Black Artists: Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

The exhibition, which ran Dec. 1-4, 2011, showcased more than 2,000 artists, including these black talents.

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    Courtesy of Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Hank Willis Thomas, And One (2011), digital c-print

    Thomas is a visual artist and photographer whose work often merges race, history and popular culture. And One looks at labor within the basketball world. Thomas was most recently a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University (headed by The Roots editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr.), where he completed a project on “The Myth of a Black History.”

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    Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

    Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Little Rich Girls (2010), Victorian-style dresses made of Dutch wax-printed cotton

    Shonibare is a British-born artist of Nigerian descent who lives and works in London. He was short-listed for the Turner Prize in 2004 for his “Double Dutch” exhibition. Shonibare’s work often explores race, class and the tangled relationship between African and European cultures.

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    Kehinde Wiley and Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

    Kehinde Wiley,Terence Nance (2011), oil on linen

    Wiley, an honoree of The Root 100, is a New York-based artist. He is an alumnus of Rush Arts Gallery. Terence Nance made its premiere at Art Basel Miami Beach and sold on the first day of the fair. It reflects Wiley’s characteristic depiction of modern African-American men set in Baroque-styled portraits, always in vivid colors.

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    Courtesy of Mickalene Thomas and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

    Mickalene Thomas, La Maison de Monet (2011), mixed-media collage

    Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Thomas is known for her decorative paintings made of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel.

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    Courtesy of Mickalene Thomas and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

    Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Sidra (2011), rhinestone, acrylic paint and oil enamel on wood panel

    Thomas is known for re-examining the definition of beauty and what it means to be a black woman.

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    Courtesy of Mickalene Thomas and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

    Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Qusuquzah #5 (2011), rhinestone, acrylic and enamel on wood panel

    Thomas’ work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art and the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.

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    Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Watcher (2011), oil on canvas

    Yiadom-Boakye is an artist of Ghanaian descent based in London. She creates characters, such as the one in Watcher, with vivid back stories, but she lets the viewer’s imagination fill in the details of the subject’s life. Yiadom-Boakye’s first solo museum exhibition was at the Studio Museum in Harlem, N.Y.


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    Courtesy of David Hammons

    David Hammons, Untitled (c. 1970), body print

    Hammons, who works in New York, received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award and a Prix de Rome. Much of his art is made from the refuse of African-American life. For his Untitled body print, Hammons applied baby oil to his skin, pressed it to paper and sprinkled that paper with pigment, leaving the print behind.

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    Courtesy of El Anatsui and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    El Anatsui, They Finally Broke the Pot of Wisdom (2011), aluminum foil, bottle tops and copper wire

    Anatsui is a Ghanaian-born artist living in Nigeria. He often includes found objects in his work. It took the artist six months to complete They Finally Broke the Pot of Wisdom. His work can be found in the permanent collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art.

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    Courtesy of Barkely Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Barkley Hendricks, Ruby, My Dear (1982), oil, acrylic, aluminum leaf and copper leaf on linen canvas

    Hendricks lives and works in New London, Conn. While his work includes photography and landscape painting, he is known for his life-size oil portraits depicting African Americans in a stately and proud manner.

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    Courtesy of Kerry James Marshall and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Kerry James Marshall, LWBlack Star (2011), acrylic on PVC

    Marshall lives and works in Chicago but grew up in South Central Los Angeles, where he was influenced by the black power and civil rights movements. His comic book-styled paintings, including Black Star, cast African Americans as superheroes. Marshall received a MacArthur “genius” award in 1997.

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    Courtesy of Toyin Odutola and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Toyin Odutola, I Wish You Would (2011), pen ink and acrylic ink on board

    Odutola was born in Nigeria and grew up in Alabama. She is currently completing her MFA at the California College of the Arts. For I Wish You Would, Odutola used an inexpensive Bic ballpoint pen, a technique she frequently employs in her work to explore perceptions of skin and race.

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    Courtesy Nari Ward and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

    Nari Ward, I'll Bust You Again (2011), Krink marker, basketball trading cards and basketball mounted on aluminum

    Jamaican-born Ward lives and works in New York. His art examines issues surrounding race, poverty and consumer culture. For I’ll Bust You Again, Ward used found items to create a collage effect. He is known for his sculptural installations composed of everyday objects collected from his neighborhood.

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    Courtesy of Noah Davis

    Noah Davis, Untitled (2011), coffee, coffee grinds, dirt and charcoal on paper

    Davis, who lives in Los Angeles, sources imagery from found photographs, historical events and literature. His work often alludes to racial, social and political issues.

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    Noah Davis, Roberts and Tilton

    Noah Davis, Long Island (2011), oil on canvas

    Davis paints in a classical manner, using traditional compositions, but his emotional narratives give his paintings a modern reality.