Saturday, October 24, 2009


Celebrates East Harlem Galleries and
the Re-opening of El Museo Del Barrio

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009

ArtCrawl Harlem

DATE: November 7, 2009
TIME: Trolley Tour 12:30 - 4:30PM
Reception following until 6:00PM

PRICE: $55
Early Bird Special: $40 - Ends Oct. 30, 2009

or call 800.979.3370

Galleries include:
El Museo del Barrio
My Arte Gallery
Poet's Den Gallery
TAFA Studios
Taller Boricua

Imaged credit: The Virgin Mary by Cecilia Moreno Yaghoubi, My Arte Gallery


Friday, October 23, 2009

Museum for African Art | THE PERVASIVE ECHO

Vocals: Kathleen Berger as Jenny Lind
Master of Ceremonies: John Healarchi
Pianist: Cathy Venable

"The Pervasive Echo" is a re-examination of the 19th Century phenomenon that was Jenny Lind, a singer also known at the "Swedish Nightingale." A fragment of Lind's inaugural concert in America will be restaged under unusual circumstances at the same site where she gave this historic concert 159 years ago.

A project by South African artist Ruth Sacks
Commissioned and presented by the Museum for African Art and Performa 09

Performa 09 (November 1-22, 2009) is the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century.

Sande Webster Gallery | SAM GILLIAM | WORKS

Works | In the main gallery
DATES > November 6-30, 2009
RECEPTION > Friday, November 13, 2009 6-8pm

Works, continues Gilliam’s process of informed improvisation that balances geometric forms with expressionist gestures. These exuberant and colorful mixed media paintings advance the inventions associated with the Washington Color School and Abstract Expressionism to new levels. Each work is carefully orchestrated like a jazz composition with internal rhythms and harmonies. Gilliam challenges and delights the viewer with a bold and diverse body of work that blurs the line between painting and sculpture. His craft has been perfected over the years to consistently create works of visual beauty, emotional impact and intellectual stimulation. Gilliam is internationally recognized in collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musee d’Art Moderne de le Ville de Paris and Tate Gallery, London. The Philadelphia Museum of Art commissioned his first outdoor public work of art and the largest draped painting of his career in 1975. Additional public and private commissions, grants, awards, exhibitions and honorary doctorates are worldwide. He is Washington’s preeminent artist.

Imaged credit: Sam Gilliam, Forever Walking, 48” x 23.5” x 7", mixed media/birch, 2009

TEL: 215-636-9003 | FAX 215.646.9008 | E-MAIL:
2006 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103


PARIS.- Kofi Annan, Nobel Laureate and former Secretary General of the United Nations, has awarded this year’s prestigious Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability to British based photographer Nadav Kander and a photography commission to American photographer Ed Kashi at the Passage de Retz, Paris. The Prix Pictet is an annual search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global environmental significance under a broad theme. This year that theme is ‘earth’. Nadav Kander was nominated for his series of photos, Yangtze, The Long River Series, 2006-07, documenting the rapidly changing landscape and communities of China’s Yangtze River, from its mouth to source.

The photographers were selected from a shortlist of twelve of the world’s leading photographers: Darren Almond, Christopher Anderson, Sammy Baloji, Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Nadav Kander, Ed Kashi, Abbas Kowsari, Yao Lu, Edgar Martins and Chris Steele-Perkins.

Making the formal presentation at an awards dinner at the Passage de Retz in Paris, Kofi Annan, honorary president of the Prix Pictet said that the photographs were a compelling call for action to tackle climate change, the most serious humanitarian and environmental challenge facing the world today:

“Only weeks separate us from the decisive negotiations on climate change in Copenhagen. We are confronted with the vital need to prepare the political momentum necessary for a fair and effective post-Kyoto agreement. The images in front of us remind us of the fragility of our planet and the damage we have already done. When we see these photographs we cannot close our eyes and remain indifferent. Through our actions and voices, we must keep building the pressure to secure urgent action at Copenhagen and beyond.”

