10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (2024)

At LargeFebruary 6, 2024Megan D Robinson

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (1)

Courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

Djanira da Motta e Silva, Bahian Market, 1956. Oil on canvas. Private collection, Salvador, Bahia

February is Black History Month in the United States, which makes this a great time to appreciate the amazing contributions African American artists and other members of the Black diaspora have made to art, culture and social justice. From painting, sculpture, photography, collage, textile art and cinema, these 10 outstanding exhibitions and installations, that you can visit in February, have something to offer everyone.

1 of 10

Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo by Timothy Schenck. © Simone Leigh

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (2)

Simone Leigh at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The first Black woman to represent the US at the Venice Biennale in 2022, the incomparable auto-ethnographic sculptor and installation artist Simone Leigh’s survey is currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through March 3, 2024. Simone Leigh includes signature pieces from the Biennale–including the monumental bronze Satellite (2022), which was previously installed at the American Pavilion entrance—as well as three new bronze sculptures created specifically for this exhibition. Leigh’s work frequently melds the female form with shapes from traditional African arts, crafts and architecture, centering the Black female experience within the context of history and self-determination. Next, this survey will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Image: Simone Leigh,Cupboard(detail), 2022. Bronze and gold, 88 1/2 × 85 × 45 in (225 × 216 × 114.3 cm).

2 of 10

Courtesy of the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (3)

Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe at the ICA Philadelphia

Deeply committed to social justice, multimedia artist Tomashi Jackson creates immersive work utilizing painting, printmaking, video, photography, fiber, and sculpture, that scrutinizes systemic inequities and celebrates empowerment. The first retrospective to bring together her various bodies of work,Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe, kicks off on February 10 at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art. Placing the various genres Jackson has explored over the last eight years in conversation with each other, the exhibition illustrates how Jackson’s approach to color and conceptual layering translates from painting to sculpture to video.

Another exhibition worth catching at the ICA isEntryways: Nontsikelelo Mutiti, for which Zimbabwean-born visual artist and educator, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, reimagines the ICA's windows combining African hair braiding patterns and hair clips with symbols often found in ironwork–patterns initially created by enslaved West African blacksmiths that have become a shared diasporic visual language. This installation marks the inaugural project for a new series commissioning artists to activate the ICA’s façade.

Image: Tomashi Jackson, Chattahoochee River Camouflage (Derek) (1970 Home Values Map), 2018.

3 of 10

© 2023, Stephen Shames. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (4)

Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party at the MFA Boston

Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, showcases the powerful women of the Black Panther Party–an important engine for civil rights and social change in the 1960’s and 70’s. Contrary to popular belief, the women in the organization, who were known as “comrade sisters,” comprised over sixty-five percent of the party’s membership. Twenty-seven photographs by award-winning white photojournalist, Stephen Shames, some featuring party leaders such as Ericka Huggins and Kathleen Cleaver, capture these women’s everyday existence and crucial contributions to the Panthers’ community outreach programs across the United States. A social activist, Shames became the party’s official photographer after meeting its cofounder Bobby Seale at an anti-war demonstration in 1965, documenting their activities through 1973.

Image: Oakland, California: Kathleen Cleaver; Communications Secretary and first female member of the Party’s decision-making Central Committee, talks with Black Panthers from Los Angeles who came to the *Free Huey* rally in DeFremery Park (named by the Panthers Bobby Hutton Park) in West Oakland, July 28, 1968. Stephen Shames (American, born 1947). Photograph, archival pigment print. Gift of Lizbeth and George Krupp.

4 of 10

© 2021 Heirs of Aaron Douglas / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (5)

Afro-Atlantic Histories at the Dallas Museum of Art

Afro-Atlantic Histories at the Dallas Museum of Art is a powerful exhibition exploring the diverse visual cultures of the Afro-Atlantic. Including work from the 17th century to the present, the exhibition juxtaposes historical works by European artists with later works by artists of the Black Diaspora, reframing, reflecting on and reimagining the brutal history and ongoing impact of the TransAtlantic slave trade, while celebrating the vitality of Afro-Atlantic history and culture.https://afro-atlantic-histories.dma.org/p/1

Image above: Aaron Douglas, Into Bondage, 1936, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Corcoran Collection (museum purchase and partial gift from Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., the Evans‐Tibbs Collection).

