By Victoria L. Valentine
OCTOBER IN THE UK is black history month. It’s also a significant month when it comes to art this year. Throughout the month, and the rest of the fall season, there are many opportunities to experience the work of emerging and established figures. Black artists are headlining exhibitions at museums and galleries in London, and elsewhere in the UK. The selection includes British, American, African, and Caribbean artists.
For her eagerly awaited Turbine Commission at Tate Modern, Kara Walker installed a monumental working fountain that invokes the transatlantic slave trade. John Akomfrah, Mark Bradford, Maren Hassinger, Joy Labinjo, Hew Locke, Lavar Munroe, Tschabalala Self, Stanley Whitney, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye also have exhibitions on view.
[Text Box: Aida Muluneh, Star Shine, Moon Glow, 2019]
Many of the presentations are firsts for artists, from Lina Iris Viktor whose exhibition at London’s Autograph is her first major solo show in the UK to Kudzanai-Violet Hwami who has her first solo institutional exhibition at Gasworks in London.
Much further afield, Otobong Nkanga is presenting her first UK museum show at Tate St. Ives. Two hours outside London, the 2019 Turner Prize exhibition is at Turner Contemporary where each of the four shortlisted artists, including Oscar Murillo and Helen Cammock, are staging solo shows. This season’s shows include the following 24 exhibitions:
Aïda Muluneh: Water Life @ Somerset House, London | Sept. 24-Oct. 20, 2019
Ethiopian photographer Aïda Muluneh‘s striking Afrofuturist images draw on traditional body-painting culture and explore representation, gender, and social justice issues. Muluneh is showing a series of 12 new large-scale photographs commissioned by WaterAid. She shot the images in the Danakil Desert in northeast Ethiopia, which is considered the hottest place on Earth. Addis Ababa-based Muluneh is a graduate of Howard University and founder of Addis Foto Fest.