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A blog focused on visual art from a Black perspective, Culture Type explores the intersection of art, history, and culture

Exhibitions
Tate Museums are Reopening July 27. New Exhibitions are Delayed, Including Surveys of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Zanele Muholi

Tate Museums are Reopening July 27. New Exhibitions are Delayed, Including Surveys of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Zanele Muholi

  AFTER JOINING A CHORUS of museums around the world that closed temporarily in mid-March to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Tate in London announced its reopening plans. All four Tate galleries are opening to the public July 27. The pause in operations resulted in a shift in exhibition schedules and six-month delays for...
On View: 'Painting with Light: The Photography of Ming Smith' at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London

On View: ‘Painting with Light: The Photography of Ming Smith’ at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London

“Abidjan Children” (1972 / 2003) by Ming Smith   While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   A PIONEERING AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER, Ming Smith is known for her experimental techniques. Her painterly and artfully blurred images are achieved with slow shutter...
Brazilian Artist Sonia Gomes Joins Blum & Poe and Pace Galleries: 'My Work is Black, It is Feminine, and It is Marginal'

Brazilian Artist Sonia Gomes Joins Blum & Poe and Pace Galleries: ‘My Work is Black, It is Feminine, and It is Marginal’

Sonia Gomes in her São Paulo studio, 2020.   BLUM & POE and Pace Galleries have added Brazilian artist Sonia Gomes to their rosters. Gomes works with found and gifted fabrics, exploring the embedded meaning, histories, and social significance of the textiles. Issues of memory and identity are at the center of her practice. New...
American and European Museums Plan 48-Hour Stream of Arthur Jafa's Moving Video Installation 'Love is the Message'

American and European Museums Plan 48-Hour Stream of Arthur Jafa’s Moving Video Installation ‘Love is the Message’

Still from Arthur Jafa’s “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” (2016)   A MEDLEY OF HISTORIC and contemporary footage, Arthur Jafa‘s “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” (2016) is an ode to the black experience. The video installation is a rapid-pace montage of poignant images, both celebratory and heart-wrenching. Kanye West’s...
Culture Talk: Frank Stewart on His Jazz Photographs, Approach to Image Making, and Forthcoming Museum Retrospective

Culture Talk: Frank Stewart on His Jazz Photographs, Approach to Image Making, and Forthcoming Museum Retrospective

  THE ARRAY OF IMAGES Frank Stewart has made over the course of his career is dizzying. He’s photographed African American culture in its many forms—art, food, dance, and music, jazz in particular. He’s made portraits of artists, shot barbecue in the South and Midwest, and captured the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He photographed a...
New Drawings by Toyin Ojih Odutola Pair Powerful Portraits with Invented Stories

New Drawings by Toyin Ojih Odutola Pair Powerful Portraits with Invented Stories

“As He Watched Him Walk Away” (2020) by Toyin Ojih Odutola   A NEW SERIES OF WORKS ON PAPER by Toyin Ojih Odutola explores her fascination with marrying images and text. The artist’s pursuit satiates the viewer’s natural inclination to spin narratives around her powerful and alluring portraits. This desire to imagine the lives and...
Floaters: Series of Leisurely Pool Images by Derrick Adams is About Black Radical Joy

Floaters: Series of Leisurely Pool Images by Derrick Adams is About Black Radical Joy

    CENTERED ON JOY AND LEISURE, “Derrick Adams: Buoyant” may seem out of step with the moment. Two months of quarantine and social distancing borne of a global pandemic dovetailed with a new wave of black people murdered by police. Then a multiracial, intergenerational protest movement sprouted in response, calling for racial justice, police...
Ronald Ollie, 69, a Major Collector of African American Abstract Art Who Gifted 81 Works to Saint Louis Art Museum, Has Died

Ronald Ollie, 69, a Major Collector of African American Abstract Art Who Gifted 81 Works to Saint Louis Art Museum, Has Died

