonce Portrait by Tyler Mitchell & More

Latest News in African American Art: Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys Plan Art Center, New Yorker Commissions Toni Morrison Cover by Kara Walker, Smithsonian Acquires Beyonce Portrait by Tyler Mitchell & More

South African Artist David Koloane (1938-2019)   The following review presents a snapshot of recent news in African American art and related black culture:   South African Artist David Koloane Died at 81 A prominent figure in apartheid-era South Africa artist David Koloane (1938-2019) died June 30. “Apartheid was a politics of space more than...
World Champion Simone Biles and the Elite Competition and Complexities of Women's Gymnastics Recently Inspired Two Painters

World Champion Simone Biles and the Elite Competition and Complexities of Women’s Gymnastics Recently Inspired Two Painters

  THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. If there was any question Simone Biles is the greatest athlete in the history of gymnastics, she put all doubts to rest over the weekend at the United States Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City, Mo. The world’s top gymnast pushed new boundaries, delivered ambitious routines, and clenched her sixth...
On View: 'Genevieve Gaignard: I'm Sorry I Never Told You That You're Beautiful' at Vielmetter Los Angeles

On View: ‘Genevieve Gaignard: I’m Sorry I Never Told You That You’re Beautiful’ at Vielmetter Los Angeles

  On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions THROUGH THE LENS of self-portraiture and symbolic domestic spaces, Los Angeles-based Genevieve Gaignard explores American constructs of identity, beauty, blackness, and whiteness. She considers racial logic and racial formation. Her latest exhibition, “I’m Sorry I Never Told You That You’re Beautiful,” features mixed-media works on panel, photographic...
Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art is Showcasing Women Artists, a Group Vastly Underrepresented in its Collection

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is Showcasing Women Artists, a Group Vastly Underrepresented in its Collection

“Liberal Women Protest March I” (1995) by Nike Davies-Okundaye of Nigeria   THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART is celebrating women artists. Over the past five years, the Smithsonian museum has doubled its holdings of art by women. Showcasing some of the recent acquisitions, “I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa,” opened in June. The...