Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sanford Biggers: Artist Talk

Sanford Biggers was commissioned to create a temporary public artwork as the Marshall S. Cogan Visiting Artist in the Public Art Program at Harvard. His work which was a fusion of meditative, historical, and contemporary concerns was on view November 6 - December 2, 2009. "The work included a performance on site—with vocalist Imani Uzuri, members of Harvard’s a cappella group KeyChange, and instrumentalist Sumie Kaneko—offering an imaginative mash up of Sufi poetry, Sun Ra, and black spirituals."

Interview: Whitehot Magazine

Further Readings: 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Black Art Project (BAP) Booklist 2

This is a continuation of the inaugural Black Art Project (BAP) Booklist that was published on June 9, 2010. This continuing feature from BAP highlights recently published books that have an African American art focus. As stated in the earlier release, identifying titles as they are recently published or in pre-publication status is crucial for those building a library that has some focus on African American art because of the small print runs in which these titles are published. 

  • African-American Fine Art (Public Auction 2224, October 7). New York: Swann Auction Galleries, 2010.
This sale includes 140 lots of works in  various media from many sought-after African-American artists, ranging from rare early 20th Century paintings and sculptures through desirable contemporary pieces, including fine photographs. A short role call of artists included are as follows: Augusta Savage, Sargent Claude Johnson, William Edmondson, Charles Alston, Robert Savon Pious, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Al Loving, Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, Dox Thrash, William H. Johnson, Robert Colescott, David Hammons, John Biggers, William H. Johnson, Allan Rohan Crite, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Arthur P. Bedou, Chester Higgins, Jr., Dawoud Bey, and others. View the online catalogue.

  • Barson, Tanya and Peter Gorschlüter (editors). Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic. London: Tate Liverspool in association with Tate Publishing, New York, 2010.

Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic is an exhibition that explored the impact of different black cultures from around the Atlantic on art from the early twentieth-century to today. This catalogue accompanied the exhibition. Taking its inspiration from Paul Gilroy's 1993 influential book, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, the exhibition featured over 140 works by more than 60 artists. Gilroy used the term The Black Atlantic "to describe the transmission of black cultures around the Atlantic, and the instances of cultural hybridity, that occurred as a result of transatlantic slavery and its legacy." Divided into seven chronological sections, the exhibition, charted "new forms of art arising from black culture and the work of black artists and intellectuals, it opens up an alternative, transatlantic reading of modernism and contemporary culture." The exhibition was on view at the Tate Liverpool (UK) from January 29 - April 25, 2010.

  • de Chassey, Eric, I Mutanti- Ellen Gallagher. Roma, Italy: Drago (SCB Distributors, North America), 2010.
I Mutanti is the exhibition catalogue for the Villa Medici exhibition of the same title. The catalog is made up of five volumes that correspond to the five artists participating in the show, representing some of the most controversial and thought-provoking artists of the 21st century. This 56-page volume features Ellen Gallagher and includes a "montage of over 25 full color images prepared by Gallagher and texts in three languages (French, Italian, and English) by Villa Medici director, Eric de Chassey. To view sample pages of images from the catalogue, visit Drago.

  • Garcia, Miki, Sanford Biggers: Moon Medicine. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, 2010.

This catalogue was produced in conjunction with the exhibition Sanford Biggers: Moon Medicine and is the first publication entirely dedicated to his practice despite showing internationally and being the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and residencies. With this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue, the Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) succeeds in its mission "to support the most compelling artists of our time and to bring world-class programming to the Tri-Counties." The exhibition was featured at CAF from March 6 - May 2, 2010.

  • Gooding, Mel. Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA: Paintings 1974-2010. New York: Spanierman Modern.
This thirty-two-page catalogue with eleven full-page color plates, and color illustrations of the remaining works in the show accompanied an exhibition with the same title at Spanierman Modern. The exhibition is on view through October 16, 2010; to view the online exhibit, follow this link: Frank Bowling. The exhibition presents "twenty-three richly textured canvases in the abstract expressionist and color field mode by the first black artist in history to be elected to the Royal Academy, London. Born in British Guyana, Bowling studied in London, lived for ten years in New York, and now divides his time between the two cities. Honored in 2008 with the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for his service to art, Bowling has an international standing for his dedication to the modernist tradition."  

  • Pegg, Thom. The Parkway Collection of Important 20th Century African-American Works of Art. Kansas City, Missouri: Parkway Galleries, LTD.
The Parkway Collection of Important 20th Century African-American Works of Art is presented through two gallery venues: Tyler Fine Art in St. Louis, Missouri and Ward and Ward Fine Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Many of the works in this exhibition were produced at the height of the artists' critical period of recognition.

