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Black British Art in Focus at Wolverhampton Art Gallery


By Arts Desk


Friday, May 6, 2016.



The work of contemporary Black British artists is celebrated in the latest exhibition opening at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in the West Midlands.


Black Art in Focus brings together paintings and prints from the gallery’s existing collection as well as artwork recently acquired thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures programme.


Britain’s Black Art Movement had its roots in Wolverhampton more than 30 years ago and has since gone on to influence Black and Asian artists across the UK.


Iconic work by acclaimed artists including Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, Tam Joseph, Keith Piper, Claudette Johnson and Donald Rodney will feature in the show at the Lichfield Street gallery.


Artist Keith Piper, who is now associate professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University, was an influential member of the Black Art Group (BLK Art) from 1979-84.


Keith started working with fellow artists in the Wolverhampton Young Black Artists Group which held its first exhibition at the gallery in June 1981 under the title Black Art an' done. The following year Wolverhampton Polytechnic, now University of Wolverhampton, hosted the First National Black Art Convention.


The art movement grew from 1981 and by 1984 was re-named as the BLK Art Group. It had a series of exhibitions mounted around the UK and today has works in major galleries including Tate.


Carol Thompson, exhibition curator, said: “Wolverhampton Art Gallery championed the start of the Black Art Movement in Britain which has seen many of its local founder members go to be incredibly influential artists on British culture. It’s great that 35 years later the gallery is putting black art back in focus.”


Black Art in Focus opens at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on May 28 and runs until July 9.

Image: Tam Joseph, Spirit of the Carnival, c1982. Image courtesy of the artist.


Black British Art in Focus at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

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