Join us for a special conversation between artist Lubaina Himid and Associate Curator Natalie Bell on the occasion of the exhibition “Lubaina Himid: Work From Underneath.” This exhibition, featuring a new body of works, marks the first US solo exhibition for the British artist, who was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 2017.
A pioneer of the British Black Arts Movement of the 1980s and ’90s, Himid has long championed marginalized histories. Her drawings, paintings, sculptures, and textile works critique the consequences of colonialism and question the invisibility of people of color in art and the media. While larger historical narratives are often the driving force behind her images and installations, Himid’s works beckon viewers by attending to the unmonumental details of daily life. Bright, graphic, and rich in color and symbolic referents, her images recall history paintings and eighteenth-century British satirical cartoons. In many works, the presence of language and poetry—sometimes drawn from the work of writers such as Audre Lorde, Essex Hemphill, or James Baldwin—punctuates the silence of her images with commands, instructions, or utterances that are at once stark and tender. The exhibition’s title, “Work from Underneath,” borrows from the dictums of health and safety manuals but doubles as a subversive proclamation. With the sculptures, paintings, textiles, and sound works that will comprise the exhibition, Himid examines how language and architecture generate a sense of danger, safety, fragility, or stability.