Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Latest News in Black Art: Sculptor Barbara Chase-Riboud Joined Mega-Gallery Hauser & Wirth, Apollo Theater Hired Michelle Ebanks, Plus New Curatorial Appointments


Latest News in Black Art features updates and developments in the world of art and related culture. Highlights from early June include new gallery representation for artists Barbara Chase-Riboud, Woody De Othello, and Chloë Bass; new leadership at The Apollo in Harlem; and new home for director George C. Wolfe’s archives.


Barbara Chase-Riboud with ‘Mao’s Organ’ (2007) and ‘Malcolm X #13’ (2008), 2022 © Pulitzer Arts Foundation



Hauser & Wirth announced its worldwide representation of Philadelphia, Pa.-born, Paris, France-based sculptor and writer Barbara Chase-Riboud. The news follows major surveys of Chase-Riboud at Serpentine Galleries in London and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Mo. Her work is currently featured in “The Encounter:Barbara Chase-Riboud/Alberto Giacometti” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition, two recent publications document her life and work—the exhibition catalog “Barbara Chase-Riboud Monumentale: The Bronzes” and “I Always Knew: A Memoir,” which tells the artist’s story through letters she wrote to her mother, from 1957 to 1991. Chase-Riboud’s first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth is slated for fall 2023, inaugurating the gallery’s forthcoming Wooster Street space in Soho, New York. (6/7) | More

“Over the course of a truly incredible life and career, [Barbara Chase-Riboud] has fearlessly challenged the traditional hierarchies of sculpture, bringing forth an original artistic language that is wholly her own, and which deftly explores themes of identity, memory, place and power.”
— Gallery Co-Founder Iwan Wirth.

Woody De Othello is now represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, in collaboration with Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco and Karma in New York. Focusing primarily on ceramic sculpture, his works “imagine a world in which the things that populate our domestic lives metamorphize into syncretic, humanoid objects.” De Othello lives and works in Oakland, Calif. (6/1) | More

Chloë Bass joined New York gallery Alexander Gray Associates. Bass works in a variety of mediums, spanning installation, performance, video, photography, sculpture, text, and audio. Her research-based practice explores intimacy across a variety of social contexts, including family, community, political and governmental structures, and cultural entities, Bass is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. (6/1) | More

British artist Sonia Boyce parted ways with Simon Lee Gallery after less than two years. Boyce represented the UK at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. She was the first Black woman to do so and won the Golden Lion, the event’s top prize. (6/5) | Art Newspaper



The Apollo theater in Harlem announced Michelle Ebanks will be its next president and CEO, effective in early July. Ebanks previously served as president (2005-2018) and CEO (2018-2020) of Essence Communications. She succeeds Jonelle Procope, who led The Apollo for the past two decades, transforming and revitalizing the historic institution. (6/6) | More

Sukanya Rajaratnam is joining White Cube Gallery as global director of strategic market initiatives. Previously, Rajaratnam was a partner at Mnuchin Gallery. During her tenure (2008-2023) at the New York gallery, she staged pivotal solo exhibitions of artists David Hammons, Sam Gilliam, Alma Thomas, Ed Clark, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, and Betty Blayton. Rajaratnam officially starts at White Cube in September, working from New York where the London-based gallery is opening its first U.S. exhibition space. (6/8) | More

Lindsay Catherine Harris was named co-director of Recess Art in Brooklyn, N.Y. Since 2015, Harris has worked at the Brooklyn Museum, most recently as director of education. (6/9) | More

The British Council announced UK curator Tarini Malik will work with British Ghanaian artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah on his solo exhibition for the British Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024. Malik previously held curatorial positions at Whitechapel Gallery and the Hayward Gallery. Akomfrah is recognized for his captivating multichannel video installations that address issues such as migration, racial injustice, colonial legacies, and climate change. (6/8) | Art Newspaper

Angela Cassie, the interim CEO of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), is leaving her position. She was serving as the chief strategy and inclusion officer of the Ottawa museum when she stepped into the leadership position in June 2022. In a statement, NGC said Cassie was a “steadfast and determined leader who has been completely committed to the important work we hired her to do in pursuit of major transformations at the National Gallery of Canada” and added that she is returning to her native Manitoba to take on a new leadership role. Days later, NGC announced Jean-François Belisle would become the new director and CEO, effective July 17. (6/2) | Artforum

Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., appointed Katherine C.M. Adams as assistant curator. She officially started in May. A curator and writer, she was exhibition manager of New York’s inaugural The Immigration Artist Biennial in 2020 and continues to serve as a curatorial fellow at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany. (6/1) | More


1992: Director/playwright George C. Wolfe working with Gregory Hines during a rehearsal for the Broadway production of the musical Jelly’s Last Jam. | Photo by Martha Swope, Courtesy Billy Rose Theatre Division at the Library for the Performing Arts



The New York Public Library for Performing arts acquired the archives of Tony Award-winning director, writer, and producer George C. Wolfe. Highlights of Wolfe’s sterling career include Broadway productions of “Angels in America,” “Topdog/Underdog,” “Jelly’s Last Jam,” and “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk.” More recently he staged a revival of “The Iceman Cometh” with Denzel Washington. Film and television projects directed by Wolfe include “Lackawanna Blues,” August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” The archives contain about 50 boxes spanning five decades with materials such as correspondence, photographs, annotated scripts, and director’s notes. (6/1) | More

The Scantland Collection at the Columbus Museum of Art is growing with the addition of 33 works of art from the Scantland family along with a $2 million gift to support the Ohio museum’s contemporary art initiatives. “PRESENT ’23: Building the Scantland Collection,” a survey exhibition that opened on June 8 features the acquisitions by Raphaël Barontini, Kenturah Davis, Devin B. Johnson, Danielle McKinney, Patrick Quarm, and Jamea Richmond-Edwards, among other artists. The family’s latest largesse follows a 2019 donation of 27 works of art and $2 million to endow a then-newly named position of Scantland Family Executive Deputy Director of Learning, Experience and Engagement. (6/1) | More



In London, Tiwani Contemporary is moving to a new, expanded location in Mayfair on Cork Street. The gallery, which focuses on artists from Africa and its global diaspora, opened a space in Lagos in 2022. The new London space opens this fall with solo exhibition of Joy Labinjo and Miranda Forrester. (6/8) | More


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