Art News

Art, Colonialism and Change at the Royal Academy – theartwolf

Joshua Reynolds - Francis Barber - 1770

From February 3 to April 28, 2024, the Royal Academy presents the exhibition “Entangled Pasts, 1768-now: Art, Colonialism and Change

Source: Royal Academy · Image: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of a Man, probably Francis Barber, c. 1770. Oil on canvas. 78.7 x 63.8 cm. The Menil Collection, Houston.

The exhibition brings together over 100 major contemporary and historic works as part of a conversation about art and its role in shaping narratives around empire, enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism – and how it may help set a course for the future.

Artworks by leading contemporary artists including Sonia Boyce RA, Frank Bowling RA, John Akomfrah RA and Isaac Julien RA will be on display alongside works by artists from the past 250 years including Joshua Reynolds PRA, JMW Turner RA and John Singleton Copley RA – creating connections across time, which explore questions of power, representation and history.

Large-scale works including Lubaina Himid RA’s Naming the Money, an installation of life-size painted cut-out figures, and Hew Locke RA’s Armada, a flotilla of 45 ‘votive boats’ recalling different periods and places, will be presented in the Main Galleries, alongside powerful paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings and prints by artists including El Anatsui Hon RA, Kara Walker Hon RA, Kerry James Marshall Hon RA, Shahzia Sikander, Mohini Chandra and Betye Saar.

Informed by the Royal Academy’s ongoing research of its colonial past, this exhibition engages around 50 artists connected to the RA to explore themes of migration, exchange, artistic traditions, identity and belonging.

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