5 of 10

© David Hammons. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (6)

David Hammons: Day's End, Whitney Museum

A monumental permanent public installation by the Whitney Museum in collaboration with Hudson River Park, David Hammons: Day's End was inspired by an ephemeral 1975 installation with the same name by Gordon Matta-Clark. Matta-Clark cut five openings into the Pier 52 shed that formerly occupied the site along the Hudson River, to create a peaceful enclosure filled with changing light. Hammons' Day’s End, installed along the Hudson River at the southern edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, directly across from the Whitney Museum, is a tubular steel outline of the original shed, creating a stunning open structure that feels both architectural and sculptural, allowing viewers to experience space in a new way.

Image: David Hammons,Day’s End, 2014 -2021. Stainless steel and precast concrete, overall: 52 ft high, 325 ft long, 65 ft wide.

6 of 10

© 2022 Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts continues artist Kehinde Wiley’s interrogation and reframing of Western European portraiture conventions. With this exhibition, which is on view through May 27, Wiley tackles through painting and sculpture the iconography of repose and sacrifice, depicting contemporary Black and Brown people in attitudes traditionally used for heroes, martyrs, and saints. Through these beautifully monumental, elegiac paintings and sculpture, Wiley confronts the silence that still surrounds the systemic violence and injustice faced by Black people.

Image: Kehinde Wiley, Femme, Piquée par un Serpent (Mamadou Gueye), 2022, oil on canvas, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.

7 of 10

© Ebony G. Patterson. Courtesy of the artist, Monique Meloche Gallery, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (8)

Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys at the Brooklyn Museum

On view February 10–July 7, 2024, at the Brooklyn Museum, Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys includes work by major names in the Black Diasporic art world, including Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson and Kehinde Wiley. Producer and musician Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys, respectively, believe in “artists supporting artists,” and have amassed an eclectic and impressive collection of world-class art encompassing everything from photography and abstraction to portraiture and installation art. Giants is the first major exhibition from their collection.

Image: Ebony G. Patterson (born Kingston, Jamaica, 1981). . . . they were just hanging out . . . you know . . . talking about . . . ( . . . when they grow up . . .), 2016. Beads, appliqués, fabric, glitter, buttons, costume jewelry, trimming, rhinestones, glue, digital prints, 90 × 224 in.(228.6 × 569 cm). The Dean Collection, courtesy of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys.

8 of 10

Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Cathy Carver.

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (9)

Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Internationally renowned visual artist Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge is a massive ongoing installation series of eight abstract collaged paintings–each over forty-five feet long–encircling the entire Third Level galleries of the Hirshhorn Museum. Inspired by French artist Paul Philippoteaux’s nineteenth-century cyclorama depicting the final charge of the Battle of Gettysburg, Bradford's installation, which is on view through 2025, combines colored paper, copies of historic Gettysburg imagery and segments of rope into stratified layers of color and texture. Cutting, tearing, and scraping the layers, Bradford revealed inner complexities, creating a nuanced visual experience infused with history.

Image: Installation view ofMark Bradford: Pickett’s Chargeat the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Cathy Carver.

9 of 10

Courtesy of the artist; Pilar Corrias, London, and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich. ©Tschabalala Self

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (10)

Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The first major museum exhibition dedicated to Black collage art, Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage, which opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on February 18, includes works by a wide variety of contemporary artists, including Wangechi Mutu, Mark Bradford, and Lovie Olivia. Working with a variety of media, from traditional paper, fabric, and repurposed materials to digital and video collages, the artists in this show examine culture, gender, history, beauty, identity, and power.

Image: Tschabalala Self, Sprewell, 2020. Fabric, thread, painted canvas, silk, jeans, painted newsprint, stamp, photographic transfer on paper, and acrylic on canvas. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, gift.

10 of 10

Courtesy Margaret Herrick Library ©Twentieth Century Fox

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (11)

Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 at the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts’ groundbreaking exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, highlights the often overlooked and undervalued trailblazing contributions of African American artists to the world of cinema. On view through June, Regeneration features nearly 200 historical items–including photographs, costumes, props, posters and newsreels–exhibited alongside installation and conceptional art by major contemporary artists. In conjunction with Regeneration, the Detroit Film Theatre created a specially-curated film series, with over twenty film events centered on Black cinema.

