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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.

Auctions
Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby's, Shattering the Artist's Previous Record

Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby’s, Shattering the Artist’s Previous Record

BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS, “Brenda P,” 1974   A STRIKING PORTRAIT of a statuesque woman named Brenda P set a new auction record for Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) on Wednesday at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. The 1974 painting sold for $2.1 million including fees, which was twice the high estimate and shattered...
Kerry James Marshall's 'Past Times' Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby's, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Past Times’ Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby’s, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

  A GRAND-SCALE PAINTING by Kerry James Marshall had bidders battling last night. Marshall’s “Past Times” (1997) soared beyond the high estimate and sold for $18.5 million ($21.1 million, including fees). The high bid came by phone, setting an artist record. The painting was featured in Sotheby’s May 16 Contemporary Art Evening Auction and carried...
Creating Space: Here's the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby's to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Creating Space: Here’s the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby’s to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Lot 3: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “An Assistance of Amber,” 2017 (oil on linen). | Estimate $100,000-$150,000. Sold for $555,000 including fees   THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM and Sotheby’s are collaborating on a major sale of works by some of the most prominent and critically recognized artists of African descent working today. Artists including Mark Bradford,...
Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

“Untitled (Horserace)” by Wadsworth Jarrell.   BEYOND THE INFLUENTIAL REALM of major auction houses in art centers such as New York, London, and Hong Kong, and even Los Angeles and Chicago, there are hundreds of smaller, longstanding local businesses selling second-hand valuables, from antique furniture, watches, and china to fine art. In the United States,...
Priced to Set New Artist Record, 'Past Times' by Kerry James Marshall is Consigned to Sotheby's by Chicago Convention Center

Priced to Set New Artist Record, ‘Past Times’ by Kerry James Marshall is Consigned to Sotheby’s by Chicago Convention Center

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Past Times,” 1997 (acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas). | Estimate $8 million-$12 million. Sold for $21.1 million including fees ($18.5 million hammer price). RECORD   MARQUIS WORKS BY AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS are increasingly showing up at major auction houses. The latest is “Past Times” by Kerry James Marshall, which is being...
Phillips: Recent Contemporary Auctions Include New Records for African American Artists Stanley Whitney and Hugo McCloud; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Among Top Lots

Phillips: Recent Contemporary Auctions Include New Records for African American Artists Stanley Whitney and Hugo McCloud; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Among Top Lots

Lot 148: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “The Separate,” 2011 (oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm, 63 x 78 3/4 inches). | Estimate £100,000-£150,000. Sold for £237,000 ($327,629) including fees. TOP TEN LOT: Ranked No. 5 in results   A NUMBER OF WORKS BY AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS stood out at Phillips contemporary art sales in London last...
Record-Setting African American Art Auction Gives Swann Galleries Highest-Ever Sales Total in Company History

Record-Setting African American Art Auction Gives Swann Galleries Highest-Ever Sales Total in Company History

BEAUFORD DELANEY, “Untitled (Village Street Scene),” 1948   APPLAUSE SWEPT THROUGH THE SALESROOM when a colorful mid-career canvas by Norman Lewis soared to $725,000*, three times the estimate. Bidders also clapped when a village street scene painted by Beauford Delaney (above) and “O Freedom,” a large-scale charcoal and crayon drawing by Charles White reached half...
Early Work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby Tops Sotheby's Second Sale Devoted to African Modern & Contemporary Art

Early Work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby Tops Sotheby’s Second Sale Devoted to African Modern & Contemporary Art

AN ANDY-WARHOL-STYLE PORTRAIT made by Njideka Akunyili Crosby while she was in graduate school sold for more than twice its estimate at Sotheby’s London this week. The auction house held its second sale dedicated to Modern & Contemporary African Art on March 28, and “À La Warhol,” a four-image self-portrait by the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based...
Sotheby's Contemporary Auctions: Exploring Tension Between Security and Exclusion, Hurvin Anderson Painting Tops $1 Million

Sotheby’s Contemporary Auctions: Exploring Tension Between Security and Exclusion, Hurvin Anderson Painting Tops $1 Million

Lot 11: HURVIN ANDERSON, “Some People (Welcome Series),” 2004 (oil on canvas, 150 by 232 cm. 59 by 91 3/8 inches). | Estimate £600,000—£800,000 ($832,560-$1,110,080). | Sold for £850,000 ($1,179,460) Hammer Price – £1,029,000 GBP ($1,427,840) including fees   A SIGNIFICANT PAINTING by Hurvin Anderson topped $1 million at Sotheby’s London on March 7. A...
Auction Record: Lorna Simpson 'Cloud' Work Sets New Benchmark for the Artist

Auction Record: Lorna Simpson ‘Cloud’ Work Sets New Benchmark for the Artist

LORNA SIMPSON, “Cloud,” 2005.   FEATURING AN ICONIC CLOUD ELEMENT, a major work by Lorna Simpson sold for $70,000 ($87,500 including fees) at Sotheby’s New York earlier this month. The price was an artist record, according Ask Art, Art Price, and Sotheby’s auction results. “Cloud,” a 2005 serigraph printed on felt in nine parts was...
The Broad Acquires Mark Bradford's Record-Setting 'Helter Skelter I,' Along with Works by Julie Mehretu, Kerry James Marshall

The Broad Acquires Mark Bradford’s Record-Setting ‘Helter Skelter I,’ Along with Works by Julie Mehretu, Kerry James Marshall

Detail of Mark Bradford’s “Helter Skelter I” (2007).   ART MARKET HISTORY WAS MADE earlier this month when “Helter Skelter I,” a monumental painting by Mark Bradford sold for $10.4 million (nearly $12 million, including fees) at Phillips London. The price was the highest-ever achieved at auction for a work by a living African American...
Auction Record: 1968 Beveled-Edge Painting Sets New High Mark for Sam Gilliam

Auction Record: 1968 Beveled-Edge Painting Sets New High Mark for Sam Gilliam

Detail of SAM GILLIAM, Untitled, 1968 featured in Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s New York, March 2, 2018   FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY, Sam Gilliam he has had a relatively successful practice by any measure with critical recognition, regular exhibitions, and representation in museum collections. Known for his expressive abstraction and fluid use of...
Prominent Artists Are Donating Their Works to Help Support Studio Museum in Harlem's Building Project

Prominent Artists Are Donating Their Works to Help Support Studio Museum in Harlem’s Building Project

Clockwise, from top left, Sam Gilliam, Lorna Simpson, Mark Bradford, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Glenn Ligon Julie Mehretu, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Rashid Johnson. | via Sotheby’s   ARTISTS WITH CLOSE TIES to the Studio Museum in Harlem are donating works to support the historic institution’s construction campaign. Creating Space: Artists for The Studio Museum in Harlem:...
Mark Bradford 'Helter Skelter' Painting Sells for Nearly $12 Million, Highest-Ever Auction Price for Work by Living African American Artist

Mark Bradford ‘Helter Skelter’ Painting Sells for Nearly $12 Million, Highest-Ever Auction Price for Work by Living African American Artist

MARK BRADFORD, Detail of “Helter Skelter I,” 2007   A MONUMENTAL PAINTING by Mark Bradford reached a historic benchmark at Phillips London on March 8. “Helter Skelter I” sold for 8,671,500 British Pounds, about $10.4 million (nearly $12 million, including fees), an artist record, and the highest-ever auction price achieved by a living African American...