‘The New Black Vanguard’ Recontextualizes Art, Fashion, and Blacknesses Through Photography

Posted inPhotography and Design

“The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art To Fashion” is a thought-provoking photography exhibition that has been traveling the world since its initial launch at the Aperture Gallery and Bookstore in New York City this time last year.

Curated by Antwaun Sargent, a New York City-based art critic, writer, and director at the Gagosian Gallery, with support from Aperture and Airbnb Magazine, “​​The New Black Vanguard” features over 100 photographs and a few videos from fifteen artists based in New York, Johannesburg, Lagos, and London.

The images on display work in concert to facilitate conversations about the roles of the Black body and Black lives as subject matter. As a collection, the pieces celebrate and honor Black creativity and the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture within contemporary photography.

Renell Medrano, Slick Woods, Brooklyn, 2018

The boundary-pushing exhibition reinvigorates our culture’s current visual vocabulary around beauty, the body, and Blackness with a fresh perspective and new vitality. Ultimately, Sargent’s curation aims to debunk the concept that Blackness is a monolith and serves as a form of photographic activism.

Having already made stops at Bunjil Place in Narre Warren, Australia, the Tasweer Photo Festival in Doha, Qatar, and at the 17th-century St. Anne Chapel in Arles, France, the exhibition is slated for an upcoming installation at the Detroit Institute of the Arts this December, and is currently on-view for the on-campus community of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) at the school’s Fox Building’s Meyerhoff Gallery.

Dana Scruggs, Nyadhour, Elevated, Death Valley, California, 2019

MICA will also host a webinar about the exhibition on Thursday, October 28th, which will feature a conversation with Sargent and one of the photographers featured in the show, Faith Couch, moderated by MICA’s Interim Vice Provost Colette Veasey-Cullors.

Sargent previously authored a book of the same name, published by Aperture in 2019, that is available for purchase. You can learn more about hosting the exhibition from Aperture.