The Time is Always Now
Artists Reframe the Black Figure

Free for Members and Patrons

A colourful painted portrait of a woman standing with one arm behind her back and the other hand holding her neck. She wears a colourful tunic made up of blue, pink, yellow, orange and green rectangles. She wears blue jeans. Her skin is grey-scaled and her hair is short and curly.
She was learning to love moments, to love moments for themselves by Amy Sherald (2017) © Amy Sherald. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Joseph Hyde

22 February - 19 May 2024

Floor 0

£16.00 / £18.00 with donation

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£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.

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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].


Principal Supporter
Bank of America

Bank of America logo



Supported by
Huo Foundation

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With additional support from:

Cockayne logo
Ford Foundation logo
Faba logo
LCF logo
Pollock Krasner logo
US Embassy flag
Veronica and Lars Bane Foundation logo

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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.

    Book a school group

  • Exhibition and lecture: The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure

    Weekdays, 11.00-16.00
    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.

    Explore group tours

  • You can book up to ten people to visit the exhibition as a self-led group.

    Book a self-led group

    See our Group visits page for more information and guidelines on bringing a private tour group.

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