The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion
London, UK (23 Sept, 2022) - This October, Saatchi Gallery will present The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, a ground breaking exhibition featuring 15 international Black photographers contributing to a new vision of the Black figure and reframing representation in art and fashion. This exhibition is a celebration of Black creativity both in-front of and behind the camera. Featured works include Black stylists, models, make-up artists and creative directors who are bringing a radical new set of references and experiences to image making.
The New Black Vanguard is curated by American writer and critic Antwaun Sargent who explores a new aesthetic of Black portraiture while examining the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture in the making of images.
Sargent adds, "This exhibition is an exploration of this generation's Black image makers who are bringing fresh perspective to photography. Image by image, they have created a loose global network around their art that powerfully centres identity, community and desire. The artists in this show profoundly reanimate the possibilities of contemporary photography."
The New Black Vanguard presents artists whose vibrant portraits and conceptual images fuse the genres of art and fashion photography in ways that break down long-established boundaries. Their work has been widely presented in traditional lifestyle magazines, ad campaigns, and museums, as well as on thier individual social media channels; infusing the contemporary visual vocabulary around beauty and the body with new vitality and substance.
The images open up conversations around the representation of the Black body and Black lives as subject matter. Collectively, the works celebrate Black creativity. Seeking to challenge the idea that Blackness is homogenous, the works serve as a form of visual activism delivered by emerging talents who are creating photography in vastly different contexts — be it in New York or Johannesburg, Lagos or London. The results — often made in collaboration with Black stylists and fashion designers — present new perspectives on the medium of photography and the notions of race, beauty, gender and power.
This exhibition includes selected works from these ground breaking contemporary photographers, as well as a salon wall presentation of images created by other young Black photographers contributing to this movement. Vitrines of publications, past and present, contextualise these images and chart the history of inclusion, and exclusion, in the creation of the Black commercial image. The exhibition proposes a brilliantly re-envisioned future.
Central to the featured photographers’ art is their work with fashion houses, forming relationships that prompt the re-evaluation of the commercial Black image. As part of the exhibition, Sargent will also present New Gazes II, a space dedicated to works created in partnership with Burberry. This section focuses on works in which artists have reframed the significance of the Black figure – with a special focus on the Black creator – as a new ideal in contemporary culture. In the commissioned fashion campaigns and editorials that this group of Black creatives has produced, photographers including Bolade Banjo, Kwabena Sekyi-Appiah-Nti, Micaiah Carter, Kennedi Carter and Liz Johnson Artur together with stylist Ib Kamara have worked with Burberry to create photographs and videos that platform a new generation’s notions of identity, beauty, and desire. The art blends Burberry’s signature house codes with the varied visual aesthetics and concerns of The New Black Vanguard. Together, these creatives have sought to expand established portrayals of Black life to be more inclusive of narratives that have often gone unseen.
As part of Burberry’s commitment to the power of creativity to open spaces and create opportunity, Burberry is making a donation to Saatchi Gallery’s Learning programme to support exhibition-themed activities that expand on the content of The New Black Vanguard. The Gallery will work alongside local community groups and schools across London to provide free workshops, tours and resources – within the Gallery, offsite and online.
