Latest News in Black Art: Lauren Halsey Joins Gagosian, Todd Gray Now Repped by Lehmann Maupin, Harvey B. Gantt Center Turns 50, Plus Major Shake Up at Artforum

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

Lauren Halsey. | Photo by Russell Hamilton


Gagosian, which has locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia, announced its representation of artist Lauren Halsey. Despite characterizing the relationship as global, she will continue to work with David Kordansky Gallery in her hometown of Los Angeles. Halsey’s practice is a nexus of art, architecture, and community engagement. Her sculptural works and installations pay homage to the rich history and culture of South Central Los Angeles, where her family has lived for generations. Halsey’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Commission, “the eastside of south central los angeles hieroglyph prototype architecture (I)” (April 18-Oct. 22, 2023), was a monumental, site-specific installation that channeled the museum’s Egyptian wing with a Pharaonic temple featuring sphinxes modeled after her family members, Hathor columns, and “hieroglyphic” engravings promoting Black businesses in her neighborhood. Gagosian will be present Halsey’s first solo show with the gallery next year in Europe. In October 2024, her first institutional exhibition in the UK opens at Serpentine Galleries in London with a series of new works. (10/26) | More

From left, Beverly McIver. | Photo by Denise Allen; Todd Gray. | Photo by Brian Guido

Painter Beverly McIver is now exclusively represented by Berry Campbell Gallery in New York. In 2022, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona organized the artist’s first traveling survey. “Beverly McIver: Full Circle” was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. McIver is a professor of art at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Berry Campbell will present her first solo exhibition with the gallery in fall 2024. (10/26) | More

Todd Gray, who is known for his photography-based works, joined Lehmann Maupin. After presenting “Todd Gray: On Point,” the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK at Lehmann Maupin in London, the gallery announced its representation of the artist. In December, Lehmann Maupin is showing new works by Gray at Art Basel Miami Beach. The gallery is representing him in collaboration with David Lewis Gallery in New York. Gray splits his time between Los Angeles and Akwidaa, Ghana. (10/26) | More

“Through his lens, Todd Gray explores the connections between history, race, and the human experience, crafting a narrative that demands thoughtful reflection. His presence in the program enriches our gallery’s commitment to representing artists who challenge, inspire, and contribute significantly to the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art.”
— Rachel Lehmann


MAP Fund, which provides grant support for new performance works with an emphasis on BIPOC and other underrepresented communities, announced new leadership and programming developments. David Blasher was named executive director. Blasher, who worked with the organization as an advisor to leadership for nearly two years, and has been acting as interim executive director since January, is now officially serving in the role permanently. Previously, he was director of Global Legal Operations and Innovation at NBCUniversal. An actor and cellist, Blasher has an undergraduate degree in theater studies from Yale University. The New York nonprofit also announced Meital Waibsnaider is MAP’s new board chair and Ron Ragin, director of MAP’s Scaffolding for Practicing Artists (SPA) Program, is stepping into the newly created role of director of programming, overseeing MAP’s grants program and SPA. (10/18) | More

Awards & Honors

Caitlin Meehye Beach was awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2023 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for “Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery” (University of California Press, 2022), a book she spent a decade researching transnationally. Beach is an assistant professor of art history and affiliated faculty in African and African American studies at Fordham University and, for the 2023-24 academic year, she is serving as co-director of the new Asian American studies program at Fordham. The jury said the book “advances how American art history approaches racial violence, offering students a model for eliminating racial spectacle” and “broaden[s] the discourse and our understanding of art history of the United States.” The prize includes $3,000 and Beach will deliver the annual Eldredge Prize Lecture at the Washington, D.C., museum on March 21, 2024. (9/27) | More


The work of New York artist Derrick Adams covers the fall 2023 edition of Gagosian Quarterly (read full issue online). Inside the publication, Jewels Dodson wrote about his practice and his “embrace of joy, humor, and contradiction.” She visited Adams in his studio in advance of his first exhibition with Gagosian in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Derrick Adams: Come As You Are” (Sept. 14-Oct. 28, 2023) features new paintings. The artist has been represented by Gagosian since March. The issue also includes a conversation with artist Okwui Okpokwasili; a brief look at Faith Ringgold‘s “Two Guys Talking” (1964), a painting from her American People Series (1963-67), by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions; and the third installment of a short story by Percival Everett. | More

IMAGE: Above left, DERRICK ADAMS, “Everything and a Ring” (2023). | Gagosian Quarterly, Fall 2023


The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, N.C., will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024. Highlights of the Gantt Golden Year: 1974-2024 include performances by the Dance Theater of Harlem; exhibitions showcasing works by Christopher Meyers, Qualeasha Wood, and artists from Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal; and talks and forums featuring journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, author Yaa Gyasi, and the museum’s 2024 scholar-in-residence chef Stephen Satterfield (host of the Netflix documentary “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America”), among others. (10/24) | More

The African American Museum, Dallas refurbished its courtyard and dedicated it to the museum’s founder. In addition to refreshing the “Harry Robison Jr. Courtyard,” improvements are being made to the solarium, which are expected to be completed in 2024. (10/24) | Texas Metro News

More News

On Oct. 26, Artforum fired its editor in chief David Velasco after the magazine published an open letter with 8,000 signatures from the arts community about the Israel-Hamas War. The letter rejected violence against all citizens and called for Palestinian liberation and a cease fire in Gaza. Since Velasco’s dismissal at least four Artforum editors have resigned in response, about 50 staffers and contributors signed a letter demanding his reinstatement, and artists Nicole Eisenman and Nan Goldin said they will no longer engage with the magazine, which is owned by Penske Media Corporation. Originally published on Oct. 19, the letter was updated on Oct. 23 to include mention of the Hamas attack on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people and make clear that the letter reflected the views of the signatories and not necessarily Artforum or its staff. Artists and curators Abigail DeVille, Cameron Rowland, Coco Fusco, Diedrick Brackens, Dread Scott, Fred Moten, Kara Walker, Martine Syms, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Phoebe Boswell, Thomas Lax, and Tony Cokes are among those who endorsed the letter. On Oct. 20, Artforum published a response to the letter authored by gallery owners Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, and Amalia Dayan. | More from the New York Times here and here

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