Image: The Nicholas Brothers in a scene from Stormy Weather (1943), from left, Fayard Nicholas and Harold Nicholas. Photographic print, gelatin silver.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.


Simone Leigh

Mark Bradford

Aaron Douglas

Tomashi Jackson


Restoring The Frick Collection’s Historic Fifth Avenue Home

Russian Attack Damages Historic Cathedral in Odesa

The Smiley Face's History: Exploring a Joyful Symbol


Highlights from The Winter Show 2024

10 Notable Works to See at Art Basel Miami Beach 2023

10 Highlights from Art Basel in Paris

Modern Art

Discovering MoMA: 10 Surprising Facts About the Museum of Modern Art

The Golden Ratio Revealed in 7 Masterpieces

Explore Claude Monet's Iconic Garden at Giverny


Santa Claus Through History: Tracing the Evolution of a Beloved Icon

5 Art Restoration Fails That Will Blow Your Mind

Asian Art

'Beyond Bollywood' Brings Together 2000 Years of Dance in Art

Colors as Transgression in the Holi Festival

India's Statue of Unity is the World’s Tallest Statue, Here's Its Story

Black Artists

Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Gains Support to Become a Historic Site

Hilton Als: The Pulitzer Winning Critic Discusses the Art of Curating

12 African American Artists You Should Know More About

LGBTQ Artists

Preview Laurence Philomene’s Masterful Monograph: "Puberty"

6 Art World Events for Pride 2022


How Money Laundering Works In The Art World

Creature Comfort: Animal Art in the Home


The Mystical Tradition: Drawings of Memory and Mystery at the Drawing Center

The History of Copying Art: A Learning Tool or a Cheat?

The Doodle: Art by Famous Non-Artists


The Art of Snow and Ice: Depictions Throughout Art History

10 Stunning Prehistoric Sculptures from The Met's Collection

Three Books About Art for Your Summer Reading List

Contemporary Art

10 Standout Works from the 2023 Made in L.A. Biennial

Marco Almaviva's Artistic Explorations Went Beyond the Canvas

Latin American Art

Why the LACMA’s “Archive of the World” Catalogue Matters

Neo-Concretism: the short-lived but influential art movement

Pre-Columbian Latin America: The Chavín of Ancient Peru


Christmas Lights: Photographing a Very American Tradition

What You Don't Know About the World’s Oldest Photograph

Developing Magic: Unlocking the Secrets of Darkrooms


Painting by The Beatles Sells for $1.7 Million at Auction

Pokémon to Reissue Pikachu x Van Gogh Cards, Tamara de Lempicka at Sotheby's, and More News

Christie's to Offer Trove of Sir Elton John's Artworks and Collectibles

Ancient Art

The Metropolitan Museum to Return Cambodian Artifacts Tied to Looting

10 Ancient Wonders to Visit This Year

A Brief Look at Sun Symbolism Through Art History

Women Artists

10 Fearless Women Artists Throughout History

Georgia O'Keeffe's Early Works Reveal Her Greatness

Why Rosa Bonheur's "Horse Fair" is a Masterpiece of Realism


Robert Storr's 'Retinal Hysteria' Responds to Our Cultural Anxiety

On View - Daniel Arsham: 20 Years


10 Must-See Works at the Museum of Modern Art

The Site Where Alexander the Great was Crowned King Reopens and More News

Henry Taylor's Portraits at the Whitney Museum Ask Us to See More Than Their Subjects

Indigenous Art

History Painting: An Art Genre or the Manipulation of Truth?

9 Indigenous Art Accounts to Follow on Instagram

What’s the Deal with Christopher Columbus Monuments?


Trial Begins in Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev's Case Against Sotheby's

A Brief History of the Female Nude: From Willendorf to Kardashian

Remarkable Art Collecting Families That Shaped the Art World

10 Exhibitions to See During Black History Month | Art & Object (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fr. Dewey Fisher

Last Updated:

Views: 5986

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fr. Dewey Fisher

Birthday: 1993-03-26

Address: 917 Hyun Views, Rogahnmouth, KY 91013-8827

Phone: +5938540192553

Job: Administration Developer

Hobby: Embroidery, Horseback riding, Juggling, Urban exploration, Skiing, Cycling, Handball

Introduction: My name is Fr. Dewey Fisher, I am a powerful, open, faithful, combative, spotless, faithful, fair person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.