The Operating Table, is a continuation of a body of work comprising Six Tailors and Three Architects, (both 2019). In this painting, three women of colour are depicted in action, working together but not necessarily in agreement. As with Six Tailors and Three Architects, this work engages with the tradition of history painting in the Western canon, a genre in which epic and heroic scenes of European men are predominant. Himid’s work in this series ushers in diverse, active protagonists, expanding the gamut of narratives in painting.
Old Boat / New Money, 2019, is an installation of 32 leaning wooden planks in varying shades of grey. The ship-like arrangement and the painted cowry shells evoke histories of the transatlantic slave trade, and more broadly the invisible legacies of colonial exploitation that remain inscribed in art and architecture.
Himid’s Kanga series draws from kangas—vibrant cotton rectangular fabric traditionally worn by East African women as a shawl, head scarf, baby carrier, and many other ways. Addressing the kanga‘s association with identity and personal styling, Himid’s works are emblazoned with evocative slogans, bold patterns and vibrant colours.
Naming the Money, 2004, is an installation composed of 100 cut-outs—figurative paintings created on freestanding, shaped board that allow viewers to walk among them. The cut-out figures in this work represent African slaves in the royal courts of 18th century Europe, put to work in such roles as ceramicists, herbalists, toy makers, dog trainers, shoemakers, map makers and painters. A soundtrack gives voice to the figures, which relay their fluid identities shaped by, and formed in reaction to, global political and economic powers.
Himid’s installation A Fashionable Marriage, 1986, is based on British artist William Hogarth’s 1734 satirical work Marriage a la Mode, which attempted to expose the greed, fashionable excesses and exploitation of affluent 18th century London life. With equal wit, Himid’s installation quotes the compositions in Hogarth’s work to deliver a critique of London’s art scene of the 1980s.
Lubaina Himid: Risquons-Tout
WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium
12 September 2020 – 28 March 2021
Lubaina Himid: The Truth Is Never Watertight
Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany
8 September – 26 November 2017
Lubaina Himid: Gifts to Kings
Musée régional d’art contemporain, Pyrénées-Méditerranée, France
7 April – 16 September 2018
EXHIBITIONS AT HOLLYBUSH GARDENS
If a Circle Meets Itself
Peles Empire, Esther Ferrer, Sunil Gupta, Lubaina Himid, Fred Lonidier, Eline McGeorge, Ruth Proctor, Joachim Schmid
30 January – 7 March 2015
I Like What I See And How It Makes Me Feel
Knut Henrik Henriksen, Alejandra Hernández, Lubaina Himid, Reto Pulfer
3 June – 9 July 2016
Feature interview by Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian, 20 November 2021
For Her, Not Me: A department store half-remembered, half-imagined
Contribution by Lubaina Himid, Frieze, No. 222, October 2021
Review: Risquons-Tout at Wiels
Review by Amanda Sarroff, Artforum, Vol. 29 No. 4, January-February 2021
Lubaina Himid: Labor and the Art of Becoming
Review by Antwaun Sargent, The New York Review of Books, 27 December 2019
Review: Lubaina Himid at Frans Hals Museum
Review by Nina Siegal, Artnet, 26 November 2019
Theatricality and Satire in Lubaina Himid’s A Fashionable Marriage
Essay by Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd, Burlington Contemporary Journal, Issue 2, November 2019
Profiles: Lubaina Himid
Profile by Kadish Morris, Frieze, 2 June 2018
Review: Lubaina Himid at Modern Art Oxford
Review by Lauren Dyer Amazeen, Artforum, Vol. 55 No. 9, May 2017
Lubaina Himid: Revision
Essay by Hannah Black, Afterall, Spring/Summer 2017
Lubaina Himid’s Conversations and Voices
Essay by Griselda Pollock, Afterall, Spring/Summer 2017
Influences: Lubaina Himid
Essay by Lubaina Himid, Frieze, No. 184, January-February 2017
Interview by Imelda Barnard, APOLLO, 17 January 2017
Lubaina Himid at Modern Art Oxford and Spike Island
Review by Lizzie Lloyd, Artnet, 24 January 2017
British Artist Lubaina Himid
Interview by Rachel Spence, Financial Times, 20 January 2017
How the Works of Lubaina Himid Speak to Trump’s Times
Interview by Hettie Judah, The Guardian, 18 January 2017
A Fashionable Marriage
Essay by Lubaina Himid, from The Other Hogarth: Aesthetics of Difference, edited by Bernadette Fort and Angela Rosenthal (Princeton University Press, 2001)
Lubaina Himid (b. Zanzibar, 1954) lives and works in Preston, UK, and is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. She is the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize.
Himid has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad. A major monographic exhibition of Himid’s work opened at Tate Modern, London, 2021. Significant solo exhibitions include Spotlights, Tate Britain, London (2019); The Grab Test, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2019); Lubaina Himid, CAPC Bordeaux, France (2019); Work From Underneath, New Museum, New York (2019); Gifts to Kings, MRAC Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Sérignan (2018); Our Kisses are Petals, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018); The Truth Is Never Watertight, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2017); Navigation Charts, Spike Island, Bristol (2017); and Invisible Strategies, Modern Art Oxford (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London; Relations: Diaspora and Painting, Esker Foundation, Calgary, Canada; Invisible Narratives 2, Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London; Unsettled Objects, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (all 2021); Frieze Sculpture, London (2020); Risquons-Tout, WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2020); Slow Painting, Hayward Touring UK travelling exhibition (2020); En Plein Air, The High Line, New York (2019–2020); Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019); Glasgow International (2018); Berlin Biennale (2018); The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2017); Keywords, Tate Liverpool (2014); and Burning Down the House, Gwangju Biennale (2014). Her work is held in various museum and public collections, including Tate; British Council Collection; Arts Council Collection; UK Government Art Collection; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Museums Liverpool; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. A monograph, titled Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual, was released in 2019 from Koenig Books.