Why is African American art having a moment? The reasons are as varied as the art itself

Why is African American art having a moment? The reasons are as varied as the art itself

Museums and collectors are taking notice. New black curators and scholars are entering the field of art. Prices are astounding. Is this the moment African American art has been waiting for?

Hank Willis Thomas answered his mobile phone, but he couldn’t talk just then. He was in Brussels, at the opening of his solo exhibition at Maruani Mercier, a prominent local art gallery. It was but one stop in what might seem a constant world tour these days for Thomas, who, at 43, personifies the successful midcareer artist. Just last year, his work was featured in one-person exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum, the art museum at Northwestern University and the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. It was included in major group shows in cities from Miami to London to Palermo, Italy. He unveiled three public art commissions, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and published his second book, “Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal.”