The resurgence of British Black Art

In this era of political and social uncertainty, it’s vital we remind ourselves that Britain is fundamentally a multicultural nation. We should embrace this, be proud and empowered by it. Certainly it’s something to celebrate!

In particular, the black communities of Britain are a valuable reminder of the wonderful cultural diversity and spirit of our country. So, it is in this spirit that, here at Cornerhouse Publications, we’re delighted to share with you news of a selection of great books on the work of some of our most celebrated black artists. This past couple of years have certainly seen a resurgence of interest in, and support for, British Black Artists…

The recent announcement of the Turner Prize shortlist is certainly current evidence of the resurgence, with the notable inclusion of Lubaina Himid and Hurvin Anderson. This spring, Himid had her own major survey exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. Her work is also featured in the bestselling new art history book, British Black Art. Running parallel with her show in Oxford, was Sonia Boyce’s commission of new multi-media performance work at the ICA in London.

In January, John Akomfrah was awarded the Artes Mundi 7 prize, and this autumn his major new Curve commission opens at the Barbican centre in London. His poignant and breathtaking triple-screen film installation, Vertigo Sea has toured to a number of galleries over the past 18 months, and the beautiful book has been hugely popular. Fellow filmmaker, Isaac Julien has the exhibition of his seminal new work, Looking for Langston at Victoria Miro, London later in May. News on the catalogue will follow soon, so watch this space.

Last, but by no means least, is news of Turner Prize winner, Chris Ofili’s rather busy year so far. His major exhibition, Weaving Magic at the National Gallery in London has recently opened and unveils his explorations into the art of tapestry-making. The catalogue is absolutely gorgeous and is now in stock. At the same time during the summer, Ofili also reveals another new body of work in a special solo show for the opening of Victoria Miro’s new gallery in Venice. Poolside Magic will display his recent suite of pastel, charcoal and watercolour works on paper, and the accompanying catalogue will be available soon.

We are also thrilled to be distributing two of Chris Ofili’s earlier exhibition catalogues on behalf of our publisher friends at Victoria Miro: The Upper Room is a luscious gold-embossed book which documents the 13 painting room installation which Ofili created with architect, David Adjaye. (This work is now held in the TATE permanent collection). Within Reach is a three-volume publication in a decadent slip-case which was published to accompany Ofili’s presentation at the 50th International Venice Biennale.


Image caption: Chris Ofili, Weaving Magic (National Gallery, London), 2017.
Posted on 5th May 2017
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