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In Black and White: Prints from Africa and the Diaspora

Book relating to a publication, 2013
Published by: V&A
Year published: 2013
Number of pages: 128
ISBN: 9781 85177 754 9

image of In Black and White: Prints from Africa and the Diaspora

Substantial, extensively illustrated publication bringing together the prints acquired for the collection of the V&A, by artists from Africa and the Diaspora. The publication showcased prints and related ephemera by 44 artists and one anonymous artists’ collective, PESTs. All of the artists represented were either born in Africa or could be categorised as belonging to its diaspora. 

The publication contained a major, wide-ranging 20 page endnoted essay, ‘So Much Things to Say’, written by Gill Saunders and Zoe Whitley, the book’s authors.

From the text: “Some of those included in this book might baulk at the implied categorization. A book that has ‘blackness’ (or ‘African-ness’) as its primary criterion for inclusion undoubtedly enters dangerous territory. it is at risk of perpetuating, or normalizing, a segregation that many of these artists have actively resisted in the art world (pp.118-19); at risk of applying divisive or discriminatory criteria to work by black artists, indeed of reviving the contested category of ‘black art’ and rehearsing once more all the debates the subject attracts. ‘Africa’ is itself a problematic term suggesting a unity of practice and purpose that cannot apply to a vast continent of such complex racial, cultural and political diversity. By bringing these artists together - and the selection itself is somewhat arbitrary, since it is dictated by what the V&A has collected over the past 40 years - we are privileging place of birth, ancestry or race above the individual’s various allegiances, influences and identities, are in danger of forcing diverse artworks made in many countries, by artists young and old over four decades, into the straightjacket of race and diasporan politics.” 

The illustrated essay’s concluding paragraph begins, “Some of these artists are passionate about print, its nature and capacities, working with it as their primary medium; for others it is one option among many. But all have found in it an effective means to a purposeful end. Several have spoken revealingly of their engagement with an experience of printmaking. For Faisal Abdu’Allah, making a print is a ritual process, reflecting a spiritual outlook and involving prayer (p.69). for Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, her choice of etching is a deliberate allusion to ‘the historical depictions of human likenesses’.”

The authors attempt to divide the prints into five categories - PLACE, HISTORY, MEMORY, IDENTITY, and PROTEST, though a number of artist’s prints appear in more than one category.

Contents as follows:

Contents page

‘So Much things to say’: Prints from Africa and the Diaspora, Gill Saunders and Zoe Whitley




Index of Artists and Works

Picture Credits

Within the publication, Wifredo Lam’s name was spelled incorrectly, as Wilfredo Lam.

Related people - view 5

»  Faisal Abdu’Allah

Born, 1969 in London, UK

»  Konradski (Conrad Botes)

Born, 1969 in Ladismith, South Africa

»  (Sir) Frank Bowling OBE, RA

Born, 1935 - 1937 (probably 1936) in British Guiana (now Guyana) Caribbean/S. America

»  Sonia Boyce MBE OBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

»  Winston Branch

Born, 1947 in Castries, St Lucia

»  Nils Burwitz

Born, 1940 in Poland

»  Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Born, 1959 in Matanzas, Cuba

»  Willy Cole

Born, 1955 in Newark, New Jersey

»  Emory Douglas

Born, 1943

»  Uzo Egonu

Born, 1931 in Onitsha, Nigeria. Died, 1996

»  Ellen Gallagher

Born, 1960 - 1970 (probably 1965) in Providence Rhode Island

»  Renée Green

Born, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

»  Joy Gregory

Born, 1959 in Oxfordshire, England

»  Trenton Doyle Hancock

Born, 1974

»  Margo Humphrey

Born, 1942 in Oakland, California

»  Gavin Jantjes

Born, 1948 in Cape Town, South Africa

»  Tam Joseph

Born, 1947 in Dominica

»  Isaac Julien CBE RA

Born, 1960 in London, England

»  William Kentridge

Born, 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa

»  Atta Kwami

Born, 1956 in Accra, Ghana

»  Wifredo Lam

Born, 1902 in Cuba. Died, 1982

»  Timo Lehtonen

Born, 1953 in Helsinki, Finland

»  Glenn Ligon

Born, 1960 in New York

»  Hew Locke

Born, 1959 in Edinburgh

»  John Lyons

Born, 1933 in Port of Spain, Trinidad

»  Louis Khehla Maqhubela

Born, 1939 in Durban, South Africa

»  Kerry James Marshall

Born, 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama

»  Ken McDonald

Born, 1951

»  Manuel Mendive

Born, 1944 in Cuba

»  John Ndevasia Muafangejo

Born, 1943 in Namibia. Died, 1987

»  Tunde Odunlade

Born, 1954 in Nigeria

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

»  PESTs

»  Tony Phillips

Born, 1952 in Liverpool, UK

»  Adrian Piper

Born, 1948

»  Tayo Quaye

Born, 1954 in Nigeria

»  Faith Ringgold

Born, 1930 in Harlem, New York

»  Thamae Setshogo

Born, 1966 - 1974 (probably 1970) in Botswana. Died, 2002 - 2006 (probably 2004)

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE CBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

»  Paul Sibisi

Born, 1948 in Durban, South Africa

»  Kara Walker

Born, 1969 in Stockton, California

»  Carrie Mae Weems

Born, 1953 in Portland, Oregon

»  Sue Williamson

Born, 1941 in Litchfield, England

»  Llewellyn Xavier

Born, 1945 in St Lucia

»  Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Born, 1977 in London