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.

Artists
New Short Documentary Gives a Voice to the Women Who For Generations Have Been Making Artful Quilts in Gee's Bend, Ala.

New Short Documentary Gives a Voice to the Women Who For Generations Have Been Making Artful Quilts in Gee’s Bend, Ala.

Gee’s Bend Quilter Mary Lee Bendolph   AFTER MAKING A CAPTIVATING documentary about artist and musician Lonnie Holley, Maris Curran has trained her lens on the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala. In 2016, Curran delivered a brief but memorable portrait of Birmingham, Ala.-born Holley. “The Man is the Music” documents his work and shares the...
Artist Simone Leigh Wins Guggenheim's 2018 Hugo Boss Prize

Artist Simone Leigh Wins Guggenheim’s 2018 Hugo Boss Prize

  THE 2018 HUGO BOSS PRIZE has been awarded to Simone Leigh. Best known for her ceramic works, Leigh’s practice examines black female subjectivity, black feminist discourse, and the history of labor and resistance. Her selection was announced last night at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Hugo Boss Prize recognizes the...
Diedrick Brackens Receives the Studio Museum in Harlem's 2018 Wein Prize

Diedrick Brackens Receives the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2018 Wein Prize

  THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM’S 2018 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize has been awarded to Diedrick Brackens. The Los Angeles-based textile artist is recognized for his tapestries and innovative weaving techniques. His selection was announced by Thelma Golden at the museum’s 50th anniversary gala this evening at the Park Avenue Armory. The annual prize...
Titus Kaphar, Whose Paintings Reconstruct Accepted Historic Narratives, is a 2018 MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow

Titus Kaphar, Whose Paintings Reconstruct Accepted Historic Narratives, is a 2018 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow

Titus Kaphar in his New Haven, Conn., studio.   YEARS BEFORE THE DEBATE about decolonizing America’s public squares where monuments pay homage to slaveholders and Confederate generals reached a fever pitch in 2017, Titus Kaphar was engaging with representation in Western art history and its overwhelming penchant for foregrounding white men while people of color...
For Made in L.A. Biennial, Artist EJ Hill is Taking a Stand in the Name of 'Excellence, Resilience, and Victory'

For Made in L.A. Biennial, Artist EJ Hill is Taking a Stand in the Name of ‘Excellence, Resilience, and Victory’

EJ Hill at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles   WHAT DID YOU DO THIS SUMMER? E.J. Hill spent his entire summer standing on a platform at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The museum’s Made in L.A. biennial opened on June 3 and every since, six days a week for three months, Hill has...
Commencement 2018: Glenn Ligon, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems, and Joyce J. Scott Are Among the Artists Imparting Wisdom and Expectations on New Graduates

Commencement 2018: Glenn Ligon, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems, and Joyce J. Scott Are Among the Artists Imparting Wisdom and Expectations on New Graduates

Glenn Ligon spoke at The New School’s 2018 commencement on May 18.   A NUMBER OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS were declared doctors over the past month. Invited to participate in commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and MFA students at institutions around the country, prominent artists, critics, and curators were bestowed honorary doctorate degrees. Addressing 2018 graduates,...
Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

  EMERITUS PROFESSOR Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) received the inaugural President’s Award for Creative Impact from Connecticut College on May 2. He was among five faculty members recognized by President Katherine Bergeron for demonstrating excellence and innovation in research, teaching and leadership. Hendricks is the first to be honored with the new Impact award which...
'Unanswerable': Lorna Simpson's London Exhibition Charts Her Subconscious and Embrace of New Mediums

‘Unanswerable’: Lorna Simpson’s London Exhibition Charts Her Subconscious and Embrace of New Mediums

Lorna Simpson: In The Studio. | Video by Hauser & Wirth   OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS OR SO, Lorna Simpson has transformed her practice. An accomplished conceptual photographer, she is now a formidable painter, who is newly expressing herself through sculpture. Since the mid-1980s, Brooklyn-based Simpson has challenged conventional notions of gender, identity, history,...
Portrait Artist Amy Sherald Discussed Her Practice at the National Gallery of Art: 'I Paint American People. Black People Doing Stuff'

Portrait Artist Amy Sherald Discussed Her Practice at the National Gallery of Art: ‘I Paint American People. Black People Doing Stuff’

  WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is an element of fantasy in Amy Sherald’s portraits. The Baltimore-based artist usually paints people she spots around the city—men, women, and youth who have a certain something that captures her attention and piques her curiosity. She’s depicted a woman with a baby on her hip, a young man who’s...
Soul of a Nation: Jack Whitten on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and 'the Political' in His Abstract Paintings

Soul of a Nation: Jack Whitten on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and ‘the Political’ in His Abstract Paintings

Jack Whitten walks through “Soul of a Nation” at the Tate Modern and talks about his work and “present times” in America. | Video by Tate Modern   NO STRANGER TO RACIAL DIVISION and political strife, Jack Whitten’s abstract canvases tackle weighty issues, confront hard truths, and consider the insights and sacrifices of important cultural...
Recognized for Her Portraits of Black Men, New Art21 Film Explores How Jordan Casteel 'Paints Her Community'

Recognized for Her Portraits of Black Men, New Art21 Film Explores How Jordan Casteel ‘Paints Her Community’

  AFTER DEVOTING A SUMMER in Gloucester, Mass., to landscape painting, Jordan Casteel decided to start making portraits of black men. The man who killed Trayvon Martin was acquitted in those months between her first and second year at Yale University where she earned her MFA. The experiences of her twin brother were unsettling, too....
ART21 Launches 'Summer of Shorts' Featuring New Film About Why Chicago Artist Theaster Gates Collects

ART21 Launches ‘Summer of Shorts’ Featuring New Film About Why Chicago Artist Theaster Gates Collects

  FOR HIS FIRST EXHIBITION in Milan, Theaster Gates presented “True Value” (July 7-Sept. 25, 2016) which centered around the inventory of a shuttered Chicago hardware store. Installed in an art context, he reimagined the abandoned tools and supplies as a monumental visual display. An artist who trained as a potter, Gates has become more...
Representation: 10 African American Artists to Watch Who Joined New Galleries in 2016

Representation: 10 African American Artists to Watch Who Joined New Galleries in 2016

AT EVERY STAGE IN AN ARTIST’S CAREER, joining a new gallery can offer new opportunities and possibilities. Over the past year, emerging artists, mid-career artists, and well-established artists who have been practicing for half a century, joined the rosters of major galleries. For an artist, the right partnership can sharpen business outcomes and help bolster...
Culture Talk: Ian Berry on New Alma Thomas Exhibition Catalog, an Encyclopedic View of the Singular Artist

Culture Talk: Ian Berry on New Alma Thomas Exhibition Catalog, an Encyclopedic View of the Singular Artist

ALMA THOMAS, “End of Autumn,” 1968 (acrylic and graphite on canvas). | Collection of Richard Grossman and Adam Sheffer; Courtesy Studio Museum in Harlem   EXPLAINING HER CHOICE to focus on brightly hued abstract work, Alma Thomas (1891-1978) said in 1970: “Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on...