Ivan Pictet, Vice President Pictet & Cie said: "In only its second year, the Prix Pictet has established itself as one of the most important prizes in its field. While in naming Nadav Kander the Judges have chosen a very worthy winner, such was the quality of the field that any one of the twelve photographers on the Shortlist could have made it."

He added, "On behalf of the Partners of Pictet; I am delighted to announce that we have selected Ed Kashi as the photographer to fulfil Pictet's annual commission related to our charitable activities, this year in Madagascar, a country with a remarkable ecological heritage under threat and one of the poorest countries on earth."
Ed Kashi has been commissioned to visit Madagascar with the Azafady team in order to produce a series of photographs that will highlight many of the issues that Azafady are focusing on in this unique and endangered environment. An exhibition of the work made for the commission will launch the 2010 prize in the Spring 2010.

Francis Hodgson, Chair of the Judges said “The quality of the entry this year has been exceptional. It has been an honour and a pleasure to try to find a winner from among so many outstanding candidates. The shortlisted photographers set the Jury an immense problem and I am grateful to my fellow judges for their insight, expertise and good humour. The photographers’ determination to be heard is the foundation of everything that the Prix Pictet can achieve. As a result of their great skill the Prix Pictet goes from strength to strength. Although only in its second year it has clearly now found its niche as the world’s premier prize in its sector. The environmental issues which it seeks to address are vital to all of us. That of course only adds to the fascination of being involved.”

The prize is complemented by Earth, the book of the 2009 prize. Earth is published by teNeues and includes the work of the 12 shortlisted artists and others nominated for the 2009 prize. All speak of the harmful and often irreversible effects of exploiting the earth’s resources and reflect on the immediate and long-term impact of unsustainable development on communities across the globe. The full portfolios of each shortlisted artist will be shown at the Passage de Retz gallery in Paris from 23 October to 24 November. The Prix Pictet will tour to further international venues from late 2009 to early 2010. Venues confirmed for the tour include: the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai and the Eindhoven University of Technology. The Prix Pictet Secretariat is currently reviewing proposals from several major international galleries.

Prix Pictet will collaborate with FIAC (22 - 25 October), Paris’ major international contemporary and modern art fair, and Paris Photo, the world’s leading event for photography (19 - 22 November).


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WEEKLY READER | To Conserve A Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities

From Library Journal
The works in this companion to a traveling exhibition are drawn from collections of American art held by six of the oldest, most prestigious historically black universities (Clark Atlanta, Fisk, Hampton, Howard, North Carolina Central, and Tuskegee). The exhibition proclaims the importance of these hitherto little-known collections, which consist primarily of works by major and minor 19th- and 20th-century African American artists, as well as such well-known modernists as Hartley and O'Keeffe. The text consists of an anthology of essays that discuss the development of the exhibition, the history of the collections, and related conservation issues. Following is an alphabetically arranged biographical catalog of artists featured in the exhibition. The scholarly tone of much of the writing and the emphasis on academic issues will make this somewhat challenging for the general public, but this important book brings to light notable collections that deserve more attention. Highly recommended for academic art libraries.AEugene C. Burt, Art Inst. of Seattle Lib.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"The very existence of these collections will be a surprise to many people, and yet, until very recently, the schools served as the primary patorns for black artists denied access to the mainstream world... In other words, for every famous artist such as Elizabeth Catlett or Romare Bearden, there's a name you don't know, an artist whose work might have disappeared save for the support of these institutions." -- Catherine Fox, Atlanta Constitution, March 18, 1999

