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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.

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Toyin Ojih Odutola Calls Her Portrait of Zadie Smith a 'Love Letter to Black Britain'

Toyin Ojih Odutola Calls Her Portrait of Zadie Smith a ‘Love Letter to Black Britain’

  THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION between storytellers Zadie Smith and Toyin Ojih Odutola is palpable. The British novelist has written about the Nigerian-born visual artist’s work for British Vogue and contributed an essay to her forthcoming catalog, “Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory,” which will accompany a show at the Barbican Centre in London, the artist’s...
Black Women Leaders Appointed to New Roles at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Skirball Cultural Center and Lucas Museum in Los Angeles

Black Women Leaders Appointed to New Roles at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Skirball Cultural Center and Lucas Museum in Los Angeles

  MUSEUM OPERATIONS CONTINUE TO CHURN as institutions navigate months of challenges resulting from COVID-19. Museums are facing budget constraints in the wake of the virus. At the same time, several are dealing with accusations of racism from staff and former staff. Many remain temporarily closed and others are joining a wave of re-openings. Three...
United States Artists is Recognizing Visionary Gallerist and Activist Linda Goode Bryant with 2020 Berresford Prize

United States Artists is Recognizing Visionary Gallerist and Activist Linda Goode Bryant with 2020 Berresford Prize

In 1974, Linda Goode Bryant founded Just Above Midtown gallery in New York City. | Photo by Oresti Tsonopoulos   THE FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR of Just Above Midtown (JAM), Linda Goode Bryant “has had a massive effect on the trajectory of countless artists and has changed the course of art history in the process.” For...
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...
Art for Change: Simone Leigh Produced a New Limited-Edition Sculpture, Proceeds Benefit Color of Change

Art for Change: Simone Leigh Produced a New Limited-Edition Sculpture, Proceeds Benefit Color of Change

  ARTISTS AND GALLERIES have been donating portions of art sales, participating in charitable auctions, and producing special limited-editions to benefit artists and a variety of nonprofits since late March. The efforts began to take root in response to economic and opportunity challenges that arose due to COVID-19 shutdowns and were amplified in late May...
Art for Change: Collective of 80 Black Photographers is Selling Prints to Benefit Nonprofits Focused on Justice and Uplift

Art for Change: Collective of 80 Black Photographers is Selling Prints to Benefit Nonprofits Focused on Justice and Uplift

  A COLLECTIVE OF 80 BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS has come together to rally for change. See in Black was formed in response to the latest police killings and calls for racial justice. The group is harnessing its talent and resources to center black visibility and invest in black uplift. The photographers are selling prints for $100...
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...
Powerful Perspective: These Black Female Photographers are Documenting the Protests Against Police Killings and Racial Injustice

Powerful Perspective: These Black Female Photographers are Documenting the Protests Against Police Killings and Racial Injustice

  FOR MORE THAN A DOZEN DAYS NOW, people have been marching—flooding the streets, declaring “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” on signs and t-shirts, and raising their voices demanding change. In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and countless others, protestors are...
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...
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch: 'Protest is the Highest Form of Patriotism, You Are Trying to Make a Country Better'

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch: ‘Protest is the Highest Form of Patriotism, You Are Trying to Make a Country Better’

  THIS IS NOT NEW, unfortunately. America has been killing black people in one form or another since the nation’s founding. From lynching to murder by police, the history is well-documented and contextualized in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), most poignantly with the display of Emmett Till’s casket. Till was...
AfriCOBRA Artists Honored at School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2020 Virtual Commencement, Offer Advice to Graduates

AfriCOBRA Artists Honored at School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2020 Virtual Commencement, Offer Advice to Graduates

AfriCOBRA artists Jae Jarrell and Wadsworth Jarrell   After years of hard work and dedication to their crafts and curriculums, 2020 graduates are unable to experience the joy and satisfaction of gathering for ceremonies celebrating their accomplishments, due to widespread social distancing mandates in the wake of COVID-19. In-person commencements have been replaced with virtual...
Feature Film About Florida Highwaymen Painters is Coming Soon

Feature Film About Florida Highwaymen Painters is Coming Soon

  THE DRAMATIC TRUE STORY of the Highwaymen, the Florida artists who made a living selling paintings from the trunks of their cars during segregation, is being made into a feature film. “The Highwaymen” is about a group of 26 African American artists, most of them self-taught, who turned out countless paintings of Florida’s lush,...
Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Long & Foster Real Estate   A RED BRICK ITALIANATE RESIDENCE in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was home to artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978) for more than 70 years. The house played an integral role in her life and artistic practice. The kitchen served as her studio, where she made the dab-patterned abstract...
Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

MoAD Executive Director Monetta White reported results of online benefit auction in video message to supporters.   ARTISTS, GALLERIES, AND COLLECTORS answered a call for support and came together to help the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, which has faced a critical funding shortfall since temporarily closing in the wake of...
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...