Welcome to Culture Type®

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.

Magazines
The New Yorker: Kadir Nelson's 'Distant Summer' Cover Invokes Pandemic Protocol, Frivolity of Youth, and American Symbolism

The New Yorker: Kadir Nelson’s ‘Distant Summer’ Cover Invokes Pandemic Protocol, Frivolity of Youth, and American Symbolism

“Distant Summer” by Kadir Nelson. | The New Yorker, July 6 and July 3, 2020   SHORTLY AFTER DELIVERING a sobering cover documenting the history of racial injustice, violence, and killing endured by Africa Americans throughout U.S. history, culminating with the murder of George Floyd, Kadir Nelson produced an homage to childhood summer joy. The...
Charly Palmer is Latest Artist Tapped to Illustrate Cover of Time Magazine, Providing Image for 'America Must Change' Issue

Charly Palmer is Latest Artist Tapped to Illustrate Cover of Time Magazine, Providing Image for ‘America Must Change’ Issue

  MAINSTREAM INSTITUTIONS have responded in a variety of ways to the nationwide focus on race, racial justice, and policing. Time magazine’s reaction has been to pair its news coverage of the unfolding events with covers by African American artists. Charly Palmer is the latest tapped for the assignment. In the wake of protests following...
Kadir Nelson's New Yorker Cover is a Monument to George Floyd and Reminder of Long History of Violence Against Black People in America

Kadir Nelson’s New Yorker Cover is a Monument to George Floyd and Reminder of Long History of Violence Against Black People in America

  THE BANNER FLAG HANGING outside a window at the NAACP’s Fifth Avenue headquarters in New York City declaring “A Man Was Lynched Yesterday.” Emmett Till’s big bright eyes and round smiling face before he was lynched and found dead in a river in Money, Miss., at age 14. The textured scars on the back...
Painter Titus Kaphar Focuses on a Black Mother's Loss for Time Magazine Cover About Police Killings and American Uprising

Painter Titus Kaphar Focuses on a Black Mother’s Loss for Time Magazine Cover About Police Killings and American Uprising

  REPRESENTING THE SORROW of generations, Titus Kaphar painted a black mother for the cover of Time magazine. Her eyes are closed in anguish. She holds her young son, but he is not there. The artist has cut the child from the canvas. All that remains is an empty silhouette. “In her expression, I see...
The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

Trailer: “Get Out” (2017), Written and Directed by Jordan Peele. | Video by Universal Pictures   ‘GET OUT’ was “a phenomenal piece of work,” artist Kerry James Marshall said. Kenya Barris, the television writer and producer, is drawn to the neon work “Double America 2” (2014) by Glenn Ligon. “The simplicity of it is radical...
Time Magazine Recognizes 100 Years of Influential Women with Covers by Mickalene Thomas, Bisa Butler, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

Time Magazine Recognizes 100 Years of Influential Women with Covers by Mickalene Thomas, Bisa Butler, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

  TIME MAGAZINE is exploring the most influential women of the past century. 2020 marks 100 years since women gained the right to vote in the United States. To recognize the milestone that transformed women’s individual and collective agency, the magazine launched a project called 100 Women of the Year.   1969: Marsha Johnson by...
Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About 'Black Artists in Unexpected Places'

Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About ‘Black Artists in Unexpected Places’

  PICASSO’S “GUERNICA” (1937) is admired and respected by many artists, including Kerry James Marshall and Faith Ringgold. In 1980, Marshall’s first trip to New York—and first flight on an airplane—was made expressly to see the grand work on loan from Spain at the Museum of Modern Art. Ringgold has described “Guernica” as her favorite...
Cover Subject: Countering Historic Narratives, Derrick Adams Makes the Images He Wants to See in the World

Cover Subject: Countering Historic Narratives, Derrick Adams Makes the Images He Wants to See in the World

