Nearly everyone loves some form of art. The act of seeing a person create something from nothing is a beautiful sight to behold. Whether it’s a painter turning a blank canvas into a vibrant self-portrait, or a sculptor chipping down what was once a massive slab of clay into a statuesque depiction of Muhammad Ali, the viewer can always feel the passion and labor that went towards that particular piece or installation.
There are many places across the country where art is on display. Atlanta’s High Museum features a collection of more than 18,000 works, including an extensive anthology of 19th and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts, the The Met in New York presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world, and the MOCA is home to roughly 7,500 objects, and has a diverse history of ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions.
In addition to these notable galleries, there are dozens of other museums that highlight many of the talented Black artists that have existed throughout the years. Many of these establishments will showcase collections from creatives of color during the coming months, so it’s only right to let you know where to find them. Here are some of the can’t-miss fall exhibitions and art shows to check out this fall.
Bámigbóyè: A Master Sculptor of the Yorùbá Tradition
Bámigbóyè: A Master Sculptor of the Yorùbá Tradition is the first exhibition dedicated to the workshop of the Nigerian artist Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè (ca. 1885–1975). This Yorùbá woodcarver was highly regarded for the masks that he made in the 1920s and 1930s. This exhibit runs from Sept. 9 – Jan. 8, 2023 at Yale University Art Gallery.
E. H. Duckworth, Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè Holding a Portrait Bust. Ìlọfà, Kwara State, Nigeria, ca. 1940. Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina
Focusing on the work of African American potters in the 19th-century American South—in dialogue with contemporary artistic responses—the exhibition presents approximately 50 ceramic objects from Old Edgefield District, South Carolina, a center of stoneware production in the decades before the Civil War. It will run Sept. 9-Feb. 5, 2023 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Gilt is the third in a series of commissions for The Met’s historic facade. Borrowing the format of trophies—emblems of competition and victory—Hew Locke has created four sculptures that reflect on the exercise and representation of power. Gilt will run Sept. 15 – May 22, 2023 at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Courtesy of Hew Locke; Hales Gallery, London; and PPOW, New York
Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers
Called to the Camera illustrates the artistic virtuosity, social significance, and political impact of African American photographers working in commercial portrait studios during photography’s first century. The exhibition will run Sept. 16 – Jan. 8, 2023 at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Untitled [Hooks’ School of Photography Students Reviewing Photographs]
Hooks Brothers Studio
Gelatin silver print
8 x 10 inches
Featuring a hundred drawings from El-Salahi’s latest series, titled Pain Relief, this exhibition will mark the first museum presentation of the artist’s drawings since his 2013 retrospective at Tate Modern. This exhibition runs Oct. 7 – Jan. 15, 2023 at the Drawing Center.
Ibrahim El-Salahi, Pain Relief Drawing, 2018. Pen and ink on a paper envelope. 11 1⁄4 x 7 7⁄8 inches (28.6 x 20 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Vigo Gallery, London.
Featuring work made over the past two decades, this exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to Deana Lawson. Working primarily in photography, Lawson investigates and challenges conventional representations of Black identities and bodies. This will run Oct. 7 – Feb. 19, 2023 at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club will explore the connection between African American artist Jacob Lawrence and his contemporaries based in the Global South through the Nigerian journal Black Orpheus. The exhibition runs Oct. 8 – Jan. 8, 2023 at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va.
Frank Bowling’s Americas is the first exhibition dedicated to the transformative years the artist spent in the US, and the first major survey of his work by an American institution in more than four decades. This runs Oct. 22 – April 9, 2023 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
John Akomfrah: Purple introduces the artist’s largest ever video installation, an immersive six-channel work, to Washington D.C. for the first time. This exhibition will run Oct. 28 – Summer 2023 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Surveying three decades of Henry Taylor’s work in painting, sculpture, and installation, this exhibition will celebrate a Los Angeles artist widely appreciated for his unique aesthetic, social vision, and freewheeling experimentation. This will run Nov. 6 – April 30, 2023 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
This is the first solo museum presentation of the work of Los Angeles and New Orleans-based artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley. Bradley works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to address themes such as race, class, familial relationships, social justice, southern culture, and the history of film in the United States. On view at MOCA Sept. 10 – Feb. 19, 2023.
Garrett Bradley, America (still), 2019. Multi-channel video installation; 35mm film transferred to video: black and white, sound, 23:55 minutes. Image and work courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.
In Young Lords and Their Traces, Gates honors the radical thinkers who have shaped his city and the United States as a whole. This presentation will comprise a selection of works including paintings, sculptures, videos, performances, and archival collections that together memorialize both heroic figures and more humble, everyday icons. This will run Nov. 10 – Feb. 5, 2023 at the New Museum.
This fall, the first-ever exhibition devoted to Whitten’s Greek Alphabet painting series of 1975–78. Whitten used the Greek alphabet as the organizational principle of this landmark yet long overlooked series, which consists of variations on abstract, black and white compositions and experiments in mark-making. This runs Nov. 18 – July 10, 2023 at Dia Beacon.
The exhibition showcases Fosso’s self-portraits, in which the artist assumes various characters and gender roles to highlight the connections between identity, consumption, and global commerce. Affirmative Acts will run Nov. 19 – Jan. 29, 2023 at the Princeton University Art Museum.
Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today
Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today is the first major group exhibition in the United States to envision a new approach to contemporary art in the Caribbean diaspora, foregrounding forms that reveal new modes of thinking about identity and place. This runs Nov. 19 – April 23, 2023 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Christopher Cozier (b. 1959, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; lives in Port of Spain), Gas Men (still), 2014. Two-channel video; Display dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
This exhibition is an exploration that seeks to decolonize the Western aesthetic standards long placed on these objects and to elevate the local indigenous perspectives of the works’ makers and communities. The Language of Beauty in African Art will run Nov. 20 – Feb. 27, 2023 at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Pair of Headdresses (Ciwara Kunw), mid-19th to early 20th century
Bamana; Baninko region, Mali. The Art Institute of Chicago, Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment
Co-organized with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, this is the first comprehensive museum exhibition of the profoundly moving and complex work of Darrel Ellis. The exhibition includes works from major public and private collections, as well as loans from artists for whom Ellis’s work serves as a crucial influence. This will run Nov. 23 – April 23, 2023 at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Courtesy of Darrel Ellis, Baltimore Museum of Art.
Deconstructing Power: W. E. B. Du Bois at the 1900 World’s Fair
Juxtaposing data visualizations made by Du Bois and his students with manufactured and decorative objects also displayed at the 1900 World’s Fair to unravel the complicated politics, and inequities, behind ideas of “progress.” This runs Dec. 9 – May 29, 2023 at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces
The exhibition’s organization is loosely chronological, beginning with Bryant’s mission to “present African-American artists on the same platform with other established artists” and following how it became a collaborative, experimental breeding ground for David Hammons, Lorraine O’Grady, and more over the next dozen years. This runs Oct. 9 – Feb. 18, 2023.
Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place explores ideas concerning domesticity—namely asking how we can design our interiors to enable joyful living while empowering creativity. This exhibition runs through March 5, 2023.
Broom Thing Ambient Object, 2020. Stephen Burks (American, born 1969), designer
Berea College Student Craft, Berea College, Kentucky, established 1855, maker
Broom Thing Ambient Object, 2020
Dyed broomcorn and sugar maple wood
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, gift of Berea College Student Craft, 2022.74