Newest Information in Black Artwork: Remembering Virgil Abloh and Robert Farris Thompson, Sanford Biggers Wins Heinz Award, New Illustration for Umar Rashid, Eric N. Mack, and Derrick Woods-Morrow & Extra


Newest Information in Black Artwork options information updates and developments on the planet of artwork and associated tradition


Aritist and Designer Virgil Abloh (1980-2021). | Picture by Katrina Wittkamp, Courtesy MCA Chicago



Virgil Abloh, the transformative designer and inveterate collaborator who made historic strides within the trend world and offered alternatives for the subsequent era of Black creatives to comply with in his footsteps, died on Nov. 28 in Chicago. He was 41. For 2 years, Abloh battled cardiac angiosarcoma, a uncommon type of most cancers. The creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton and founding father of his personal label, Off-White, Abloh bridged the worlds of artwork and design. In school he studied civil engineering and earned a grasp’s diploma in structure. He designed furnishings and was a world DJ. “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” a touring museum exhibition devoted to his expansive portfolio, explored his many designs, merchandise, partnerships, and artistic processes over twenty years. After opening on the Museum of Modern Artwork Chicago in 2019, the present was on view on the Excessive Museum of Artwork in Atlanta. On Dec. 1, Abloh’s final runway present with Louis Vuitton was introduced posthumously in Miami, Fla. It was known as “Virgil Was Right here.” (See video at backside of web page.) | New York Instances

Robert Farris Thompson (1932-2021), the famend artwork historian and pioneering scholar of African and Afro-Atlantic artwork, died on Nov. 29. He was 88. A professor emeritus of African American research and the previous Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the Historical past of Artwork, Thompson served for greater than a 5 many years on the college at Yale. He contributed to quite a few books and was the creator of lots of his personal, together with the seminal quantity “Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Artwork and Philosophy,” first revealed in 1984. A brand new publication, “Mambo, is forthcoming posthumously. Harvard College Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., is amongst many students who benefitted from Thompson’s steerage. “Robert Farris Thompson will at all times have the excellence of pioneering the examine of African artwork as a tutorial subject inside the self-discipline of the historical past of artwork,” Gates advised Yale Information. “Earlier than Bob earned his Ph.D. in Yale’s artwork historical past division, African artwork was typically thought to be being of anthropological curiosity, primarily. Bob’s work did extra to institutionalize the examine of Black artwork as artwork than every other scholar’s work earlier than his. Once I was a graduate pupil on the College of Cambridge in 1973, and requested my professor, Wole Soyinka, himself an professional on Yoruba tradition and a member of the Yoruba ethnic group, for the perfect examine of Yoruba artwork and mythology, to my amazement, he handed me a replica of Bob’s now basic work, ‘Black Gods and Kings!’”

IMAGE: Above left, Robert Farris Thompson. | Courtesy Yale



Los Angeles artist Umar Rashid joined Blum & Poe. For almost twenty years, Rashid has been chronicling “the grand historic fiction of the Frenglish Empire (1648-1880),” a parallel world “that usually recollects our personal fraught histories—each canonized and marginalized—with acquainted signifiers and iconographies that channel the visible lexicons of hip hop, historical and trendy popular culture, gang and jail life, and revolutionary actions all through time.” His first solo present with the gallery is at present on view in Los Angeles via Dec. 18. “En Garde / On God” options new work, drawings, and sculpture.

Eric N. Mack is now represented by Paula Cooper Gallery. An immersive set up, “Eric Mack: Landlord” is at present on view within the gallery’s vitrine. “Fortunate,” a brand new work by the artist was additionally featured in Paula Cooper’s⁠ sales space at Artwork Basel Miami Seashore. Mack lives and works in New York.

Interact Tasks in Chicago introduced its illustration of Derrick Woods-Morrow, a multidisciplinary artist working in pictures, sculpture, set up, and efficiency. He describes his work as “a meditation on deviation and disruption, on language and illustration—on rising up within the American South.” Chicago-based Woods-Morrow hails from Greensboro, N.C.


Artist Sanford Biggers. | Picture by Justin Lubke


Awards & Honors

New York-based conceptual artist Sanford Biggers received the Heinz Award for the Arts. Biggers was acknowledged for “making a multifaceted physique of labor that grapples with the interaction of tradition, historical past and trendy society in new and highly effective methods.” Administered by the Heinz Household Basis of Pittsburgh in reminiscence of John Heinz, the award features a $250,000 prize and a Heinz Awards medallion.



Janet Rollé is the brand new CEO and govt director of American Ballet Theater (ABT) in New York. The appointment is historic. Rollé is the primary individual of colour to guide the ballet firm. She has served as normal supervisor of Beyonce’s Parkwood Leisure since 2016. Beforehand, Rollé was govt vp and chief advertising officer at CNN Worldwide and she or he has additionally held distinguished positions at BET Networks, AOL, MTV Networks, and HBO. She formally begins at ABT on Jan. 3, 2022. | New York Instances

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) just lately welcomed a brand new president and CEO. Ashley Jordan is the museum’s new chief. Beforehand, she served as senior director of growth on the Nationwide Underground Railroad Freedom Heart in Cincinnati. Jordan formally joined AAMP in September.


NEWS | Born in St. Louis, Mo., Josephine Baker, the legendary dancer and civil rights activist, made a house and constructed a household in France, the place she was beloved. | Video by NBC At the moment


Extra Information

Josephine Baker (1906-1975) grew to become the primary Black lady to be enshrined on the Pantheon, France’s hallowed tomb of heroes. | New York Instances



The Drawing Heart in New York is accepting purposes for its new teen program known as Drawing All-Stars. The free, pre-professional program for highschool college students in grades September 11 “encourages teenagers to broaden their drawing practices, amplify their creative ambitions, and nurture their artistic endeavors in a group setting.” Functions due Dec. 23, 2021. | Extra Data


LIVES | A good looking tribute to his imaginative and prescient and creativity, males’s creative director Virgil Abloh (1980-2021) introduced his final runway present with Louis Vuitton posthumously on Dec. 1 in Miami. “Virgil Was Right here” featured the Spring/Summer season 2022 Assortment. | Video by Louis Vuitton



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