How a Trio of Black-Owned Galleries Changed the Art World

By M.H. Miller
In Los Angeles, from left: ULYSSES JENKINS, CHARLES DICKSON, BARBARA MCCULLOUGH, SENGA NENGUDI and the Brockman Gallery co-founder DALE BROCKMAN DAVIS. Photographed at Smashbox Studios on Oct. 30, 2019. Wayne Lawrence
In the past few years, cultural institutions have been trying to create a more inclusive narrative of contemporary art history, one that contains more women and people of color — people who were denied successful careers a half-century ago simply because they weren’t white men. Today, it’s not uncommon to see black artists with solo shows at museums and galleries that just five years ago might have ignored them entirely. Despite this correction, black-owned commercial galleries remain rarities in America. For a brief period in the 1960s and ’70s, however, there was an alternative art world — first in Los Angeles, then in New York — that offered a view of contemporary art that was vibrant and welcoming. Five decades later, it’s even more influential than it was then. [More]

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