“As a black artist who also curates, what I find with black spaces is that they give artists of color a certain level of freedom to explore the material,” Adams said. “By being in a black space as a black artist you don’t feel like you have to be representative of a larger group of people because the space provides the context.”
In another example,
, who is represented by global mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth
and sits on the board of the Guggenheim Museum
, curated “Color People” at Rental Gallery in the Hamptons this past summer, a tribute to the under-recognized late black painter
. Through Johnson’s exhibition, gallery owner Joel Mesler was introduced to recent Yale MFA graduate
, whom he now plans to show in January at the art fair Art Los Angeles Contemporary, a major opportunity for the young painter, who is currently unrepresented. In a similar vein,
, who is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery
in New York and South Africa’s white-owned Goodman Gallery
, curated “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” an exploration of black identity that was shown at Goodman Gallery’s Johannesburg location in 2015. The gallery sold works from that show to prominent South African collectors, and went on to host the French-Guyanese-Danish artist
’s first solo show, said Liza Essers, Goodman’s owner and director. Essers also noted it was “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” which first introduced Goodman Gallery to the work of Angolan artist
, who she now represents and who recently had a solo show at Goodman Gallery in Cape Town in October, coinciding with Frieze London, where the artist showed a new installation after winning the 2017 Frieze Artist Award.
Black collectors like Raymond and Crystal McGuire, A.C. Hudgins, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, and Pamela Joyner are also using their financial weight and positions on museum boards to increase exposure for overlooked black artists and create new opportunities for emerging ones. Joyner, a former Wall Street executive turned arts patron, is currently touring works from her and her husband Alfred Giuffrida’s collection of nearly 400 works by black abstract artists including
, with an aim “to rewrite art history,” as Joyner described it in a recent interview. The touring exhibit “Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection” is part of a five-pronged strategy Joyner is executing.