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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.

Art on the Backlot: Scenes and Sales From the Inaugural Edition of Frieze Los Angeles

Art on the Backlot: Scenes and Sales From the Inaugural Edition of Frieze Los Angeles

  FRIEZE LANDED IN LOS ANGELES last week and it was a notable moment in the city. Established in 2003 in London, and expanded to New York in 2012, the contemporary art fair recognized a nexus of activity that has existed in Los Angeles for generations and gained institutional and...
Frieze Los Angeles: Karon Davis Installation Reads Fantastical, But It Is About the Very Real Issue of School Violence

Frieze Los Angeles: Karon Davis Installation Reads Fantastical, But It Is About the Very Real Issue of School Violence

Installation view of “Game” (2019) by Karon Davis | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze   OVER THE WEEKEND, the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles was held at Paramount Pictures Studios on the backlot where the streets and structures have the look and feel of New York...
Latest entries
Known for Her Free-Form Line Drawings, Shantell Martin is Collaborating With the New York City Ballet

Known for Her Free-Form Line Drawings, Shantell Martin is Collaborating With the New York City Ballet

Artist Shantell Martin x New York City Ballet   BRITISH ARTIST Shantell Martin has turned her bold, black-and-white line drawings into a cottage industry. Over the past decade, Martin has parlayed her work into a series of high-profile exhibitions, projects, and collaborations. In her latest venture, she’s transformed David H. Koch Theater, home of the...
Rico Gatson Installed a Series of Powerful, Radiating Portraits of Historic Cultural Figures in a Bronx Subway Station

Rico Gatson Installed a Series of Powerful, Radiating Portraits of Historic Cultural Figures in a Bronx Subway Station

James Baldwin by Rico Gatson   THE YEAR 2019 is off to a promising start for artist Rico Gatson. Paying tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., he unveiled a mural titled “Mountain Top” at CityPlace, a shopping plaza and entertainment destination in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla. Also this month, he debuted a series of...
The Year Ahead in African American Art: What to Look Forward to in 2019

The Year Ahead in African American Art: What to Look Forward to in 2019

  THE YEAR AHEAD begins and ends with major traveling exhibitions, each presenting nearly a century of works by African American artists. The January debut of “Black Refractions: Highlights From the Studio Museum in Harlem” at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco kicks off a tour of six venues. Scheduled for seven...
Latest News in African American Art: Aaron Fowler Wins Jacob Lawrence Prize, US Artists Fellows, Adrian Piper Exhibition Cancelled in Munich & More

Latest News in African American Art: Aaron Fowler Wins Jacob Lawrence Prize, US Artists Fellows, Adrian Piper Exhibition Cancelled in Munich & More

Portrait of artist Aaron Fowler, and “Derion,” 2018 by Folwer.   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:   Jacob Lawrence Prize Announced The Seattle Art Museum announced assemblage artist Aaron Fowler is the recipient of the 2019 Gwendolyn...
MLK Day: From Los Angeles to New York, Art Museums are Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Day: From Los Angeles to New York, Art Museums are Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., looks out at crowd in Montgomery, Ala., 1965 | Courtesy Stephen Somerstein   ART MUSEUMS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES are celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 21, the official federal King Day holiday. This year’s commemoration of King’s birthday marks 90 years since he was born...
Howardena Pindell is Now Represented by Victoria Miro Gallery

Howardena Pindell is Now Represented by Victoria Miro Gallery

VICTORIA MIRO has announced its representation of Howardena Pindell. The UK-based gallery is working with the multidiscplinary artist in collaboration with Garth Greenan Gallery, her rep in New York. Pindell’s first exhibition with Victoria Miro is planned for June 2019 in London. Focusing primarily on abstraction and conceptualism, Pindell engages with personal, political and social...
Shonda Rhimes Has Two Hughie Lee-Smith Paintings in the Study of Her L.A. Home

Shonda Rhimes Has Two Hughie Lee-Smith Paintings in the 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...
Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2018

Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2018

IN MANY WAYS, 2018 was a watershed year for black artists. Overdue recognition of art by African American artists and black artists from throughout the world, continued to grow among collectors, curators, critics, scholars, and gallery owners. There were many indicators of the ever-expanding institutional and market interest. European attention on African American artists rose....
Culture Type Picks: 18 Best Black Art Books of 2018

Culture Type Picks: 18 Best Black Art Books of 2018

The best illustrated black art books of 2018. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine   THE INCREASED INTEREST among some museums in mounting exhibitions featuring the work of African American artists has translated into a growing number of catalogs published to document them, which is wonderful. Many of those catalogs made Culture Type’s 2018 list...
Washington's Government-Funded Museums are Closed in the Wake of Shutdown, Barring Visitors from Exhibitions of Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, Gordon Parks, and Others

Washington’s Government-Funded Museums are Closed in the Wake of Shutdown, Barring Visitors from Exhibitions of Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, Gordon Parks, and Others

Gordon Parks, Mrs. Ella Watson, Washington, D.C., July 1942   “DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, all Smithsonian museums are closed.” The message is featured in a banner across the top of all of the institution’s websites. A similar message is posted on the doors of the museums, which closed to the public on Tuesday. The...
Next: 28 Art Curators to Watch Who Took on New Appointments in 2018

Next: 28 Art Curators to Watch Who Took on New Appointments in 2018

  A SELECT GROUP OF BLACK CURATORS is making significant contributions to the museum field—collaborating with artists, organizing important exhibitions, shaping collections and programming, and taking advantage of opportunities to lend their expertise beyond their institutions. Their representation is growing, slowly, but their presence and achievements remain rare. On the American museum front, among curators,...
Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on Why She Joined the Getty's Board and Her Strategy for Reframing the Art History Canon

Culture Talk: Collector Pamela Joyner on Why She Joined the Getty’s Board and Her Strategy for Reframing the Art History Canon

Collector and Philanthropist Pamela J. Joyner   THE J. PAUL GETTY TRUST announced the addition of Pamela J. Joyner to its board of trustees in February 2017. The influential philanthropist and art collector accepted the opportunity for one reason. She was intrigued by the possibilities of an ambitious idea the Getty Research Institute (GRI) was...
Culture Talk: Andrew Perchuk on How the Getty Research Institute's African American Art History Initiative Came Together

Culture Talk: Andrew Perchuk on How the Getty Research Institute’s African American Art History Initiative Came Together

Artist Betye Saar, 1970   THE J. PAUL GETTY TRUST dedicated resources to “recover the historical record of art in Southern California” in 2002. Nearly a decade later, the endeavor led to Pacific Standard Time, a region-wide collaboration with more than 60 institutions that resulted in a sweeping series of exhibitions, programs and publications exploring...
VMFA Announces 250 Acquisitions, Adding Hale Woodruff's 'The Banjo Player,' a Nick Cave Soundsuit, and KKK Mannequins by Paul Rucker to its Collection. But Where are the Women Artists?

VMFA Announces 250 Acquisitions, Adding Hale Woodruff’s ‘The Banjo Player,’ a Nick Cave Soundsuit, and KKK Mannequins by Paul Rucker to its Collection. But Where are the Women Artists?

Installation view (partial) of “Storm in a Time of Shelter” (2018) by Paul Rucker. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine   ENCOUNTERING 52 MANNEQUINS outfitted in Ku Klux Klan-style hoods and robes is unsettling, to say the least, even when the racist get-ups are made from brightly colored and patterned fabrics, including kente cloth and...