As mentioned in the catalogue, accompanying The Parkway Collection... exhibition, "African-American art is at once both a subset of American art and an unprecedented blend of African and European influences: a new and uniquely American genre. It is a tremendous body of work that has been, for the most part, overlooked by collectors and museums alike for the first ninety years of the 20th century. There have been exceptions, and these individuals and institutions have enjoyed the freedom of assembling remarkable collections with very little competition." See the The Parkway Collection at  Tyler Fine Art in St. Louis through September 28, 2010.  

  • Schwab, Tess Sol and John Paul Driscoll. African Americans; Seeing and Seen, 1766 - 1916. New York: Babcock Galleries, 2010.  

African Americans: Seeing and Seen, 1766 – 1916 is a 48 page catalogue that accompanied an exhibition, sharing the same title which was held at Babcock Galleries (New York from January 21 - April 2, 2010). The exhibition has been defined as “an incisive overview of refined and controversial fine art and popular culture images of African Americans as artists and subjects. Bitter brutality and cruel caricature alternate with respectful revelations and positive portrayals of the status of African Americans. It may be said that all portrayals become betrayals in revealing the motivations and prejudices of their creator, and the images in this exhibition offer telling insights into the prevailing notions of the period. Each work is not only a signpost of the complex nature of our cultural forebearers, but also a harbinger of the ongoing struggle for equal rights in the United States.”

  • Willis, Deborah (editor). Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottenot". Philadelphia: Temple University, 2010.

Black Venus 2010 is an important book highlighting a revised visual history of black women in America and throughout the African diaspora. "As a young South African woman of about twenty, Saartjie Baartman, the so-called ‘Hottenot Venus,’ was brought to London and placed on exhibit in 1810. Clad in the Victorian equivalent of a body stocking, and paraded through the streets and on stage in a cage she became a human spectacle in London and Paris. Baartman’s distinctive physique became the object of ridicule, curiosity, scientific inquiry, and desire until and after her premature death. The figure of Sarah Baartman was reduced to her sexual parts."

An impressive list of cross-disciplinary contributors (approximately 40) present  wide-ranging essays, poems, and images that "grapple with the enduring legacy of this young African woman (Saartjie Baartman) who forever remains a touchstone for black women.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trenton Doyle Hancock: Artist Talk

Vegans     Mobile      Underworld     Experimentation     

Storytelling     Creatures       Mythology       Narrative

Mounds     New Directions      

Trenton Doyle Hancock:  "For me the color pink is the binding element of all my work. I feel like it's the binding element to all humilities. If you strip away the skin, we're all pink. It's an innocent color...but it's also a suggestive color that could be considered very naughty."  

For further exploration, also view the artist talk directly related to Hancock's  new installation, A Better Promise, at the Seattle Art Museum in the Olympic Sculpture Park until March 4, 2012.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

NEWS Announcements, Upcoming Programs and Activities

Alexandria, Virginia

Genealogist Char McCargo Bah will conduct a workshop and illustrated lecture "showing how she successfully traced descendants of people buried at Freedmen's Cemetery (Alexandria, Virginia) and how these techniques can be applied to any family research." Ms. Bah will discuss her methods on Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Alexandria Black History Museum (902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia). Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, please call 703/ 746-4356 or visit

Atlanta, Georgia

High Museum of Art features Kehinde Wiley, in its Conversations with Contemporary Artists series, on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm in Rich Theater. Kehinde Wiley is known for his vibrant, larger-than-life reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring young African-American men. In his talk, "Wiley will discuss the influence of Old Master painting on his work, including artists such as Titian, David, and Memling."  

Seating is limited; tickets are available through the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at 404/733-5000 and 

Baltimore, Maryland

THINK TANK--2010 and Beyond: New Directions in African American Art - Transformative Aesthetic Curriculum Design will be hosted by The Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). This conference will be held on November 11-14 in Baltimore at the school's Falvey Hall, Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue. ..."THINK TANK will explore new directions in African American art and aesthetics, especially topics related to curriculum design for K-12 art education programs."  For details, see:

Birmingham, Alabama

Sankofa Society: Friends of African-American and African Art (Birmingham Museum of Art) are sponsoring their 2nd Annual Soirée, SPIRAL: Moving Outward and Constantly Upward, celebrating African-American art and culture on Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 6:30 - 10:00 pm. Also, Sanfofa will present a lecture by artist Emma Amos on September 12 at 2:30 pm in Steiner Auditorium. Ms. Amos is the group's honored guest at the 2010 Soirée. For more information, visit: 

Chicago, Illinois

The Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC) of the Art Institute of Chicago honors Dr. Margaret Burroughs with the Legends and Legacy Award on October 22, 2010 from 6:30 - 10:00 pm. Reservations are required. For details and to purchase a ticket, SEE:  
LAC encourages you to send a tribute. Share your story via e-mail with LAC and tell them how Dr. Burroughs has inspired you by writing a tribute, then send it to the following address:

DUSABLE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY received a Terra Foundation Award ($37,000) to support educational programming and the 2011 exhibition Buried Treasures: Art in African American Museums, "drawn from the collections of 30 African American institutions around the country. The exhibition will display approximately 90 works of art by 19th- and 20th-century African American artists." Through its grant program, the Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports and initiates historical American art exhibitions, scholarship, and programs in Chicago, the United States, and throughout the world. See more on the Terra Foundation.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Duncanson Artist-in-Residence was established in 1986 by the Robert S. Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art to honor the "relationship that was established between African-American painter Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872), who painted the murals in the Museum's foyer, and Cincinnati art patron Nicholas Longworth (1782-1863)." The Society annually recognizes the achievements of contemporary African American artists through the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program. The recipient of the 2010 award is Nokuthula Nywenyama.

