A Look Inside the Opening of The New Black Vanguard Exhibition

Last week, in partnership with Airbnb Magazine, Aperture celebrated the opening of the exhibition The New Black Vanguard curated by Antwaun Sargent.

Last week, in partnership with Airbnb Magazine, Aperture celebrated the opening of The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion curated by Antwaun Sargent.

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On Thursday, October 24, guests gathered at Aperture Gallery to celebrate the opening of The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, curated by Antwaun Sargent. The exhibition presents an expanded view of the book, featuring works by forty groundbreaking contemporary photographers.

Framed photographs are presented alongside vitrines of publications, past and present, that contextualize the images and chart the history of inclusion, and exclusion, in the creation of the commercial Black image, while simultaneously proposing a brilliantly reenvisioned future.

Guests included Mickalene Thomas, Miles Greenberg, Natasha Lunn, JiaJia Fei, Zachary Tye Richardson, Dig Ferreira, and New Black Vanguard artists Tyler Mitchell, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Jamal Nxedlana, Micaiah Carter, Campbell Addy, and Adrienne Raquel. Attendees enjoyed champagne by Veuve Clicquot.

Welcoming the crowd, Chris Boot, Aperture’s executive director, thanked Antwaun Sargent and project editor Lesley A. Martin; he also extended thanks to Aperture’s board of trustees, members, patrons, and staff, as well as Airbnb Magazine, Veuve Clicquot, and BFA, which photographed the event.

Lesley A. Martin, Aperture’s creative director, reflected on the inception of the project. “I do think it’s an editor’s job (and something we do here at Aperture) to try to assess where things are changing related to the image and power, and to find the key people who have their finger on that pulse,” she said. “It’s really clear that the right person to tell this story was Antwaun Sargent—and that we should build a platform and get out of the way.”

Sargent thanked all the artists included in the book and exhibition. He told the audience, “I hope you all continue to engage with these artists. If you’re an editor, hire these artists. If you’re a collector, buy their work. If you’re a writer, write about them. The New Black Vanguard is really, for me, a spotlight that hopefully creates more opportunities.”

Following the exhibition opening at Aperture Gallery, guests made their way to The Top of The Standard for an intimate celebration, where they danced to a DJ set by Oscar Nunez.

The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion is on view at Aperture Gallery through January 18, 2020.

The evening was photographed by BFA.


The New Black Vanguard is presented in partnership with Airbnb Magazine.

Aperture also thanks The Standard and Veuve Clicquot for their support.

Click here to view the launch of The New Black Vanguard at NeueHouse on October 21, 2019.