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The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure at the National Portrait Gallery

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Witness an extraordinary showcase of contemporary art that celebrates the richness of Black life. Be sure to book your tickets to the highly-anticipated exhibition curated by Ekow Eshun, former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Event Info

Date & Time

February 22 - May 19

Open Daily: 10:30 - 18:00 Friday & Saturday 10:30 - 21:00


National Portrait Gallery, Saint Martin's Place, London, UK

Tel: +44(0)20 7306 0055

Tickets & Prices

Tickets on sale soon

Exhibitions are free for members – join now

L-R: Kampala Suburb by Michael Armitage (2014). Oil on Lubugo bark cloth © Michael Armitage. Photo © White Cube (Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd); Untitled (Painter) by Kerry James Marshall, 2009, Acrylic on PVC, Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Katherine S. Schamberg by exchange, 2009.15. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Featuring the works of talented contemporary artists from the African diaspora such as Michael Armitage, Lubaina Himid, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Amy Sherald, this exhibition is an expression of the black figure in the world of art.

But it's not just about admiring the beauty of these pieces. The exhibition also delves into the story of representation - exploring the use of figures in Western art history and examining their absence in certain contexts. Through these works, we explore the social, psychological and cultural contexts in which they were produced.

This is an unmissable opportunity to witness a groundbreaking exhibition that challenges preconceived notions and highlights the power of art in telling stories.

Book your tickets now!

*The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed and will re-open on 22nd June 2023.

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CIRCA Piccadilly Lights London Courtesy of the artist 1



CIRCA is a digital art platform, showcasing art on London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus screen, Piccadilly Lights, for 2.5 minutes every evening to present new ideas that consider our world.

Read more about CIRCA