Collector Ronald Ollie (1951-2020)   AN AVID COLLECTOR of African American art and generous museum patron, Ronald Ollie (1951-2020) has died. He passed away at his home in Newark, N.J., on June 1. He was 69. His wife Monique McRipley Ollie confirmed his death to Culture Type. She told me via email, “I think his...
On View: 'Renaissance: Noir' Curated by Myrtis Bedolla at UTA Artist Space

On View: ‘Renaissance: Noir’ Curated by Myrtis Bedolla at UTA Artist Space

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   UTA ARTIST SPACE in Los Angeles is presenting a virtual exhibition curated by Myrtis Bedolla, founder of Galerie Myrtis, a black-owned art gallery in Baltimore. A selection of largely figurative works...
For Her First Solo Exhibition, Sydney Vernon Brings New Life and Meaning to Moments Captured in Treasured Family Photographs

For Her First Solo Exhibition, Sydney Vernon Brings New Life and Meaning to Moments Captured in Treasured Family Photographs

  PATTERNED BLUE WALLPAPER defines the room. Standing in profile in front of a mirrored vanity table, an expectant mother turns her head toward the viewer. She smiles and proudly rests her hand on her growing belly. Documenting the moment, the mirror reflects her image. Other works depict a little girl standing mischievously in a...
Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

  “Untitled (Parade)” (2016) by Kevin Beasley   HISTORICALLY, FEW MAINSTREAM American museums have collected art by African American artists in a meaningful or representational manner. To address generational deficits and fill gaps, many museums have established special funds and committees dedicated to acquiring African American art. A collection exhibition currently on view at Pérez...
When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

Tadesse Mesfin in his Addis Ababa studo   A PROMINENT FIGURE in Ethiopian Modernism, Tadesse Mesfin thrives on two creative fronts: making paintings and training the next generation of artists. Women are the protagonists in Mesfin’s ongoing series “Pillars of Life.” The paintings pay homage to the many women who work as smallholder vendors in...
Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

  THE POWERFUL CERAMIC SCULPTURES of Akinsanya Kambon (aka Mark Teemer) are embedded with history, identity, and ancient techniques with spiritual vibes. An extensive selection of his works is on view “American Expressions/African Roots: Akinsanya Kambon’s Ceramic Sculpture,” at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Kambon has traveled to Africa 14 times, conducting research and...
Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film 'America': 'I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country'

Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film ‘America’: ‘I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country’

Still from “America” (2019) by Garrett Bradley   ARTIST AND FILMMAKER Garrett Bradley makes lyrical films that explore the challenges of contemporary life and surface lost histories. A pair of revelations about the legacy of silent film inspired one of her latest projects. In 2013, the Library of Congress (LOC) released a report declaring America’s...
On View: Firelei Báez Explores Diasporic Histories, Mythical Figures, and Imagined Realms at James Cohan Gallery in New York

On View: Firelei Báez Explores Diasporic Histories, Mythical Figures, and Imagined Realms at James Cohan Gallery in New York

  While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions   THE DYNAMIC WORKS of Firelei Báez are studies in contrast—bridging the past and future, marrying static documents with painterly gestural images bursting with color, energy, movement, and symbolism. Báez paints directly...
South Africa-Based Artist Billie Zangewa is Now Represented by New York Gallery Lehmann Maupin, Her Silk 'Paintings' Center the Lives and Experiences of Women

South Africa-Based Artist Billie Zangewa is Now Represented by New York Gallery Lehmann Maupin, Her Silk ‘Paintings’ Center the Lives and Experiences of Women

“Soldier of Love” (2020) by Billie Zangewa   DRESSED IN A KHAKI TRENCH COAT, Billie Zangewa holds her young son’s hand, escorting him to school. He wears a backpack and a school uniform. Lush green foliage crowds their path. Behind them, the sky is a luminous pink. The everyday scene is of the artist’s own...