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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
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...
All in the Family: Aaron Fowler's Elaborate Assemblage Works are Highly Personal

All in the Family: Aaron Fowler’s Elaborate Assemblage Works are Highly Personal

“You Deserve It Mama!!” (2017) by Aaron Fowler.   ABOUT 20 IRONING BOARDS, a broom, family photographs, LED rope lights, a stuffed donkey, a stuffed dog sans the stuffing, and a tall pane of glass are among the myriad objects Aaron Fowler incorporated into a massive assemblage work called “You Deserve It Mama!!” The artist...
Charles White Retrospective Opens Next Week at the Art Institute of Chicago, Where the Artist Regularly Wandered as a Child

Charles White Retrospective Opens Next Week at the Art Institute of Chicago, Where the Artist Regularly Wandered as a Child

Charles White: A Retrospective. | Video by Art Institute of Chicago   NEXT WEEK, THE LONG-AWAITED Charles White (1918-1979) retrospective opens at the Art Institute of Chicago. An artist, activist, and educator, Chicago-born White was a master draftsmen known for his powerful, realist images of African Americans. Featuring more than 80 paintings, drawings, and prints,...
Coming Soon: Denver Art Museum is Presenting Jordan Casteel's First Major Museum Exhibition in 2019

Coming Soon: Denver Art Museum is Presenting Jordan Casteel’s First Major Museum Exhibition in 2019

  “Benyam” (2018) by Jordan Casteel   DENVER-BORN Jordan Casteel‘s hometown museum is hosting her first major museum show. “Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze,” an exhibition of nearly 30 paintings, opens at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in February 2019. Recognized for her large-scale painted portraits of black men, Casteel lives and works in Harlem,...
'Folklorist of the Brush and Palette': Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

‘Folklorist of the Brush and Palette’: Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

WINOLD REISS, “Harlem Girl with Blanket,” circa 1925   FORTY WORKS BY A HARLEM LEGEND are on view in midtown Manhattan. “Winold Reiss Will Not Be Classified” at Hirschl & Adler gallery presents works spanning the German American artist’s four decade career. Weinold Reiss (1886–1953) was variously considered an artist, designer, illustrator, architect, printmaker, and...
Artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards Explores Issues of Identity, Perception, and the Lure of Luxe Goods

Artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards Explores Issues of Identity, Perception, and the Lure of Luxe Goods

  JAMEA RICHMOND-EDWARDS, “Archetype of a 5 Star,” 2018 (acrylic, spray paint, glitter, ink and cut paper collage on canvas, 60 x 48 inches). | Courtesy of Kravets/Wehby Gallery and the artist   AS A YOUNG GIRL, Jamea Richmond-Edwards got lost in the pages of Ebony magazine. She was particularly drawn to the runway images...
Two Decades After it Debuted, Kerry James Marshall is Revisiting His Rythm Mastr Comic Series at 2018 Carnegie International

Two Decades After it Debuted, Kerry James Marshall is Revisiting His Rythm Mastr Comic Series at 2018 Carnegie International

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, Rythm Mastr, 1999-present. | Courtesy the artist and MCA Chicago   EVERY TUESDAY FOR EIGHT WEEKS readers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s magazine were treated to a single illustrated panel from Kerry James Marshall’s Rythm Mastr comic series. This was nearly two decades ago, during the 1999/2000 Carnegie International when the artist first...
Locating Alma Thomas: Forthcoming Retrospective Will Explore Artist's Creative Life and Hometown Connections

Locating Alma Thomas: Forthcoming Retrospective Will Explore Artist’s Creative Life and Hometown Connections

  MAJOR EXHIBITIONS OF WORKS by Alma Thomas (1891-1978) have concentrated on her paintings, masterful abstract works that are defined by her attention to rhythm, pattern, and color. The Columbus Museum in Columbus, Ga., and the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., have announced a forthcoming retrospective that will broadly explore her creative life—her...