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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.

The New York Times Recognizes the Greatness of Carrie Mae Weems

The New York Times Recognizes the Greatness of Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems photographed by Mickalene Thomas for The New York Times   WHAT DETERMINES GREATNESS? In her introductory note about how the six people featured in “T” magazine’s 2018 Greats issue were selected, Hanya Yanagihara, editor of the New York Times style publication, admits “there is no real metric...
Diedrick Brackens Receives the Studio Museum in Harlem's 2018 Wein Prize

Diedrick Brackens Receives the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2018 Wein Prize

  THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM’S 2018 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize has been awarded to Diedrick Brackens. The Los Angeles-based textile artist is recognized for his tapestries and innovative weaving techniques. His selection was announced by Thelma Golden at the museum’s 50th anniversary gala this evening at the Park...
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Issa Rae Wore a Carrie Mae Weems T-Shirt on Last Sunday's Episode of 'Insecure'

Issa Rae Wore a Carrie Mae Weems T-Shirt on Last Sunday’s Episode of ‘Insecure’

  ISSA RAE OFTEN WEARS statement T-shirts on HBO’s “Insecure.” In recent episodes, her tees have declared “Love is Al Green” and promoted “Inglewood” and “N.W.A.” Another said “Mood” under a portrait of Nina Simone. When she went to the California African American Museum in Season Two, her shirt said, “The Last Poets.” It’s seven...
This Fall, Multiple Exhibitions Dedicated to 'Soul of a Nation' Artists are on View Throughout New York City

This Fall, Multiple Exhibitions Dedicated to ‘Soul of a Nation’ Artists are on View Throughout New York City

Installation view of “Frank Bowling: Make It New” at Alexander Gray Associates   TEN DAYS AGO, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” opened at the Brooklyn Museum. The groundbreaking traveling show “shines light on a broad spectrum of Black artistic practice from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically,...
Lauren Haynes to Curate Focus Section of 2019 Armory Show

Lauren Haynes to Curate Focus Section of 2019 Armory Show

Curator Lauren Haynes   THE CURATORIAL TEAM for the 2019 Armory Show was announced this week. Lauren Haynes is curating the New York City art fair’s Focus section, which is “devoted to solo- and dual-artist presentations by relevant and compelling artists.” This year, Ryan Lee Gallery presented a solo show of works by Emma Amos...
Two Decades After Anita Hill Testified Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, She Started a Conversation with Mark Bradford About His Art and Practice

Two Decades After Anita Hill Testified Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, She Started a Conversation with Mark Bradford About His Art and Practice

Professor Anita Hill and artist Mark Bradford (2014)   GLUED TO THEIR TELEVISIONS, most Americans “met” Anita F. Hill on Oct. 11, 1991. That’s how Mark Bradford was introduced to her, too. In Los Angeles, in the neighborhood of Leimert Park, the TV in the beauty salon owned by his mother, Janice Banks, was tuned...
Gary Simmons Shines a Light on Historic 'Race' Films with All-Black Casts

Gary Simmons Shines a Light on Historic ‘Race’ Films with All-Black Casts

Installation view of “Gary Simmons: Fade to Black” at CAAM   A MONUMENTAL INSTALLATION has transformed the atrium/lobby of the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles. The five wall-sized panels read: “Juke Joint,” “Moon Over Harlem,” “Midnight Shadow,” “The Joint is Jumpin, “Souls of Sin,” “Jivin in Be-Bop,” “The Bronze Buckaroo,” and on...
Latest News: Trailblazing New York Times Photographer Has Died, Hamza Walker Will Curate Talks at Frieze Los Angeles & More

Latest News: Trailblazing New York Times Photographer Has Died, Hamza Walker Will Curate Talks at Frieze Los Angeles & More

Thokaza township, Johannesburg (1991). Photo by Graeme Williams   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:   NEWS New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas has been accused by South African photographer Graeme Williams of using an iconic image he...
Dawoud Bey's Photographic Tribute to the Victims of 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Collapses the Past and Present

