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A blog focused on visual art from a Black perspective, Culture Type explores the intersection of art, history, and culture

Artists
Fulton Leroy Washington Honed His Artistic Talent in Prison, the Made in L.A. Biennial is Giving Him a New Platform

Fulton Leroy Washington Honed His Artistic Talent in Prison, the Made in L.A. Biennial is Giving Him a New Platform

  PAINTINGS ARE POWERFUL. They influence generations of artists (Picasso’s “Guernica”), encourage pilgrimages to museums (Amy Sherald’s portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama), and garner millions of dollars at auction (“Past Times” by Kerry James Marshall). Inspired by Francis Bicknell Carpenter’s “First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln” (1864), artist Fulton Leroy Washington...
Kindred Spirits: Documentary Explores Life and Work of Washington, D.C., Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell

Kindred Spirits: Documentary Explores Life and Work of Washington, D.C., Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell

  “THIRD AND RHODE ISLAND” depicts a residential block in Washington, D.C. The painting captures a row of red brick homes, a white wood porch, concrete walkways, and leafless trees. The circa 1930-40 work by Hilda Wilkinson Brown (1894-1981) is in the collection of the American Art Museum in Washington. Another artist, Lilian Thomas Burwell,...
In the Wake of COVID-19, Inveterate Traveler Theaster Gates is Grounded in Chicago, Making Pottery Again, and Still Collaborating

In the Wake of COVID-19, Inveterate Traveler Theaster Gates is Grounded in Chicago, Making Pottery Again, and Still Collaborating

Theaster Gates is featured in “Firsthand: Coronavirus,” a series from Chicago’s PBS affiliate. | Video by WTTW   TRAVELING THE GLOBE is a constant in the life of artist Theaster Gates. His schedule of exhibitions, talks, lectures, and projects is unrelenting. Gates has a diverse portfolio. In his bio, he states that his practice “focuses...
Emory Douglas: 'I Was the Revolutionary Artist of the Black Panther Party'

Emory Douglas: ‘I Was the Revolutionary Artist of the Black Panther Party’

Emory Douglas talks about his graphic design work. His images have become synonymous with the visual identity of the Black Panther Party. | Video by AIGA   THE GRAPHIC IMAGES of Emory Douglas communicated the Black Panther Party’s platform and programs. From 1967 to the early 1980s he developed the organization’s visual identity. He served...
Public Editor: Alexandra Bell Highlights Bias in the News and Rewrites Racist Headlines

Public Editor: Alexandra Bell Highlights Bias in the News and Rewrites Racist Headlines

Installation view of “A Teenager With Promise (Annotated)” (2017)   AT THE END OF FEBRUARY, the Whitney Museum of American Art announced 75 artists selected to participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Among them is Alexandra Bell, an artist with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Rather than using her journalism degree to...
Keith Duncan Brought Moments in Black History and the Culture of 'The Big Easy' to New York's Meatpacking District

Keith Duncan Brought Moments in Black History and the Culture of ‘The Big Easy’ to New York’s Meatpacking District

“The Wedding Reception” (2015) by Keith Duncan   EVOKING THE CULTURE of black New Orleans, the work of Keith Duncan is full of bold color and energetic movement. His images are often densely packed with people coming together for ritual gatherings or presents a confluence of symbolic images around a unifying theme. “The Big Easy,”...
Betye Saar, 92, is Taking Steps to Secure Her Legacy While Forging Ahead with New Artwork and Exhibitions

Betye Saar, 92, is Taking Steps to Secure Her Legacy While Forging Ahead with New Artwork and Exhibitions

Installation view of “Betye Saar: Something Blue,” Roberts Projects, Los Angeles   THE SMITHSONIAN’S ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART interviewed Robert Colescott about his life and work in 1999. Paul Karlstrom, who spent his entire three-decade career at the archives as West Coast regional director, conducted the oral history interview with the artist. Toward the end...
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...