The Black Index 👀

712 Arts Plaza Irvine, CA 92697
Jan 14, 12 PM - 6 PM — ends Mar 20, 2021
The artists featured in "The Black Index"—Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas—build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.

Curated by Bridget R. Cooks, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and the Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine. Exhibition and tour organized by Sarah Watson, Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York in collaboration with the University Art Galleries at UC Irvine, Palo Alto Art Center, and Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

The galleries are currently closed and there will be no opening reception. This exhibition is online only. To learn more about our online programming and to RSVP for upcoming events, please visit


Related Events, More Info, RSVP:

Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
"Black Manicule: Pointing Elsewhere"
Courtney R. Baker, Professor, Department of English, UC Riverside.
Hosted by UCI.

Friday, January 15, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
"The Black Index: Artists in Conversation"
Lava Thomas, artist, with Leigh Raiford, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley; and Whitfield Lovell, artist, with LeRonn Brooks, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, The Getty Research Institute.
Hosted by The Getty.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
"The Dark Database"
Dennis Delgado, artist, with Calvin John Smiley, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hunter College.
Hosted by The Hunter College Art Galleries.

Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
"A Study in Blackness and Black Identity"
Cherise Smith, Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin.
Hosted by UCI.

Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
Alicia Henry, Professor of Art, Fisk University with Bridget R. Cooks, Professor and Exhibition Curator, UC Irvine.
Hosted by the Palo Alto Art Center.

Friday, February 19, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
"The Black Index: Archiving Black Creativity and Resistance"
Simone Fujita, Bibliographer, African American Art History Initiative at The Getty Research Institute with Krystal Tribbett, Curator for Orange County Regional History, UC Irvine.
Hosted by The Getty.