July 15, 2024
Art Gallery

Latest News in Black Art: New Gallery Representation for Samuel Fosso, Sydney Cain, and Kennedy Yanko, Walters Art Museum Names Interim Co-Leader, Plus Ibrahim Said Wins $100,000 Craft Prize

Latest News in Black Art features updates and developments in the world of art and related culture


Ibrahim Said. | Photo by Dhanraj Emanuel, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery



Maxwell | Hanrahan Awards in Craft Announced
Five artists received 2024 Maxwell | Hanrahan Awards in Craft: Cristina Córdova, Ibrahim Said, Nisha Bansil, Raul De Lara, and Thea Alvin. Each winner was awarded $100,000 in unrestricted funds from the Maxwell | Hanrahan Foundation, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Said is an Egyptian ceramicist, who divides his time between North Carolina and Cairo, Egypt. According to the announcement, Said’s practice “recognizes the rich cultural heritage, techniques and the history of the pottery industry from his hometown of Fustat, Egypt. Combining wheel throwing, hand-building and surface adornment, including carving, glazing and finials, Said pushes the physical limits of clay while engaging, respecting and building upon a lineage of Egyptian pottery.” A solo exhibition of new works by the artist (“From Thebes to Cairo,”) is on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York through June 15. (5/22) | More



Walters Art Museum Names Interim Leaders
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Md., announced Gina Borromeo, senior director of collections and curatorial affairs and senior curator of ancient art, and Chief Financial Officer Michelle RhodesBrown will co-lead the museum beginning in September. The interim appointments were necessitated by news that the museum’s current director, Julia Marciari-Alexander, will depart in September to take on a new role as president of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in New York. RhodesBrown joined the Walters in 2019 as director of finance and became CFO in 2023. She brings three decades of experience in the financial industry to the museum, including equity analysis, investor relations, and portfolio management. RhodesBrown has also been a business owner and served as national finance chair of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., from 2013 to 2017. (5/8) | More


SAMUEL FOSSO (b. 1962, Cameroon), “La femme américaine libérée des années 70,” 1997 (chromogenic print). | © Samuel Fosso



Yossi Milo Now Represents Samuel Fosso
Yossi Milo announced its representation of Cameroon-born, Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso (b. 1962), whose unique conceptual practice is devoted to self-portraiture, self-presentation, and performance. Dating back to the 1970s, Fosso’s portraits have challenged the conventions of representation. He is best known for his 2008 series African Spirits, in which Fosso transforms himself into Black cultural icons, including Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., and Patrice Lumumba. Other series include Black Pope (2017) and Emperor of Africa (2013), referencing Chairman Mao and the outsized influence of Chinese money, business, and trade in Africa and control of the continent’s natural resources. “Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait,” the first major volume documenting the artist’s practice, was published in 2020. In New York, Yossi Milo will feature works by Fosso in its booth at the Armory Show in September and its inaugural solo show with Fosso will be presented at the gallery in September 2025. Fosso lives and works in Bangui, Central African Republic and Paris, France. (6/4) | More


SYDNEY CAIN, Detail of “Land Circuits I,” 2024 (acrylic, steel, pigment, soft pastel, and copper on wood, 60 x 48 inches / 152.4 x 121.9 cm). | © Sydney Cain. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan. Photo by Dan Bradica Studio


Sydney Cain Joined Casey Kaplan Gallery
A newly minted MFA graduate from Yale School of Art (2024), Sydney Cain (b. 1991) is now represented by Casey Kaplan in New York. The gallery posted the news on Instagram May 28. New Haven, Conn.-based Cain makes mixed-media drawings on paper and wood that “map the evolution of African diasporic histories.” The gallery is featuring Cain’s work in its booth at Art Basel in Switzerland this week, marking the first time the artist has shown work outside the United States. Cain was born and raised in San Francisco, Calif., where the solo exhibition “Emerging Artists | Sydney Cain: Refutations” was on view at the Museum of the African Diaspora in 2021. In September 2025, Casey Kaplan will present its first solo exhibition with the artist. (6/11) | ArtDaily


