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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.

Artists
At the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemang Wa Lehulere Mines South Africa's History, Imagines Its Future

At the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemang Wa Lehulere Mines South Africa’s History, Imagines Its Future

Kemang Wa Lehulere’s first American museum exhibition, “In My Wildest Dreams” at the Art Institute of Chicago, is on view through Jan. 16, 2017. | Video by Art Institute of Chicago   LIKE COUNTLESS OTHER NATIONS, South Africa has an uneven history. Unlike its African neighbors, its recent past has garnered sustained international attention—from apartheid-era...
Frieze Magazine: Betye Saar Reveals 5 Influences in First-Person Reflection on Nearly 70 Years of Art Making

Frieze Magazine: Betye Saar Reveals 5 Influences in First-Person Reflection on Nearly 70 Years of Art Making

  THE LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTIST Betye Saar is known for her assemblage works, mixed-media objects that explore race, history, death and rebirth through found objects. Indeed, Saar herself is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. After serving as a resident faculty member in 1985, Saar returned to Skowhegan in 2014 as a visiting artist. Further,...
In Great Company: According to the New York Times, Artist Kerry James Marshall is Shifting the Color of Art History

In Great Company: According to the New York Times, Artist Kerry James Marshall is Shifting the Color of Art History

  A FEW MONTHS AGO, Kerry James Marshall gave First Lady Michelle Obama a tour of “Mastry,” his career-spanning exhibition at MCA Chicago. Now both Marshall and Obama are among “The Greats,” seven people who are redefining our culture, according to the New York Times. Marshall is certainly making his mark on American culture and...
Stanley Nelson Directs Premiere Episode of ART21 Featuring Chicago Artists Nick Cave and Theaster Gates

Stanley Nelson Directs Premiere Episode of ART21 Featuring Chicago Artists Nick Cave and Theaster Gates

Embed from Getty Images   CHICAGO HAS A VIBRANT ART SCENE, which surprised director Stanley Nelson. The Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker known for telling stories about the Freedom Riders, Emmett Till, Wounded Knee, Jonestown, Oak Bluffs, the Black Press, and most recently, the Black Panthers, has trained his lens on Chicago artists. Nelson is directing...
Lorna Simpson Goes to Washington, Gives Inaugural Photography Lecture at National Gallery of Art

Lorna Simpson Goes to Washington, Gives Inaugural Photography Lecture at National Gallery of Art

LORNA SIMPSON, “Untitled (Two Necklines),” 1989   WASHINGTON, D.C. — TWO DAYS AFTER her new exhibition of paintings opened at Salon 94 in New York, Lorna Simpson gave a talk at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She offered a visual journey of her practice over the past three decades, sharing the concepts...
Culture Talk: Curator Lauren Haynes on Bringing the Colorful, Abstract Paintings of Alma Thomas to Harlem's Studio Museum

Culture Talk: Curator Lauren Haynes on Bringing the Colorful, Abstract Paintings of Alma Thomas to Harlem’s Studio Museum

ALMA THOMAS, “Snoopy Sees Earth Wrapped in Sunset,” 1970 (acrylic on canvas). | Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist; Courtesy Studio Museum in Harlem   AT A TIME WHEN MOST ARTISTS are in the sunset of their careers, Alma Thomas (1891-1978) was on the rise. Recognized for her expressive abstract paintings, her exuberant use...
At LACMA, Artists Betye Saar and Alison Saar Discuss Intriguing Objects from the Museum's Collection

At LACMA, Artists Betye Saar and Alison Saar Discuss Intriguing Objects from the Museum’s Collection

Alison Saar on Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. | Video by LACMA   CONTAINED IN A DISPLAY BOX, the figure is at once elegant and rough hewn. “She’s a strong, intense female figure …She’s got her one hand up doing this kind of shimmy thing. She is just out there and strutting her stuff,” says artist Alison...
History Makers: 10 African American Firsts in Modern and Contemporary Art Continue to Resonate Today

History Makers: 10 African American Firsts in Modern and Contemporary Art Continue to Resonate Today

  THE LIST OF HISTORY-MAKING firsts and groundbreaking achievements made by African American artists, and more recently curators, is endless, spanning probably as early as the 17th century to the present. The following briefly captures 10 milestones and a corresponding “where are they now” look at each of these important figures.   ALMA THOMAS with...
Collaborations Among Carrie Mae Weems, Sarah Lewis, and Adrienne Edwards  Have Produced Some of the Most Compelling Art Projects of the Year

Collaborations Among Carrie Mae Weems, Sarah Lewis, and Adrienne Edwards Have Produced Some of the Most Compelling Art Projects of the Year

From left, Adrienne Edwards, Carrie Mae Weems, and Sarah Lewis.   ANDERSON RANCH IN SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo., presented Carrie Mae Weems with its National Artist Award yesterday. The honor capped a weeklong celebration of the arts center’s 50th anniversary. Over the past few years, Weems has received more than a dozen awards, including a MacArthur...
Almost Famous: The Ebb and Flow of Sam Gilliam's Formidable Practice

Almost Famous: The Ebb and Flow of Sam Gilliam’s Formidable Practice

  A MUST-READ PROFILE of Sam Gilliam published last week in The Washington Post, begins with a quote from the artist about him being “outlandishly famous.” The comment is meant to be facetious, but is actually not too far off base when one considers the recent trajectory of his practice weighed against periods of his...
Sonic Spaces: Brothers Peter and David Adjaye Discuss Music for Architecture

Sonic Spaces: Brothers Peter and David Adjaye Discuss Music for Architecture

Peter and David Adjaye on the Sonic Collaboration. | Video by The Spaces   PAIRING A GLOBAL PORTFOLIO of major cultural centers and public institutions with projects that span furniture and textile design, architect David Adjaye‘s latest pursuit is a musical collaboration with his brother. A DJ, musician and sound designer with degrees in mathematics...
Martin Puryear Appreciates the Dichotomy of 'Big Bling,' His Largest Sculpture to Date

Martin Puryear Appreciates the Dichotomy of ‘Big Bling,’ His Largest Sculpture to Date

Martin Puryear: “Big Bling” | Video by Art21   RISING AMONG THE TREES in Madison Square Park, “Big Bling” is a monument to Martin Puryear‘s practice. Standing 40-feet high, it is the largest temporary outdoor sculpture the artist has created. Part animal, part abstract form, from afar the voluminous sculpture looks heavy, but upon closer...
Painter Stanley Whitney: 'I Don't Have a Theory About Color'

Painter Stanley Whitney: ‘I Don’t Have a Theory About Color’

In the Studio with Stanley Whitney, May 2016 | Video by Lisson Gallery   WROUGHT WITH IMPROVISATION and experimentation when it comes to color, Stanley Whitney‘s bold canvases are defined by an ordered approach to composition. Following a spate of 2015 exhibitions, including “Dance the Orange,” a critically recognized solo show at the Studio Museum...
Carrie Mae Weems Implores School of Visual Arts Graduates to Consider 'How Do You Measure a Life?'

Carrie Mae Weems Implores School of Visual Arts Graduates to Consider ‘How Do You Measure a Life?’

  ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, Carrie Mae Weems took the stage at Radio City Music Hall delivering more of a performance than a speech. Her address at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) 41st commencement for undergraduate and graduate students was engaging, relevant, thought-provoking and memorable. She asked the audience, “How do you measure life?” And...