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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
Looking in London: 10 Exhibitions to See This Season Featuring Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, and Adam Pendleton Among Others

Looking in London: 10 Exhibitions to See This Season Featuring Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, and Adam Pendleton Among Others

  YEAR AFTER YEAR, serious art aficionados descend on various locales around the world for art fairs, biennials, and major exhibition opening. The rolling schedule unfolds in New York, Basel, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Chicago, Miami, Johannesburg, Lagos, Los Angeles, and beyond. Each fall brings buyers and lookers to London for the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair,...
'Royal Flush': Artist Nina Chanel Abney Debuts in Los Angeles at Two Museums

‘Royal Flush’: Artist Nina Chanel Abney Debuts in Los Angeles at Two Museums

  IN A 2008 PAINTING, Nina Chanel Abney brought together the seemingly disparate images of her friend Randal, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a pack of dogs, and Michael Vick, the NFL player who was serving 21 months in prison for participating in dog fighting, when the work was made. Titled “Randaleeza,” the...
This Fall, Multiple Exhibitions Dedicated to 'Soul of a Nation' Artists are on View Throughout New York City

This Fall, Multiple Exhibitions Dedicated to ‘Soul of a Nation’ Artists are on View Throughout New York City

Installation view of “Frank Bowling: Make It New” at Alexander Gray Associates   TEN DAYS AGO, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” opened at the Brooklyn Museum. The groundbreaking traveling show “shines light on a broad spectrum of Black artistic practice from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically,...
Gary Simmons Shines a Light on Historic 'Race' Films with All-Black Casts

Gary Simmons Shines a Light on Historic ‘Race’ Films with All-Black Casts

Installation view of “Gary Simmons: Fade to Black” at CAAM   A MONUMENTAL INSTALLATION has transformed the atrium/lobby of the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles. The five wall-sized panels read: “Juke Joint,” “Moon Over Harlem,” “Midnight Shadow,” “The Joint is Jumpin, “Souls of Sin,” “Jivin in Be-Bop,” “The Bronze Buckaroo,” and on...
Dawoud Bey's Photographic Tribute to the Victims of 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Collapses the Past and Present

Dawoud Bey’s Photographic Tribute to the Victims of 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Collapses the Past and Present

WHEN HE WAS 11 years old, a book of photographs forever changed Dawoud Bey‘s perspective in terms of his vulnerability as a black child. His parents purchased the book in 1964 after hearing James Baldwin speak at their church in Queens, N.Y. The event was part of a tour organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating...
'Soul of a Nation' Opens in New York Where Many of the Exhibition Artists Were Active During the Civil Rights, Black Power Eras

‘Soul of a Nation’ Opens in New York Where Many of the Exhibition Artists Were Active During the Civil Rights, Black Power Eras

“Pittsburgh Memory” (1964) by Romare Bearden   HOW SHOULD AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS respond to the Civil Rights Movement? The question was central to the organization of Spiral, the New York artist collective formed in 1963 in advance of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The 15-member group including Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Reginald...
Major Retrospectives of Adrian Piper, Charles White, and Howardena Pindell are Traveling to New Venues This Fall

Major Retrospectives of Adrian Piper, Charles White, and Howardena Pindell are Traveling to New Venues This Fall

“Everything #2.8” (2003) by Adrian Piper   THE PRESENTATION of Adrian Piper’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was historic. “Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016” was the museum’s largest-ever exhibition devoted to a living artist. At once sprawling and intentionally organized, the show featured more than 290 works. A conceptual pioneer,...
She's a 'Brick House': Simone Leigh's Monumental Vision of a Black Woman is Inaugural Commission for High Line Plinth

She’s a ‘Brick House’: Simone Leigh’s Monumental Vision of a Black Woman is Inaugural Commission for High Line Plinth

In Progress: Simone Leigh assesses her towering “Brick House” sculpture.   A STUNNING CLAY SCULPTURE by Simone Leigh rises 16-feet high in a Philadelphia foundry. Leigh’s monumental vision of a black woman is titled “Brick House” after the 1977 song by the Commodores. Blending architectural forms from West Africa and the American South with the...
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...
Culture Talk: Curator Jonathan Walz on the Rich History Found in the Archives and Collections Dedicated to Artist Alma Thomas

Culture Talk: Curator Jonathan Walz on the Rich History Found in the Archives and Collections Dedicated to Artist Alma Thomas

Portrait of Alma Thomas painted by Laura Wheeler Waring (1947). | Smithsonian American Art Museum   RESEARCH IS ONGOING for a forthcoming exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Alma Thomas (1891-1978), the accomplished and technically rigorous abstract painter who was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney...
'Soul of a Nation' is Traveling to the West Coast, Exhibition Will Be on View in Spring 2019 at The Broad in Los Angeles

‘Soul of a Nation’ is Traveling to the West Coast, Exhibition Will Be on View in Spring 2019 at The Broad in Los Angeles

“Did the Bear Sit Under the Tree” (1969) by Benny Andrews   THE INTERNATIONAL TOUR for “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” has been extended. The exhibition will be on view at The Broad next March. The Los Angeles museum is the exhibition’s only West Coast venue and the show’s...
Loaded with Symbolism, a Fountain Sculpture by Pope.L is Among New Acquisitions at Carnegie Museum of Art

Loaded with Symbolism, a Fountain Sculpture by Pope.L is Among New Acquisitions at Carnegie Museum of Art

“Fountain (reparations version)” (2016-17) by Pope.L   EARLIER THIS MONTH, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announced several new acquisitions, including “Fountain (reparations version)” (2016-17) by Chicago-based Pope.L. The sculpture is on view in the modern and contemporary galleries which have been re-hung to reflect the “depth, diversity, and eccentricities” of the Carnegie Museum’s...
Basel and Beyond: Overdue Recognition of African American Artists at Home is Generating Unprecedented Curatorial and Collector Interest Throughout Europe

Basel and Beyond: Overdue Recognition of African American Artists at Home is Generating Unprecedented Curatorial and Collector Interest Throughout Europe

“The Music of Color: Sam Gilliam, 1967-1973” recently opened in Basel, Switzerland.   THE GALLERIES OF KUNSTMUSEUM BASEL are alive with color in the form of 45 abstract paintings by Sam Gilliam. “The Music of Color: Sam Gilliam, 1967-1973” is the Washington, D.C.-based artist’s first retrospective exhibition in a European museum. The show is devoted...
On View | 'Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power' at Fowler Museum at UCLA

On View | ‘Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power’ at Fowler Museum at UCLA

  IN RELATABLE IMAGES, Meleko Mokgosi explores weighty themes. He makes history paintings about the politics, culture, and history of Southern Africa. Post-colonial scenes of the quotidian are visions of democracy. For five years, Mokgosi has been pursuing “Democratic Intuition” (2014-present), a singular project, composed of eight chapters, each realized as an exhibition. The latest...