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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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

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.

Ibrahim El-Salahi , <em>Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams 1</em> studio visit
Ibrahim El-Salahi , Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams 1 studio visit

Artist Ibrahim El-Salahi discusses his work 'Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams 1' 1962-3, a large-scale oil painting acquired by Tate.

Seydou Keïta, <em>Untitled</em> (Seated Woman with Chevron Print Dress)
Seydou Keïta, Untitled (Seated Woman with Chevron Print Dress)

Studio photography produced mementos for the growing middle class: Keïta’s Bamako studio was abuzz with clients.

Mickalene Thomas on Seydou Keïta
Mickalene Thomas on Seydou Keïta

Contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas discusses the use of grayscale and pattern to imbue the richness of humanity in Seydou Keïta's portraits of Malian life

Skunder Boghossian, <em>Night Flight of Dread and Delight</em>
Skunder Boghossian, Night Flight of Dread and Delight

Boghossian’s exposure to Pan-Africanist networks in Paris helped him to develop the concept of his painting Night Flight of Dread and Delight.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, <em>Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams</em>
Ibrahim El-Salahi, Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams

How would you paint a picture of something that’s not quite representable… like the sound of voices chanting, a spiritual vision, a childhood memory, or a dream that you can’t remember?

Uche Okeke
Uche Okeke

Okeke learned uli, an Igbo female painting tradition, from his mother, and infused it with a modern sensibility.

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