Marshall Makes Auction History, Sherald Makes it to Museum Board Room

We are at such an important moment in contemporary art history. Kerry James Marshall has fetched 20 odd million at auction. There are increasingly more solo and group exhibitions mounted for Black artists. What I find fascinating is that among Black artists, women artists are as respected and revered as their male counterpart. This is not true in any other area of contemporary art. Black artists are not only finally given a seat at the exhibition table, they are being invited to positions of power within the hallowed halls of museum board rooms. Amy Sherald, who famously painted The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has officially become a trustee on the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Sherald used Black cultural references from the community of Gees Bend, Alabama. The women of Gees Bend quilted with rags from slavery to the Civil War, a failed reconstruction, Jim Crow to Dr. King and onward. These quilts are the roots upon which so many African American artists are reclaiming history. Both Black men and women united together creating a new language of contemporary art.

For more art insights check out Cheryl McGinnis (Curator, Flatiron Prow Art Space, New York)

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