Product Description

Many of this nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have amassed significant collections of American art and founded galleries and museums on their campuses. These collections provide a rich resource for the study of African American art, yet many also possess a diverse array of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art. To Conserve a Legacy documents an outstanding sampling of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and sculptures owned by Clark Atlanta University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard University, North Carolina Central University, and Tuskegee University. This book serves as the catalog for a major exhibition and conservation project organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem, in association with the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and the six participating HBCUs. The book contains a profile of each university collection, color reproductions of many artworks included in the exhibition, biographical information on all the represented artists, and documentation of the conservation and care practices helping to preserve the art for future generations. Two major essays place the HBCU art collections and this collaborative project in a historical context and develop six themes around which the exhibition was organized: Forever Free: Emancipation Visualized; The First Americans; Training the Head, the Hand, and the Heart; The American Portrait Gallery; American Expressionism; and Modern Lives, Modern Impulses. The artists include Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Edmonia Lewis, Archibald Motley, Georgia O'Keeffe, Horace Pippin, P. H. Polk, Alfred Stieglitz, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Doris Ulmann, Carl Van Vechten, Thomas Waterman, James Weeks, Charles White, and many others. The book also contains forty-two entry essays by American scholars on many of the individual artworks. The exhibition was co-curated by Richard Powell, Chairman of the Art and Art History Department at Duke University, and Jock Reynolds, Director of the Yale University Art Gallery.


The Art of Richard Mayhew |RETROSPECTIVE | MoAD

The Art of Richard Mayhew
October 10, 2009 – January 10, 2010

The Art of Richard Mayhew will represent three separate exhibitions presented concurrently at three San Francisco Bay Area institutions: the de Saisset Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), and the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz. Together, the three presentations will provide a complete retrospective exhibition for Richard Mayhew, a nationally recognized, Aptos-based painter.

The exhibition of Mayhew's work at MoAD will be the first part of a three-part chronological retrospective of the artist's career. In this exhibition, Mayhew's paintings from the late 1950's through the 1970's, consisting primarily of landscape with some figurative works will be featured. In 1957, Mayhew enjoyed his first solo exhibition as an academically trained artist and announced his unique style of presenting the natural milieu to the New York art world. During the tumultuous period of social and cultural transformation of the 1960s, Mayhew worked as an artist and an activist most notably as a founding member of Spiral, the legendary group of Black artists including Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Hale Woodruff, organized in 1963 to address issues of civil rights and racial equality through their art.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, Mayhew establishes his career as an artist tirelessly working with a sense of spiritual depth and freedom of color, form, and space. The MoAD exhibition will explore the personal and professional foundations of Mayhew’s style as a young man of African and Native American descent coming of age in New York during the 1950s explosion of Abstract Expressionist art.

It will gather together the best of Mayhew's paintings that combine his unique style, philosophy for painting, and synthesis of artistic and social influences that set the trajectory of his artistic career.

Image credit: Richard Mayhew, Love Bush, 2000, oil on canvas, 47 x 51 inches


Friday, October 16, 2009

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Gives Major Gift to New Smithsonian Museum

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed $10 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, expected to open in late 2015 on the National Mall in Washington. The purpose of the grant is to support the capital campaign of the new museum, which is raising funds for the design and construction of its building. The building, to be built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument, will be designed by Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup. The design, construction and exhibition installations are expected to cost about $500 million, half provided by congressional funding and the remainder raised by the museum.

“We are so pleased that the Gates Foundation has joined donors from across the country who have built a groundswell of support for this museum,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “We recognize this as a vote of confidence and a genuine honor.”

The design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture submitted by Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup. Photo courtesy of Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup.“The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a remarkable resource that will ensure that the rich stories and valuable history of African Americans will be available for all,” said Allan Golston, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s United States Program. “The museum will be an important addition to our National Mall, and we are pleased to be joining others at this unique moment in time to support this worthy investment.”

The design and engineering team consists of four firms coming together for one of the largest architectural projects in Washington; the firms are the Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup. The lead designer is David Adjaye; Philip G. Freelon, FAIA, will serve as design guarantor, making sure the design reflects the values and priorities of the museum and the Smithsonian. Groundbreaking for the 300,000-square-foot building is expected be in 2012.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress in 2003 as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. As part of its capital campaign, it has launched a national membership campaign. It is establishing a national identity by hosting exhibitions and educational programming in major cities across the country.

