Quantcast
Parallel strategies: Barbara Walker and Lubaina Himid - FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art- News, Exhibitions, Interviews and cool art stuff reported on from London

Parallel strategies: Barbara Walker and Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid: from ‘Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service’, 2007

Two current shows mine parallel strategies with effect to foreground the historic presence of black figures in Europe…

Barbara Walker: ‘Vanishing Point 18 (Titian)’, 2021

At Cristea Roberts in London, one strand of Barbara Walker’s impressive solo show reduces the white subjects of classical paintings to embossments. That leaves previously marginalised black figures – typically slaves, servants or attendants inserted to bolster the status of the would-be-principals – to take centre stage as the only presences marked in graphite. A corrective assertion of blackness meets a reductio ad absurdum of whiteness, you might say.


Barbara Walker: ‘Vanishing Point 24 (Mignard)’, 2021

At the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, ‘Human Condition of Clay’ includes Lubaina Himid’s collection of ceramics ‘Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service’. Himid bought old plates, jugs and tureens from the shops and markets of Lancaster, Preston and Whitehaven, then overpainted them so that it’s possible to see large areas of the original design as the new painting unsuccessfully attempts to hide the identity of the old. The additional subjects remind us of the context of the historical conditions in which the service was used, including black faces, slave ships and African patterns.

Lubaina Himid: from ‘Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service’, 2007

The strategy they share is to simultaneously make you more broadly aware of what was there but not emphasised, while also giving a new way to see what was always prominent…

Art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent sees a lot of shows: we asked him to jot down whatever came into his head

Categories

Tags

Related Posts

Oslo, City of Sculpture

Edward Munch, very much a painter, is easily Norway’s most famous artist, and a new 13-floor building – ‘Munch’ as it is styled – was recently opened in his honour. Walking around Oslo, though, it would be easy to think that sculpture is the national preference: statues dot the streets and I visited four sculpture parks. For example:

What to see at the London Art Fair

The first post-pandemic edition of the London Art Fair is set in April (20th-24th) rather than the usual January, the mix is as before: plenty of bad or predictable material mixed in with enough good stuff to make for an interesting visit.

Still Working in the Studio?

Perhaps, then, the studio is slipping towards historic status. Not that there’s anything wrong with a historic survey (‘A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920 – 2020’ to 5 June)

So This Is Permanent

It’s easy to find that, because there’s a time limit on changing exhibitions, you concentrate on those becasue you might miss them and never quite get round to looking at institutions’ permanent holdings, deep in the memory as they may be.  So on visiting major new shows recently, I’ve also thought: let’s take a ride out, see what we can find…

Trending Articles

Submit Your Work

Submit your work to be featured on FAD