Selected Photographer Quotes
“The New Black Vanguard means a lot to me. It’s an important milestone in history where the work of young black artists have been curated beautifully and published in a book. It’s a dream for this show to be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London. This represents progress and more boundaries being removed. London is my home, I still remember school trips to the Saatchi! Now we are here, together, telling our stories!”– Nadine Ijewere, Photographer
“Many moons ago, as a newly graduated student, Antwaun Sargent came to me to talk about the experiences in the industry and what's needed. Speaking about the book he hopes to create - I implored him and said "if only I had seen a book like that when I was younger, a project of profound joy and happiness, that showcased Blackness in its variety in visual media. Maybe then it wouldn't have been such a struggle for me to just imagine myself as one of those artists." Now seeing what The New Black Vanguard has done, and it's evolution through many cities, brings me so much happiness. As I know there is a young creative from a similar background to that of the exhibiting artists that is going to feel seen and feel acknowledged. Who may also feel challenged to create work! So it brings me profound joy and immense pride, that it is also going to be in London – in the same city that Antwaun and I met to talk about said book – many, many years ago. This moment in itself feels incredibly full circle.” – Campbell Addy, Photographer
New Gazes Artists
AB+DM (Ahmad Barber and Donté Maurice), Djeneba Aduayom, Lawrence Agyei, Rasharn Agyemang, Araba Ankuma, Bafic, Daveed Baptiste, Malick Bodian, Kennedi Carter, Jorian Charlton, Christian Cody, Faith Couch, Delphine Diallo, Rhea Dillon, Philip-Daniel Ducasse, Christina Ebenezer, Yagazie Emezi, Justin French, Alexandre Gaudin, Erica Génécé, Kenny Germé, Denzel Golatt, Yannis Davy Guibinga, Travis Gumbs, Tyrell Hampton, Seye Isikalu, Adama Jalloh, Manny Jefferson, Kreshonna Keane, Ekua King, Joshua Kissi, Casper Kofi, Olivia Lifungula, Myles Loftin, Mahaneela, Ronan Mckenzie, Tyra Mitchell, Fabien Montique, Sierra Nallo, Manuel Obadia-Wills, Travys Owen, Amber Pinkerton, Marc Posso, Caio Rosa, Silvia Rosi, Lucie Rox, Makeda Sandford, Cécile Smetana Baudier, Justin Solomon, Texas Isaiah, David Uzochukwu, Juan Veloz, Isaac West, and Joshua Woods.
The New Black Vanguard at Saatchi Gallery is generously supported by Burberry.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For Press inquiries please contact: Eleanor Thirlway email@example.com | +44 (0) 20 7811 3091
Press preview: Thursday, 27 October 2022, 10AM-1PM
RSVP essential: https://www.saatchigallery.com/rsvps/press_preview___the_new_black_vanguard
Dates and Opening Hours
Open to the Public:
Saatchi Lates: Details and dates to be announced
Tickets £10, Concessions available; under 10s go free (T&Cs apply). Free entry for Saatchi Gallery Members.
Walk-ins welcome but pre-booking is advised. Tickets can be booked in advance online at saatchi.com/tickets Tickets go on sale: Friday 23 September 2022
Press images can be obtained by emailing Eleanor Thirlway firstname.lastname@example.org
By using the images, you acknowledge and accept the terms and conditions found within the link. These images can only be reproduced to illustrate a review or criticism of a work or report as defined by section 30 (i) and (ii) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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Published by Aperture, The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion is available at Saatchi Store and online.
School Visits & Community Groups
With the generous support of all our patrons, for each major exhibition there are opportunities to engage with creative projects and workshops whether that be in-gallery, virtually, in the classroom or at home. www.saatchigallery.com/learning +44(0) 20 7811 3087
The New Black Vanguard is organised by Aperture, New York, and is made possible, in part, by Tasweer Photo Festival, Quatar and Airbnb Magazine.
Aperture, a not-for-profit, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography,” Aperture today is a multiplatform publisher and centre for the photo community. From its base in New York, Aperture produces, publishes, and presents a program of photography projects, locally and internationally.
Antwaun Sargent is an internationally recognised writer, editor, and curator living in New York City. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, and various art and museum publications. Sargent is author of The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion (Aperture, 2019) and editor of Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists (2020). He is also a director at Gagosian Gallery. Sargent recently curated the posthumous retrospective of the late artist and designer Virgil Abloh at Brooklyn Museum of Art
Burberry is a British luxury brand headquartered in London, UK. Founded in 1856, Burberry is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BRBY.L) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. BURBERRY, the Equestrian Knight Device, the Burberry Check and the Thomas Burberry Monogram and Print are trademarks belonging to Burberry. For more news: www.burberry.com
ABOUT SAATCHI GALLERY
Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has provided an innovative platform for contemporary art. Exhibitions have presented works by largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK. This approach has made the Gallery one of the most recognised names in contemporary art. Since moving to its current 70,000 square feet space in the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, London, the Gallery has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The Gallery hosts over 5,000 schools visits annually and has over 6 million followers on social media. In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a charity, beginning a new chapter in its history. www.saatchigallery.com
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