Turner Prize exhibition 2017 Ferrens Art Gallery

Himid, Lubaina (2017) Turner Prize exhibition 2017 Ferrens Art Gallery. [Show/Exhibition]

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Official URL: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/ferens-art-gallery...


Himid makes paintings, prints, drawings and installations which celebrate Black creativity and the people of the African diaspora while challenging institutional invisibility. She references the slave industry and its legacies, and addresses the hidden and neglected cultural contribution made by real but forgotten people. In Naming the Money 2014, 100 cut-out life size figures depict Black servants and labourers who Himid individualises, giving each of them a name and story to work against the sense of the powerless mass. She often takes her paintings off the gallery wall so that her images become objects that surround the viewer. Whether working on Guardian newspapers or directly onto porcelain tableware, Himid continually subjects painting to the material of everyday life in order to explore Black identity.
Himid repeatedly questions the historical role of portraiture, as in works such as A Fashionable Marriage 1987, recently exhibited in The Place is Here at Nottingham Contemporary (2017). Inspired by William Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode 4 (The Countess’s Morning Levee) 1743, this installation features a brightly coloured stage set with a cast of characters taken from Hogarth’s morality tale. Incorporating painting, drawing and collage on cut-outs, the installation relates its historical inspiration to our current climate by including contemporary newspaper headlines and images of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Himid’s satirical approach takes aim at the politics of the time as well as its legacy today. In works such as these, the artist appropriates and interrogates European painters and combines aspects of her African heritage to question the role of visual power.
The work in this exhibition is based on research conducted during the past 40 years it engages with the problem of how to understand the methods potentially at hand to counteract negative visual representations of people from the Black Diaspora. The exhibition variously draws on the tradition of British satire using collage, painting and everyday power of found objects to communicate with a range of audiences. It argues that increased cultural visibility has while giving this group more agency at some levels increases the possibility of more subtle and therefore dangerous levels of negativity in others.

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