The museum’s historians and curators are building a collection—now with more than 9,000 objects—designed to illustrate the major periods of African American history, beginning with its origins in Africa and continuing through slavery, reconstruction, the civil rights era and into the 21st century. Its inaugural exhibition, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits,” is on a 12-city national tour through 2012. Until its building is completed, the museum is offering exhibitions in its own gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


The US art world is abuzz over the White House campaign to bring a greater diversity to its art collection—including more works by African American artists [the Obamas have been quietly notifying an array of public institutions, dealers and collectors that they are looking to borrow first-rate art of a more recent vintage to display in the White House with an emphasis on works by black, Hispanic, Asian and female artists]. Such a gesture from so influential a place has understandably had a catalytic effect—stirring conversation, raising expectations. And that’s a good thing. The move is also throwing a strong light on African American art and the artists who create it.

To read the article in its entirety, click HERE.

GRAFF AUCTION| Christies| African Girl (Injabulo) 2009

LONDON—All 26 lots offered at jewelry magnate Laurence Graff’s charity auction of contemporary art at Christie’s Monday evening found buyers, but it’s unclear whether the sale — which precedes the major Frieze-week auctions — may have revealed a little hesitation on the part of bidders nonetheless, good cause and all.

Organized in part by the likes of bold-faced names Peter Brant, Uma Thurman, Hugh Grant, Naomi Campbell, and Dasha Zhukova to benefit For Africa’s Children Every Time (FACET), Graff’s recently formed, African-based initiative to aid youths and orphans, the sale realized £767,180 ($1,212,144). No commissions or buyer's premium was charged.

As the auction began under the gavel of Christie’s European president, Jussi Pylkkanen, loud strains of Shirley Bassey’s James Bond tune “Diamonds Are Forever” played in the packed King Street salesroom. And, suitably, diamonds figured in two of the evening’s lots: a pair of Khotsa Nala ("Peace Prosperity" in the Basotho language) double hoop earrings in white gold and round diamond pave donated by Graff, which went for £60,000 (est. £60–80,000), and Damien Hirst’s Porter Rhode, a 2009 oil on canvas depicting a famous Graff stone with a tiny trademark Hirst skull embedded in one of its facets, which earned £100,000 (est. £100–150,000). Hirst had donated the work.

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The evening’s top lot was also artist-donated. Raqib Shaw’s The Mild-Eyed Melancholy of the Lotus Eater (2009), in acrylic, enamel, rhinestones, and glitter paper mounted on aluminum, fetched £200,000 (est. £80–120,000). Both Graff and Shaw’s dealer, Jay Jopling of the White Cube gallery, were under-bidders for the work.

And a third artist-donated lot also made a six-figure price: Marc Quinn’s 66¾-by-102¾-inch floral still life, Crest of Mount Vinson (2009), earned £110,000 (est. £80–120,000).

The cover lot, South African artist Lionel Smit’s expressive African Girl (Injabulo) (2009), measuring 90½ by 65 inches, sold for £26,000, lapping its presale estimates of £6–8,000. (Injabulo means “happiness” in Zulu.)

But Graff, who sat in the first row, as he usually does at non-charity auctions, remained the under-bidder despite polite urgings from the auctioneer.

The auction action continues Friday at Christie’s. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

FIRST LOOK | Obamas Select Art for The White House | Slideshow

Here's a slide show
we put together of some of the artworks that the Obamas have chosen for the family quarters of the White House and parts of the East and West Wings. There's not much about it that could be called controversial, unless you think that Glenn Ligon's text piece Black Like Me is somehow shocking because it engages the question of race.

For more, click HERE.

HEWITT COLLECTION | Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

Hewitt collection of art has home in Charlotte

The Associated Press

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

— After spending years traveling the country, a collection of African-American art has a permanent home in Charlotte.

The Charlotte Observer reported on its Web site Tuesday that some of the 58 works in the Hewitt Collection went on the walls of the new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts +Culture over the weekend. The center will open later this month.

The collection was purchased in 1998 by NationsBank, the predecessor of Bank of America, and was on tour nationally until the center was ready.

It includes works by 20 African-American artists from the 20th century including Charlotte native Romare Bearden. A New York couple, John and Vivian Hewitt, put together the collection.