For two weeks, the artist is active "through public performances, workshops, and outreach to area schools, working with students in the classroom to broaden their horizons in the area of fine arts." Artist-in-Residence events will begin on Thursday, November 4, 2010 and extend through Sunday, November 14, 2010. To see a list of programs, see events.  

For more information about the Duncanson Artist-In-Residence program, email:

Detroit, Michigan

The grand opening of the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, 2010 at 52 East Forest, Detroit, Michigan 48201. The 24 hours of programming will include artist panel discussions, artist book signings, live music and theatrical performances, activities for children, and more. For further information call or visit: 313/ 831-8700;

New York, New York

Swann Auction Galleries next African-American Fine Art exhibition (Sale #2224) will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at  2:30 pm. As in the past, there will be an illustrated catalogue.  As the date approaches, check the website for updates. Also, as auction schedules are occasionally subject to change, call 212/ 254-4710 for the most current information. Some of the highlights include mid-20th Century paintings by Beauford Delaney, Al Loving, David Hammons, and Norman Lewis. Sculpture pieces are represented by Sargent Johnson and William Edmondson. Look for the release of the print and online catalogue in the next few weeks. 

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation has announced 30 recipients of the Foundation's 2009 Biennial Awards in painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and craft media. The Foundation recognizes "emerging American artists and craftspeople every two years by a series of monetary grants. "The awards go to the artists whose work shows promise, but who have not yet received widespread critical or commercial recognition." Among the awardees were: Derrick Adams and Dawolu Jabari Anderson.  Read more about the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.

Sacramento, California

Call for Artists: Evolve the Gallery will present an exhibition, EMERGE: The Next Generation of Masters, November 11 - 28, 2010. EMERGE benefits Sacramento CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). This call is open to local artists only who are attending "UC Davis, Sacramento State University, Sacramento City College, American River College, Consumnes River College, Los Rios College, Sierra College, Art Institute of Design and Technology, or Art Institute." The following mediums will be included: painting, mixed media, photography and sculptures only. "All submissions include: (3) three JPEG with a minimum of 300 dpi resolution, title, medium, and year of creation, student's name and school. For 2D or 3D works - need at least two angles." The deadline for submissions is October 20, 2010; there is no entry fee. For more information visit: or contact Brady at 916/ 572-5123. Email submissions: 

Call for Artists: Evolve the Gallery will host its 1st Annual A.I.D.S.: Artists Intent on Destroying Stereotypes, December 4, 2010 - January 2, 2011, to bring awareness to the damage stereotypes create in the fight against AIDS. This exhibition will benefit the Black AIDS Institute. This call is open to regional artists only and their creative works should be an expression of outcast, discrimination, survival, healing, loss, and etc. The following mediums will be included: painting, mixed media, photography and sculptures only. "All submissions include: (3) three JPEG with a minimum of 300 dpi resolution, title, medium, and year of creation, student's name and school. For 2D or 3D works - need at least two angles." The deadline for submissions is October 29, 2010; there is no entry fee. For more information visit: or contact Brady at 916/ 572-5123. Email submissions:

Washington, DC

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund welcomes grant applications from visual artists aged 40 years or older, who live within 150 miles of Washington, D.C., and can demonstrate that they have the potential to benefit as artists from a grant. The Fund does not accept applications from filmmakers, video artists, and performance artists. Applications should be postmarked no later than September 15, 2010.

Grants may be used for any purposes relating to the recipients’ work as artists. For details, please see apply.


The Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University (North Carolina) celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Save the date, Friday, October 15, 2010 and join in the celebration. Cocktails begin at 6:30 pm and the program starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $50.00 per person and include art, dinner, and jazz by Joe Robinson and James Funches. For more information call 336/ 750-2458 or email:

The current exhibit, Pride and Dignity from the Hill: A Celebration of the Historic Happy Hill Community at the Diggs Gallery is on view through February 26, 2011. For generations, residents have preserved the oral history of the Happy Hill neighborhood and its families. Pride and Dignity from the Hill documents "this important legacy through the art and testimony of community leaders...and includes architectural models of area homes embellished by local participants, paintings, photographs, video documentation of the community and a multi-media installation of a juke joint. The show also features works by celebrated artists Chandra Cox, Juan Logan, Larry Sass, Leon Woods and Willie Little."