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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
Disembodiment: A New Generation of Painters is Reframing the Narrative Around Blackness and the Black Body

Disembodiment: A New Generation of Painters is Reframing the Narrative Around Blackness and the Black Body

“Pac Thugz Mansion” (2019) by Jerrell Gibbs   RENDERED IN SOFT FOCUS, a glimpse of nude figures diving into an expansive body of blue water is seen through an opening of low-hanging foliage. It’s a view that could take on any number of interpretations. The painting by Jerrell Gibbs is a vision of freedom and...
Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on the Artists Defining the History and Shaping the Future of Black Abstract Art

Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on the Artists Defining the History and Shaping the Future of Black Abstract Art

  SINCE 1999, PAMELA J. JOYNER and Alfred J. Giuffrida have focused their collecting on abstract art by artists of African descent. Nearing 100 artists, the collection is documented in a hefty volume, “Four Generations: The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art,” and a traveling exhibition. After touring four museums, “Solidary & Solitary: The...
Extraordinary Frederick Douglass Archive Inspired an Exhibition and Ceremonial Tribute Staged by Artist Raphaël Barontini

Extraordinary Frederick Douglass Archive Inspired an Exhibition and Ceremonial Tribute Staged by Artist Raphaël Barontini

The exhibition “Frederick Douglass: Embers of Freedom” at the SCAD Museum of Art was accompanied by “The Golden March,” a special commission by artist Raphaël Barontini composed of a marching band performance and site-specific installations. | Photography Courtesy of SCAD   SAVANNAH, GA.—Carrying flags and banners bearing the image of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the Savannah...
On View: Vanessa German, 'Trampoline: Resilience & Black Body & Soul' at Fort Gansevoort in New York

On View: Vanessa German, ‘Trampoline: Resilience & Black Body & Soul’ at Fort Gansevoort in New York

    CANDID, HARSH, AND IMAGINATIVE, Vanessa German‘s mixed-media sculptures, assemblages, and wall-mounted altars are rich with narrative. Created to gird against the daily violence and indignities endured by black and brown people, her Power Figures possess joy, love, and soul protection. Pittsburgh-based German is a performance artist and activist who paints, sculpts and writes....
Using His Camera as an Instrument, Frank Stewart Has Been Hanging with Jazz Musicians for Five Decades

Using His Camera as an Instrument, Frank Stewart Has Been Hanging with Jazz Musicians for Five Decades

  MILES DAVIS HOLDING COURT with the press after a performance at Lincoln Center is one of Frank Stewart’s more well-known photographs. A camera flash shines bright aimed at Davis who is perched against a wall on the opposite side of the room, elevated slightly just above everyone, his shadow cast behind him. Stewart shot...
On View: 'Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections' at Detroit Institute of Arts

On View: ‘Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections’ at Detroit Institute of Arts

AARON DOUGLAS, “Study for Haitian Mural, Wilmington, Delaware,” 1942 (oil on board). | Lent by Wilson A. and Deborah Fl. Copeland and Lauren F. C. N’Namdi   WHILE ATTENTION is often paid to patrons of the arts in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, for generations, the city of Detroit has had a significant...
On View: 'Woody De Othello: Breathing Room' at San José Museum of Art

On View: ‘Woody De Othello: Breathing Room’ at San José Museum of Art

  THE SAN JOSÉ MUSEUM OF ART acquired “Defeated, depleted,” (2018) by Woody De Othello last year. Shiny, black, anthropomorphic, and collapsing in on itself, the ceramic sculpture (above left) inspired a body of work now on view at the museum. “Breathing Room” is De Othello’s first museum exhibition. Born in Miami to a family...
AFRICOBRA in Venice: Curated by Jeffreen Hayes, 'Nation Time' Explores the Powerful Roots and History of the Collective

AFRICOBRA in Venice: Curated by Jeffreen Hayes, ‘Nation Time’ Explores the Powerful Roots and History of the Collective

  FIVE LIKE-MINDED ARTISTS came together half a century ago with a common purpose. Jeff Donaldson (1932-2004), Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu (1938-2017), and Gerald Williams met in Wadsworth’s studio on the South Side of Chicago and committed to harnessing the power of their collective artistic voice. The artists formed AFRICOBRA in 1968 and...
On View: 'Utopian Imagination' at Ford Foundation Gallery in New York

On View: ‘Utopian Imagination’ at Ford Foundation Gallery in New York

On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions GIVEN THE PERILS of the contemporary world, how do artists envision the future? “Utopian Imagination” at the Ford Foundation Gallery brings together 13 international artists whose works—spanning sculpture, photography, and film—suggest how we all might exist and persist on a planet under threat from natural and man-made forces....
New York Now: Fall Exhibitions Feature Amy Sherald, Roy DeCarava, Wangechi Mutu, Melvin Edwards, Alvin Baltrop, and Ed Clark, Plus Betye Saar and Pope.L at the New MoMA

New York Now: Fall Exhibitions Feature Amy Sherald, Roy DeCarava, Wangechi Mutu, Melvin Edwards, Alvin Baltrop, and Ed Clark, Plus Betye Saar and Pope.L at the New MoMA

Installation view of Betye Saar at Museum of Modern Art   FALL IN NEW YORK CITY is always a time of renewal and fresh new perspectives when it comes what’s next and relevant in art. This season there are an exceptional number of opportunities to experience the work of African American artists in museums, galleries,...
Black Artists are Headlining Exhibitions Throughout the UK This Fall, 24 Feature the Likes of Kara Walker, Lina Iris Viktor, Mark Bradford, and Otobong Nkanga

Black Artists are Headlining Exhibitions Throughout the UK This Fall, 24 Feature the Likes of Kara Walker, Lina Iris Viktor, Mark Bradford, and Otobong Nkanga

  OCTOBER IN THE UK is black history month. It’s also a significant month when it comes to art this year. Throughout this month, and the rest of the fall season, there are many opportunities to experience the work of emerging and established figures. Black artists are headlining exhibitions at museums and galleries in London,...
MCA Chicago's 'Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech' is an Exhibition Experience Dedicated to the Fast Rise of the Artist/Designer

MCA Chicago’s ‘Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech’ is an Exhibition Experience Dedicated to the Fast Rise of the Artist/Designer

Installation view of “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” at MCA Chicago   THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO is presenting the first museum exhibition dedicated to Virgil Abloh. The fast-rising designer and inveterate collaborator is the head of menswear design at Louis Vuitton and founder of the “streetwear” label Off-White. A traveling survey spanning two...
Whitney Biennial 2019: A Look at 7 Artists and the Works They Presented

Whitney Biennial 2019: A Look at 7 Artists and the Works They Presented

Installation view of work by Daniel Lind-Ramos at 2019 Whitney Biennial   NEW YORK, N.Y.—Throughout the run of the 2019 Whitney Biennial, an inordinate amount of attention has been paid to the challenges and controversies surrounding the exhibition at the expense of consideration of the art on view in the galleries. Amid protests, mixed reviews,...
2019 Whitney Biennial: The Museum as a Site of Protest

2019 Whitney Biennial: The Museum as a Site of Protest

  THE ROOTS OF THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL date to 1932. Originally an annual event, the exhibition was established as a biennial in 1973. Through the decades, organizers of the group show have sought to reflect the state of contemporary art and tap the pulse of what’s going on outside the museum’s galleries. As a result,...