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The black image corporation at Fondazione Prada

Last updated on September 26, 2023

The black image corporation is the title of the new photography exhibition at “Osservatorio Prada” the location of the Fondazione Prada right in the heart of the city of Milan.

This new exhibition explores the archives of the Johnson Publishing Company which has contributed to the definition of the African-American culture with its two most iconic magazines: Ebony and Jet.

The curator of the black image corporation art exhibition is Theaster Gates who is an installation artist and professor of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago where he currently lives and works.

For this specific project in cooperation with the Fondazione Prada, Gates has decided to put together a serie of images which belong to the publishing company and that represent the African-American society of the fifties and early sixties. From lifestyle to politics and culture the magazines became soon the most representative tools of the African-American community and the contribution of these magazines to the civil rights movements is unquestionable.

As it appears on the Fondazione Prada website

“for this show, I hope to tease out the creation of female iconic moments by Sleet and Sutton and also offer small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images from the Johnson Collection. The archives speak about beauty and black female power. Today it seems to me a good time to dig into the visual lexicon of the American book and show images that are rarely seen outside of my community. I wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women”.

Theaster Gates

The black image corporation exhibit also features original furniture of the Johnson Publishing Company’s headquarter. On the first floor of the venue there are a sofa and some armchairs which used to be at the magazines’ offices.

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If you wish to visit the exhibit just remember that it is within the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Catch the red line of the underground services and get off at Duomo station.

For mor info about hours and tickets just click here!


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