Theaster Gates: The Black Image Corporation
This book was published on the occasion of The Black Image Corporation, an exhibition conceived by Theaster Gates at Osservatorio Fondazione Prada, Milan, in 2018–19. Gates’s project explores the archive of the Johnson Publishing Company, whose four million-plus photographs helped shape the aesthetic language of contemporary African American identity.
Now hard to find, this box set, which is in mint condition, includes more than three hundred shots by Moneta Sleet Jr. (1926–1996) and Isaac Sutton (1923–1995), two photographers whose works are in the archive; a booklet from Fondazione Prada’s Quaderni series featuring a conversation between Gates and Linda Johnson Rice, chairwoman of the Johnson Publishing Company; and thirty-six vellum sheets that reproduce photo-editing marks and comments made on some of the original shots by Johnson staff. The publication also has a unique feature: the cards are designed to be hung on the box’s brass fastener, reproducing an interactive feature of the exhibition they document.