The Time is Always Now
Artists Reframe the Black Figure
Free for Members and Patrons
22 February - 19 May 2024
£16.00 / £18.00 with donation
£5 for all visitors aged 25 and under – supported by Bank of America. Other concessions available.
Members visit free – from just £5.50 per month.
A major study of the Black figure – and its representation in contemporary art.
The exhibition, curated by writer Ekow Eshun, showcases the work of contemporary artists from the African diaspora, including Michael Armitage, Lubaina Himid, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Amy Sherald, and highlights the use of figures to illuminate the richness and complexity of Black life. As well as surveying the presence of the Black figure in Western art history, we examine its absence – and the story of representation told through these works, as well as the social, psychological and cultural contexts in which they were produced.
The exhibition will feature the work of leading artists including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Jordan Casteel, Noah Davis, Godfried Donkor, Kimathi Donkor, Denzil Forrester, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Chris Ofili, Jennifer Packer, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Thomas J Price, Amy Sherald, Lorna Simpson, Henry Taylor and Barbara Walker.
Download our digital guide on Bloomberg Connects to unlock audio commentary, offering reflections from artists Thomas J Price, Amy Sherald, Claudette Johnson and Jordan Casteel, as well as the chance to hear from exhibition curator Ekow Eshun.
Please note there are lighting transitions between rooms in this exhibition. Specific artworks are protected by low level barriers. For more information about exhibition accessibility please contact us at [email protected].
Bank of America
With additional support from:
‘Our Aliveness’: Nightlife Photography
‘Our Aliveness’: Screening of ‘Black Poirot’ and discussion with the director
‘Our Aliveness’: Damsel Elysium
Using portrait photography to explore identity
Uncovering hidden stories to tell better histories
BSL tour: The Time is Always Now
Descriptive tour: The Time is Always Now
Trespassing: Art and Black belonging in a colonial landscape
Get loud: a dominoes night at the National Portrait Gallery
Members’ early morning view - The Time is Always Now and Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron
Creating realistic portraits using ballpoint pen
School and group visits
School groups of 10+ can book for £5 per student for The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure. Maximum group size is 25 per 15 minute timeslot and a complimentary teacher ticket is available to book for every 10 students.
Advanced bookings only.
Exhibition and lecture: The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure
Tickets on sale soon
Exclusively for your group, this lecture, provides a comprehensive introduction to The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure exhibition, followed by the opportunity to spend as long as you wish in the exhibition itself.
The price per person includes the one-hour lecture and an exhibition ticket. Terms and conditions apply.