Postcolonial modernisms

Across the globe, new art traditions have responded to the radical changes of the 20th century.

1945 - present

videos + essays

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Armando García Menocal, <em>Campesino y soldado español (Peasant and Spanish soldier)</em>
Armando García Menocal, Campesino y soldado español (Peasant and Spanish soldier)

Following the Cuban War of Independence, Menocal seeks to create a distinct Cuban iconography.

Rafael Tufiño, <em>La Plena</em>
Rafael Tufiño, La Plena

Originally made as a backdrop for the 1957 film La Plena, this mural celebrates the people and music of Puerto Rico.

Mahmoud Hammad, <em>Arabic Writing no. 11</em>
Mahmoud Hammad, Arabic Writing no. 11

Hammad manipulates the texture, color, and spatial ratios of Arabic words to the point of abstracted illegibility.

Rafael Tufiño, <em>Goyita</em>
Rafael Tufiño, Goyita

A portrait of the artist's mother, Goyita symbolizes the resilience of Puerto Rico.

Ramón Frade, <em>Our Daily Bread</em>
Ramón Frade, Our Daily Bread

Artists like Frade found in the representations of jíbaros a way to push back against the cultural and political situation.

Tshibumba Kanda Matulu, <i>Le 30 juin 1960, Zaïre indépendant</i>
Tshibumba Kanda Matulu, Le 30 juin 1960, Zaïre indépendant

In a series of 100 paintings, Tshibumba Kanda Matulu tells the history of Zaïre, or present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The arts of Africa, c. 18th–20th century
The arts of Africa, c. 18th–20th century

African arts played a central role in their communities, whether to communicate royalty, sacrality, inner virtues, aesthetic interests, genealogy or other central concerns

Amrita Sher-Gil, <em>Self-Portrait as a Tahitian</em>
Amrita Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait as a Tahitian

Sher-Gil engages with the artists Gauguin and van Gogh in her complicated self-portrait.

<i>Battle of Adwa</i>
Battle of Adwa

This painting depicts the moment when the Ethiopian army defeated Italian aggressors, defending itself against colonization

Itinerant Modernisms: Cosmopolitans, Exiles, Travelers since 1950
Itinerant Modernisms: Cosmopolitans, Exiles, Travelers since 1950

In the second-half of the twentieth century, the large-scale migrations of artists, ideas, and visual forms had an enormous impact on the evolution and practice of contemporary art worldwide.

Fahrelnissa Zeid – ‘She Was the East and the West’
Fahrelnissa Zeid – ‘She Was the East and the West’

Turkish Princess and artist Fahrelnissa Zeid is best known for her large-scale abstract compositions blending Byzantine, Islamic and Western influences.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, <em>The Inevitable</em>
Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Inevitable

Often considered El-Salahi's masterpiece, 'The Inevitable' was first conceived by the artist during his wrongful imprisonment.

Selected Contributors