Information from: The Charlotte Observer,


October 03, 2009 — October 31, 2009
76 Grand Street, New York

Kurt Kauper’s portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama are not what one would expect in Presidential portraiture. Kauper is interested in imagery that seems at first to look neutral, in which visual cues do not confirm the expected ideology associated with a visual icon. Kauper wanted to try to make political paintings without didactic content.

Thinking about political art, Kauper was influenced by Glitter and Doom, the exhibition of German portraiture in the Weimar era, recently presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kauper was particularly interested in the expressively reticent and narratively mute paintings of Christian Schad, Georg Scholz, and Karl Hubbuch. Their work eschewed the formal and psychological flourishes of Expressionism and Surrealism. Instead they concentrated on cool, uninflected depictions of physical information, but remained persuasive in their ability to embody the extremes of poverty, brutality, nationalism, cultural instability and political fragmentation that defined Europe between the wars.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Allentown Art Museum | A Force for Change: African American Art

The Allentown Art Museum will host A Force for Change: African American Art

Allentown , Pa. – On September 13, 2009 the Allentown Art Museum will present A Force for Change: African American Art and The Julius Rosenwald Fund. This exhibition of African American art is the first to explore the legacy of The Julius Rosenwald Fund, created in 1917 by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who fostered black leadership through the arts, literature and scholarship. The exhibition will feature more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by over 20 of the artists who were recipients of Rosenwald fellowships during the Fund’s most active years (1928–1948), a watershed period for the advancement of African American art and culture. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Kress Gallery from September 13, 2009 through January 10, 2010.

The exhibition will feature more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by over 20 of the artists who were recipients of Rosenwald fellowships during the Fund’s most active years (1928–1948), a watershed period for the advancement of African American art and culture. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Kress Gallery from September 13, 2009 – January 10, 2010. Special exhibition admission price is $7 (plus museum admission) and also includes New Visions: Black and White Photography in Contemporary Art , a special exhibition in the Rodale Gallery.

Artists represented in the exhibition are among the foremost of their era, including Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Katherine Dunham, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Rose Piper and Augusta Savage, among others. With support from The Rosenwald Fund, these talented and multifaceted artists explored through their work the experiences of African Americans in a time of rapid social change and modern instability. Predominate themes encompass the gulf between North and South, urban and rural, and a search for a lost black past—in some cases, the search for a black essence.

An accompanying publication connects the artists’ works to the goals and achievements of The Rosenwald Fund and also emphasizes how the foundation encouraged the black “Chicago Renaissance” of the 1930s and 1940s. This exhibition has been made possible by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. Major support for this project has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Righteous Persons Foundation, and the Judith Rothschild Foundation.

Julius Rosenwald: Innovator in Business and Philanthropy

Talk and Book Signing / Sunday, September 13 at 1 p.m.

Peter M. Ascoli, the grandson of Julius Rosenwald and author of the biography Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South , will give personal insight into Rosenwald, a Chicago businessman who helped to foster black leadership through the arts, literature, and scholarship. Rosenwald, an unconventional philanthropist who believed firmly in the philosophy of “Give While You Live,” established The Rosenwald Fund in 1917 with the goals of supporting education for blacks in the rural South, finding ways to provide affordable health care for average Americans (Blue Cross Blue Shield was established as a result of some of the Fund’s activities), improving race relations, and providing fellowships to gifted African Americans in a variety of fields. Many of the artists who received fellowships went on to long and distinguished careers, and fine examples of their work may be seen in A Force for Change: African American Art and The Julius Rosenwald Fund . Limited quantities of Ascoli’s book will be available for purchase at the event and a book signing is scheduled to follow the talk. The talk is free to all museum visitors and will be held in the museum auditorium.

The Allentown Art Museum will feature the work of some of the finest African American artists of the mid-20th century and of modern and contemporary American photographers in the exhibitions A Force for Change: African American Art and The Julius Rosenwald Fund from September 13, 2009 - January 10, 2010 and New Visions: Black and White Photography in Contemporary Art from August 29, 2009 - January 10, 2010 . For more information visit .