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A digital exhibition that celebrates African and Indigenous contributions to western visual languages and design culture.

Written & Curated by Tariq Dixon | Images by Form und Rausch


Concerned that racial representation in the design industry doesn’t go far enough, the co-founder of furniture brand TRNK is bringing to light the erased Black histories that influenced Western creative movements–and his work is just beginning.

  • While Picasso’s pre-Cubism period is perhaps the most well-known example of the incredible influence that African and Indigenous designs have had on Western artists, it is not alone. However, each story ends mostly the same: the referenced artist is forgotten while the Western “innovator” rises and subsequent references continue to diminish the originator’s significance until the idea is abstracted into anonymity. It is this repeating phenomenon that a new virtual exhibition by design company TRNK aims to end. 

  • With the discussions about boosting diversity in design largely focused on the present and future, a new virtual exhibition assembled by TRNK NYC is casting the spotlight on how the design world has in fact been influenced by African and Indigenous aesthetics for years. Reflected in work originating from a global assembly of contemporary designers as well as vintage pieces of African origin, Provenanced investigates the different ways in which designers have referenced African and Indigenous culture, whether intentionally or not.

  • His exhibitions are personal. This year for Pride, Dixon debuted a photography show called Mien featuring queer artists of color to explore intersecting identities and raise money for the Ali Forney Center. And today, he debuted his third exhibition, Provenanced, which celebrates the depth and diversity of contributions by African and Indigenous artists, which contemporary designs often take inspiration from.