In the Black Fantastic

Nov. 19, 2022 – April 9, 2023
Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2014 © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Mandrake Hotel Collection
‘In the Black Fantastic’ gathers together eleven contemporary artists from the African diaspora. They enchantingly remodel and draw on elements from folklore, myth, science fiction, spiritual traditions and Afrofuturism. The artist are reinventing how we have been imagining the past and contemplating the future. At the same time, they are dealing with the challenges and conflicts of the present. Through painting, photography, video, sculpture, and mixed-media installations, the artists address racial injustice and explore alternative worlds and realities.

The exhibition includes the legendary soundsuits of the American artist Nick Cave (1959), the Watery Ecstatic works by Ellen Gallagher (1965), in which she combines mythology and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and Wangechi Mutu's compelling video work The End of eating Everything in which she depicts the monstrous nature of mass consumption.

Chris Ofili_online.jpg
Chris Ofili, Annunciation, 2006 © Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

The writer and curator Ekow Eshun brings together two generations of artists in this exhibition: Nick Cave, Sedrick Chisom, Ellen Gallagher, Hew Locke, Wangechi Mutu, Rashaad Newsome, Chris Ofili, Tabita Rezaire, Cauleen Smith, Lina Iris Viktor, and Kara Walker. 


‘In the Black Fantastic’ is realised in collaboration with Hayward Gallery in London. A small selection of reactions to this exhibition from the British press:

The Evening Standard - ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
“Unlikely to be a better show this year”

The Guardian - ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
“Eleven contemporary artists inspired by Afrofuturism consider possible futures with a hopeful, fizzing energy” 

Lina Iris Viktor, Eleventh, 2018 © 2018. Courtesy the Artist
Wangechi Mutu.jpg
Wangechi Mutu, The End of eating Everything, 2014, Video animation, 8:10 minutes, Courtesy of the Artist, Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, and Victoria Miro, London. Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC
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