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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.

Exhibitions
On View: 'Christina Quarles' at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

On View: ‘Christina Quarles’ at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   REPRESENTING THE BODY as flexible and free, contorted and constricted, intertwined and engaged, the work of Christina Quarles reflects the pressures and pleasures of life and the complexities of identity. The...
On View: 'Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art' at Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway

On View: ‘Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art’ at Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   SINCE 2005, the Astrup Fearnley Museum has been staging expansive exhibitions exploring national and continental art scenes around the world. After showcasing the United States, Brazil, India, China and Europe, the...
Kara Walker Has Opened Her Personal Archive, Showing Nearly 270 Drawings

Kara Walker Has Opened Her Personal Archive, Showing Nearly 270 Drawings

  GRAND SCALE narrative installations, figurative scenes produced as cut-paper silhouettes, brought early acclaim to Kara Walker more than 25 years ago. More recently, she has ventured into monumental public art. Her first foray was in 2014, when she created “A Subtlety,” her massive sphinx-like mammy figure, a sculpture covered entirely with sugar installed at...
50 Years After His Death, William H. Johnson's Work is Showcased in Museum Exhibitions and Rare Solo Presentation by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

50 Years After His Death, William H. Johnson’s Work is Showcased in Museum Exhibitions and Rare Solo Presentation by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

  ACTIVE FOR ABOUT TWO DECADES, American artist William H. Johnson (1901-1970) made paintings in two distinct styles over the course of his career. Living in Europe from the mid-1920s to 30s, he developed a modern aesthetic making expressive and moody landscapes and later took an interest in folk art and what he called a...
A Masterful Portrait Painter, Barkley L. Hendricks Produced an Early Series of Basketball Paintings Grounded in Abstraction

A Masterful Portrait Painter, Barkley L. Hendricks Produced an Early Series of Basketball Paintings Grounded in Abstraction

“Father, Son, and…” (1969) by Barkley L. Hendricks   ONE OF THE BIG DRAWS at the Jack Shainman booth at Frieze Los Angeles last month was a triptych by Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) called “Father, Son,…” Given the title and the artist’s renown for making masterful portraits that convey his subject’s cool style and mien,...
On View: 'Tau Lewis: Sparkle's Map Home' at Oakville Galleries in Ontario

On View: ‘Tau Lewis: Sparkle’s Map Home’ at Oakville Galleries in Ontario

  FOUND AND RECYCLED TEXTILES are at the heart of Tau Lewis‘s practice. She makes labor-intensive sculptural portraits constructed with hand-sewing, quilting, and assemblage techniques. Her work explores memory, agency, and individual and collective trauma and healing. For example, recent works have considered the legacy of loss borne of the Middle Passage and what she...
Artist List for Prospect New Orleans Triennial Includes Mark Bradford, Willie Birch, Simone Leigh, Dawoud Bey, Glenn Ligon, Karon Davis, Naudline Pierre,  and Kevin Beasley

Artist List for Prospect New Orleans Triennial Includes Mark Bradford, Willie Birch, Simone Leigh, Dawoud Bey, Glenn Ligon, Karon Davis, Naudline Pierre, and Kevin Beasley

Still from single-channel video by Tiona Nekkia McClodden   THE ARTIST LIST for Prospect New Orleans was officially announced today. Invited artists for the 2020 triennial include Los Angeles-based Mark Bradford, who participated in the first Prospect New Orleans more than a decade ago and is contributing a major new site-specific work; the late Georgia-born...
The Year Ahead in African American Art: What to See and Do in 2020

The Year Ahead in African American Art: What to See and Do in 2020

  THE YEAR IN BLACK ART is off to a fascinating start. In January, Helen Molesworth organized a Noah Davis (1983-2015) exhibition at David Zwirner gallery in New York, a rare look at more than 20 paintings by the late Los Angeles-based artist and founder of the Underground Museum. The Johnson Publishing Company art collection...
In a Series of Dignified Portraits, Ajamu Kojo Recalls the Racial Violence that Destroyed 'Black Wall Street' Nearly 100 Years Ago

In a Series of Dignified Portraits, Ajamu Kojo Recalls the Racial Violence that Destroyed ‘Black Wall Street’ Nearly 100 Years Ago

  NEARLY A CENTURY AGO, the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Okla., was destroyed. The thriving black business district known as Black Wall Street was besieged in 1921, from May 31 to June 1, by a white mob attacking residents and their homes and businesses. The massacre leveled 35 square blocks, killing countless people (reports range...
National Portrait Gallery: African Americans and Racial Justice are Popular Subjects at Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

National Portrait Gallery: African Americans and Racial Justice are Popular Subjects at Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

  OCCURRING EVERY THREE YEARS, the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition has showcased the work of numerous African American artists. Amy Sherald won first prize in 2016, transforming her career. In the latest cycle, Deborah Roberts, Genevieve Gaignard, Lava Thomas and Nona Faustine are among the finalists, and Wayde McIntosh tied for third prize. Their works...
What to See in Los Angeles: 15 Exhibitions Feature Ja'Tovia Gary, Hank Willis Thomas, Betye Saar, Lauren Halsey, Julie Mehretu, Arcmanoro Niles, and More

What to See in Los Angeles: 15 Exhibitions Feature Ja’Tovia Gary, Hank Willis Thomas, Betye Saar, Lauren Halsey, Julie Mehretu, Arcmanoro Niles, and More

  IN LOS ANGELES, it’s art fair season. Frieze Los Angeles is open for its second year at Paramount Pictures Studios. Art Los Angeles Contemporary is happening at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is hosting the Felix art fair and Spring/Break is at Skylight ROW DTLA. At The Kinney in Venice, stARTup...
Hirshhorn Museum Plans First U.S. Retrospective of Sam Gilliam in 15+ Years

Hirshhorn Museum Plans First U.S. Retrospective of Sam Gilliam in 15+ Years

“Light Depth” (1969) by Sam Gilliam   THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., plans an expansive look at the six-decade career of pioneering abstractionist Sam Gilliam. Exploring key moments in his innovative painting practice, the retrospective will open at the Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in spring 2022. “Inspired by the...
After Making Images That Reflect the Sweeping Legacy of Slavery, Photographer Dannielle Bowman Looks Closer to Home

After Making Images That Reflect the Sweeping Legacy of Slavery, Photographer Dannielle Bowman Looks Closer to Home

DANNIELLE BOWMAN, “Inglewood,” 2019 (digital pigment print, 20 x 25 inches). | © Dannielle Bowman   AN ENDLESS EXPANSE of dark, open waters illustrates the cover of The New York Times Magazine’s groundbreaking examination of the legacy of slavery in America: The 1619 Project. The black-and-white photograph captures the distant horizon near a Hampton, Va.,...
Backstory: Wayde McIntosh Made a Prize-Winning Portrait of Friend and Fellow Artist Jordan Casteel

Backstory: Wayde McIntosh Made a Prize-Winning Portrait of Friend and Fellow Artist Jordan Casteel

  VISITING THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY for the first time in 2006 turned out to be a meaningful experience for Wayde McIntosh. Studying for a BFA in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, he made the short trip from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., specifically to see the inaugural exhibition of the Outwin Boochever...