Kennedy Yanko is Working With Two New Galleries
Salon 94 and James Cohan Gallery announced their co-representation of Kennedy Yanko (b. 1988). Through a process of torching, welding, and bending, Yanko makes complex sculptures and installations, uniting found metal with paint skins. The grand gesture introduces sheets of brilliant color draped, folded, and layered within her laboriously formed, sinuous metal works. Yanko was an artist in residence at the Rubell Museum (2021-22). In 2023, Salon 94 presented a solo exhibition of Yanko in Paris, her first in France, and “Soul Talk,” a monumental sculpture by the artist, in Miami Design District. Yanko is among the artists James Cohan is featuring in its booth at Art Basel in Switzerland this week. Meanwhile, her work is included in “Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys,” which is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through July 7. Yanko is based in Miami, Fla. (6/10) | More here and here

IMAGE: Above left, Kennedy Yanko. | Photo by Jesse Frohman



Coming Soon: For Freedoms, The Book
“For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here?” is the first monograph of For Freedoms, the artist-led, anti-partisan coalition founded in 2016 by co-authors Hank Thomas, Eric Gottesman, Michelle Woo, Wyatt Gallery, and Taylor Brock. The fully illustrated volume features billboards created between 2016 and 2023, by more than 400 artists including Derrick Adams, Theaster Gates, Guerrilla Girls, Jeffrey Gibson, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, JR, Christine Sun Kim, Jesse Krimes, Marilyn Minter, Gordon Parks, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, and Ai Weiwei, among many others. Installed across the nation, the billboards brought attention to voting, democracy, and a variety of civic issues, promoting public discourse and direct action. The book will be published in October just ahead of the U.S. presidential election. (6/6) | More



Highlights From the Oxford American
A portrait by Melissa Alcena graces the cover of the Summer 2024 edition of Oxford American, a journal of Southern culture and literature. Alcena is a Bahamian photographer who splits her time between New York and The Bahamas. The latest issue of the magazine also explores the friendship between James Baldwin and Alabaman artist Fred Nall Hollis and the experiences of writer DW McKinney, an artist in residence in a small Colorado town where she was researching a hotel listed in The Green Book that welcomed Black travelers during Jim Crow. In “Dear Queen,” Tauheed Rahim II writes about fighting for his family’s land in North Memphis. Oxford American‘s Spring 2024 edition was the Southern Art Issue. The features included a first-hand account from artist RaMell Ross, who freight-shipped himself from Rhode Island to Hale County, Ala., inspired by the actions of Henry “Box” Brown in 1849, who mailed himself to freedom in a 3 x 2.67 x 2 foot box. Also among the highlights is an interview with Dawoud Bey, conducted by Editor in Chief Danielle Amir Jackson, about the Chicago photographer’s landscape images documenting “Louisiana plantations, Virginia’s ‘slave trail,’ and known sites of Ohio’s Underground Railroad.”

IMAGE: Above right, MELISSA ALCENA, “Ellie,” photograph. | © The artist. Courtesy TERN Gallery, Nassau, The Bahamas. | Oxford American, Summer 2024



Museums Suspend Kehinde Wiley Exhibitions
Three museums—Pérez Art Museum Miami, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Neb.—have suspended or put a pause on upcoming exhibitions of Kehinde Wiley’s work amid allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual assault made against the artist by four individuals. Wiley has vigorously and repeatedly denied the accusations on Instagram, through his attorney, and in a statement to Hyperallergic. (6/13) | Hyperallergic

Times Convenes ‘Art for Tomorrow’ Conference
Bryan Stevenson gave the opening address at the Art for Tomorrow conference held in Venice, Italy, from June 5-7. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., where the criminal justice and human rights organization has established a trio of “legacy” sites: The Legacy Museum, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice; and Freedom Monument Sculpture Park. Conference participants also included British artist John Akomfrah and Sandra Jackson-Dumont, director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. The convening was founded by the New York Times in 2015 and is now run by the Democracy & Culture Foundation, which was established by the newspaper, whose journalists continue to program and participate in the event. (6/11) | New York Times



Black Trustee Alliance is Hiring
The Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums is looking for a program & events manager, a hybrid position based in New York. The alliance was established to “transform art museums into more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement by harnessing the power of Black trustees.” Application deadline is June 23, 2024. | More


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