Dawoud Bey’s Photographic Tribute to the Victims of 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Collapses the Past and Present

WHEN HE WAS 11 years old, a book of photographs forever changed Dawoud Bey‘s perspective in terms of his vulnerability as a black child. His parents purchased the book in 1964 after hearing James Baldwin speak at their church in Queens, N.Y. The event was part of a tour organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating...
'Soul of a Nation' Opens in New York Where Many of the Exhibition Artists Were Active During the Civil Rights, Black Power Eras

‘Soul of a Nation’ Opens in New York Where Many of the Exhibition Artists Were Active During the Civil Rights, Black Power Eras

“Pittsburgh Memory” (1964) by Romare Bearden   HOW SHOULD AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS respond to the Civil Rights Movement? The question was central to the organization of Spiral, the New York artist collective formed in 1963 in advance of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The 15-member group including Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Reginald...
Pyer Moss Staged a Powerful, Art-Inspired Runway Show at Historic Black Heritage Site

Pyer Moss Staged a Powerful, Art-Inspired Runway Show at Historic Black Heritage Site

  WITH LIGHT RAIN FALLING, four dozen black models walked the grounds of Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night. A 40-person gospel choir wearing flowing white robes and Reebok tennis shoes sang live during the 23-minute runway show. Outfitted in fabrics with painterly images of African Americans, the models paraded by with purpose...
Deana Lawson Photographed Rihanna For New Issue of Garage Magazine and Told Arthur Jafa Her Origin Story

Deana Lawson Photographed Rihanna For New Issue of Garage Magazine and Told Arthur Jafa Her Origin Story

  FANS OF RIHANNA will be thrilled to see her on another magazine cover. This latest one is photographed by Deana Lawson, a black female artist with a distinct approach to capturing her subjects, usually ordinary people in their everyday surroundings. Admirers of Lawson will be doubly appreciative. Garage Issue 15 is manna for Lawson...
Latest News in African American Art: Howard University Loaning Two Charles White Works to MoMA, Aretha Franklin Honored on NYC Subway Signs & More

Latest News in African American Art: Howard University Loaning Two Charles White Works to MoMA, Aretha Franklin Honored on NYC Subway Signs & More

Jacob Lawrence-inspired shirts by Wales Bonner currently for sale at various retailers. The London-based menswear label was founded by Grace Wales Bonner.   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African American art and related culture:   NEWS This blurb originally referenced and linked to...
Early Rashid Johnson Photograph Covers Swann's Fall African American Art Catalog

Early Rashid Johnson Photograph Covers Swann’s Fall African American Art Catalog

“Jonathan with Hands” (1997) by Rashid Johnson   A DRAMATICALLY LIT, close-cropped portrait by Rashid Johnson covers the catalog for the African-American Fine Art sale at Swann Auction Galleries on Oct. 4. Johnson’s subject obscures his face with his hands, which are the focus of the image. The gesture is emotional and his fingers—their knuckles...
Major Retrospectives of Adrian Piper, Charles White, and Howardena Pindell are Traveling to New Venues This Fall

Major Retrospectives of Adrian Piper, Charles White, and Howardena Pindell are Traveling to New Venues This Fall

“Everything #2.8” (2003) by Adrian Piper   THE PRESENTATION of Adrian Piper’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was historic. “Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016” was the museum’s largest-ever exhibition devoted to a living artist. At once sprawling and intentionally organized, the show featured more than 290 works. A conceptual pioneer,...
Latest News in African American Art: Okwui Enwezor Speaks Out, Artist Lauren Halsey Wins $100,000 Mohn Award & More

Latest News in African American Art: Okwui Enwezor Speaks Out, Artist Lauren Halsey Wins $100,000 Mohn Award & More

The former director of Haus der Kunst and artistic director of the 2015 Venice Biennale, Okwui Ewezor gave an extensive interview to Spiegel about his tenure at the Munich museum. He also spoke recently to the Art Newspaper. | Photo by Joerg Koch for Getty Images   The following review of the past week or...