Arts Radar: 20th July
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The biggie this week is definitely Tate Modern's compelling and pretty goddamn powerful show focusing on the underexposed art of Black Power. But if you like small things too, then check out Florence Peake's pleasureful naked drawings and the stunning, shattering photography of Zanele Muhol.
This has all the telltale signs of being this summer's blockbuster as Tate Modern take a timely look back at the civil rights movement and the art of Black Power. With over 50 artists included in the exhibition, no theme has been left untouched: the rise of black feminism, the struggle to find a voice, the creation of a uniquely black and proud aesthetic. It'll be an education and not one to let pass by - it should also help you clock a few more references in Kendrick's lyrics.
Sure, the works of Florence Peake are naked drawings, but these are a class apart from your honeypie's life drawing drafts (not that they're not good hun xoxo). Peake makes these drawings as part of a choreographed performance with the paper laid out on the floor as she moves around it with the brush in her hand: The results are strange, slightly abnormal forms with curves and flesh aplenty, reflecting her wish to explore the body as a place for pleasure to sink into.
It would be pretty easy to forget that painted portraiture is even really a thing in our selfie era. But hey, look - it is! The BP Portrait Award is a living, breathing proof of it, and we're digging it. Not only does the medium of painting give portraiture a shake to the bones, it also proves that paint’s ability to tackle delicate subjects such as portrait is pretty much timeless. So take it all in.
The bright colours and bold forms of postmodernism are very much in right now, and French artist Nathalie du Pasquier is an excellent proponent of the trade. She was part of the revolutionary Memphis Design group of 80s Milan and here she's strutting out on her own with a solo show: full of bold geometric forms and colourful contrasts which explore vibrancy, geometry and space.
Latex gloves as symbols of servitude, black bodies as canvasses onto which political narratives are painted - ya, this is some woke stuff. Known for her striking explorations of race, gender and sexuality, South African visual activist photographer Zanele Muholi is having her first exhibition in London with a title that translates as ‘Hail, The Dark Lioness’ and which will feature over 60 stunning black and white portraits.