Making the Invisible Visible
Lubaina Himid Awarded Turner Prize

She is the first black women to be honored with the Turner Prize and, at 63, the oldest artist to receive the renowned British art award. Lubaina Himid, who has been represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection since 2016, deals in her paintings, works on paper, and painted wooden objects with migration, racism, slavery, and the representation of black people in the media and art. Himid was born on the African island of Zanzibar and grew up in Great Britain, where she played a key role in the British black arts movement of the 1980s and 90s and curated a series of important exhibitions featuring black women artists. For these activities, among others, The Daily Telegraph recently called her “the under-appreciated hero of black British art.” And the jury for the Turner Prize praised the artist for her “uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today.”

“The Truth is Never Watertight” can be read on one of Himid’s works from the Deutsche Bank Collection. This statement was also the title of her first exhibition in Germany, which was recently on view at the Badischer Kunstverein. Himid is interested in precisely such “leaky issues”— omissions, contradictions, and repressed chapters of history. For Naming the Money she created an ensemble of 100 life-sized figures that were cut out of wood and painted giving individual stories to black slaves who worked as servants, musicians, or acrobats in Great Britain. Himid brought them back from the abyss of history, so to speak, complete with their original names, which they had to drop. “The stories I tell often come from books that are virtually unknown or are told to me by historians,” the artists explains. “My project consists in filling these gaps, painting these stories, making the invisible visible.”    

Lubaina Himid’s exhibition Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money is on view until March 18, 2018, at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
The exhibition of the four artists nominated for the Turner Prize in 2017 runs until January 7, 2017, at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.