The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure

22 Feb-19 May 2024

National Portrait Gallery
London WC2H 0HE


A major study of the Black figure – and its representation in contemporary art. 

The exhibition, curated by Ekow Eshun (former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts) showcases the work of contemporary artists from the African diaspora, including Michael Armitage, Lubaina Himid, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Amy Sherald, and highlights the use of figures to illuminate the richness and complexity of Black life. As well as surveying the presence of the Black figure in Western art history, we examine its absence – and the story of representation told through these works, as well as the social, psychological and cultural contexts in which they were produced.


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