Guildhall Art Gallery Celebrates Black British Art
What makes London's cultural scene so diverse is the various influences that arrive here via immigration, so it's good to see this new exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery celebrating art created by the black community.
The focal point of the show is the story of Jessica and Eric Huntley who arrived from the Caribbean to set up a bookshop in West London. The shop has been re-created in the gallery and visitors will also be able to explore book covers and interactive installations.
The most eye-catching aspects on show are the artworks up on the wall, yet they are also the most inconsistent in quality, ranging from the excellent to the merely ordinary. We love the colourful paintings by Denzil Forrester, plus a vibrant depiction of dancing at Reading town hall — though many of the other works are not at the same level. As would be expected there are plenty of politically charged works here covering racism experienced in Britain, the US and referencing apartheid in South Africa.
It's not made clear that some of the exhibition is displayed within the gallery's excellent permanent collection so visitors should explore these areas too. One piece of placement we love involves the busts of symbolic African women by Fowokan George Kelly facing off against the more traditional bust of Edward VII.
There are some great works on show here and Guildhall Art Gallery with it's fantastic collection of British painting is the perfect setting for this inconsistent yet culturally important exhibition.
No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990 is on at Guildhall Art Gallery until 24 January 2016. Entrance is free. Nearby is this year's selection of Sculpture in the City, the excellent mini-festival that is Station to Station at Barbican.
Last Updated 03 October 2015