  BLACK PEOPLE FLOATING leisurely in pools are among the most recognizable images Derrick Adams has made in recent years. The brightly colored scenes in his Floaters series usually feature an individual figure lounging on an inflatable floater. “Floater 49” (2017), a mixed-media collage work from his Floaters series appears on the fall 2019 cover...
In an Interview Coinciding with His First Exhibition at Gagosian, Nathaniel Mary Quinn Tells Anderson Cooper: 'My Paintings Come to Me as Visions'

In an Interview Coinciding with His First Exhibition at Gagosian, Nathaniel Mary Quinn Tells Anderson Cooper: ‘My Paintings Come to Me as Visions’

    EXPLORING THE INTERSECTION of reality, memory, and perception, Nathaniel Mary Quinn paints composite portraits that read as collage. In actuality, they are produced with oil paint, gouache, charcoal, oil stick, and pastels in his own hand. He has said his fragmented and visually layered portraits are based on the faces of people he...
Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

From the New York Times video: Pool Party | Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont   FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas has decamped to a property in Salisbury, Conn., during “kids-away-from-school” time with Racquel Chevremont, her partner in work and life, and their three children. Purchased in 2013, Thomas calls the 19th century...
A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel's Favorite Artwork

A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel’s Favorite Artwork

  WORKS BY MORE THAN 60 ARTISTS, including Faith Ringgold, are featured in “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.” Nearly all the artists are black, except Virginia Jaramillo, Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and Alice Neel (1900-1984), who contributed a portrait of Ringgold to the landmark exhibition. Rinngold has said she posed...
Ursula Magazine: Hauser & Wirth Introduced a New Art Quarterly Featuring Linda Goode Bryant, Lorna Simpson, Amy Sherald, Senga Nengudi, and Jack Whitten

Ursula Magazine: Hauser & Wirth Introduced a New Art Quarterly Featuring Linda Goode Bryant, Lorna Simpson, Amy Sherald, Senga Nengudi, and Jack Whitten

  THE INAUGURAL ISSUE of Ursula magazine begins and ends with depictions of African American women by black female artists. The cover features a collage image of Linda Goode Bryant by Lorna Simpson. A painting by Amy Sherald illustrates the back cover the magazine. Bryant is the pioneering founder of Just Above Midtown (JAM), the...
Ava DuVernay Guest Edits Time Magazine, Offering Art as an 'Antidote for Our Times'

Ava DuVernay Guest Edits Time Magazine, Offering Art as an ‘Antidote for Our Times’

One of New York City’s “unusual characters.” | Photo by Clay Benskin for Time. Used with permission from the photographer   TIME TAPPED Ava DuVernay to guest edit a special issue devoted to optimism and she delivered a magazine chock full of hope, promise and creativity. The award-winning writer/director/producer elected to explore optimism through the...
Shonda Rhimes Has Two Hughie Lee-Smith Paintings in Study of Her L.A. Home

Shonda Rhimes Has Two Hughie Lee-Smith Paintings in Study of Her L.A. Home

In her home study, Shonda Rhimes talks about Hughie Lee-Smith’s 1988 painting “Counterpoise.”   ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST publishes photos of spectacular, light-filled homes. The magazine’s latest feature focuses on the Los Angeles residence of Shonda Rhimes, an Italianate villa she recently renovated where paintings by Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999) hang in the study and living room. “His...
Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Oct. 15, 2018: Writers gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society   WATCHING “MOONLIGHT” in theaters across the nation, American audiences were reminded of the power of black male storytelling. The screenplay for the 2016 film was written by Barry Jenkins and adapted from a semi-autobiographical stage play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The story follows the...
Art + Practice Co-Founder Eileen Harris Norton Gives Her Art-Filled Home a Refresh

Art + Practice Co-Founder Eileen Harris Norton Gives Her Art-Filled Home a Refresh

Eileen Harris Norton at home with works by Alma Thomas and Kara Walker.   OVER THE FIREPLACE, an Alma Thomas (1891-1978) painting shares the mantel with a small sculpture by Kara Walker. Elsewhere in the home a Kerry James Marshall work hangs adjacent to a Glenn Ligon neon that reads “negro sunshine.” The November issue...