The New Black Vanguard – Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery announces The New Black Vanguard: photography between art and fashion, curated by Antwaun Sargent

  • The exhibition runs from October 28, 2022 to January 22, 2023 at Saatchi Gallery, with advance booking available from September 23, 2022
  • The exhibition, curated by Antwaun Sargent, focuses on fashion portraits that celebrate black culture and liberate the black figure from a photographic history dominated by a white aesthetic
  • Contains photographs by fifteen black international photographers including; Campbell Addy, Tyler Mitchell, Renel Medrano and Nadine Ijewere
  • This exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery is generously supported by Burberry

LONDON, UK (23 September 2022) – This October, the Saatchi Gallery presents The New Black Vanguard: photography between art and fashion, a groundbreaking exhibition featuring 15 international black photographers contributing to a new vision of the black figure and reshaping how it is represented in art and fashion. This exhibition celebrates black creativity both in front of and behind the camera. Featured work includes Black stylists, models, makeup artists and creative directors who bring a radically new set of credentials and experiences to image design.

The new black avant-garde is curated by American writer and critic Antwaun Sargent, who explores a new aesthetic of black portraiture, examining the cross-fertilization between art, fashion and culture in the making of images.

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Sargent adds: “This exhibition is an exploration of this generation’s black image makers who are bringing a new perspective to photography. Frame by frame, they have created a loose global network around their art that powerfully focuses on identity, community and longing. The artists in this exhibition revitalize the possibilities of contemporary photography in a profound way.”

The new black avant-garde presents artists whose vivid portraits and conceptual images fuse the genres of fine art and fashion photography in a way that breaks old-established boundaries. Her work has been featured extensively in traditional lifestyle magazines, advertising campaigns and museums, as well as on her individual social media channels; lend new vitality and substance to the contemporary imagery of beauty and the body.

The image opens up conversations about the representation of the black body and black life as a theme. Together, the works celebrate black creativity. The works seek to challenge the idea that blackness is homogeneous and serve as a form of visual activism delivered by emerging talent creating photography in vastly different contexts – be it New York or Johannesburg, Lagos or London. The results – often created 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.

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This exhibition includes selected works by these pioneering contemporary photographers, as well as a salon wall presentation of images by other young black photographers contributing to the movement. Showcases of past and present publications contextualize these images and chronicle the history of inclusion and exclusion in the creation of Black commercial imagery. The exhibition proposes a brilliantly reimagined future.

Selected photographer quotes

“The New Black Vanguard means a lot to me. It is an important milestone in history where the work of young black artists was beautifully curated and published in a book. Showing this exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London is a dream. This represents progress and further limits will be 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 freshman student, Antwaun Sargent came to me to share his industry experience and requirements. Speaking about the book he hoped to create, I begged him, saying, “If only I had seen a book like this when I was younger, a project of deep joy and happiness that brought blackness in its diversity into presented in visual media. Maybe then it wouldn’t have been so difficult for me to just introduce myself as one of those artists.” Seeing now what The New Black Vanguard has done and how it’s progressing through many cities makes me so happy. I know there is one young creative with a similar background to the exhibiting artists who will feel seen and recognized. Who might also feel challenged to create work! So it fills me with great joy and pride that it will also be in London – the same city where Antwaun and I met to discuss this book many, many years ago. That moment in itself feels amazing, like coming full circle.”Campbell Addy, photographer

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Selected photographers

Campbell Addy Quil Lemons Daniel Obasi
Ariel Bobb Willis Namsa Leuba Ruth Ossai
Micah Carter Renell Medrano Adrienne Rachel
Avol Erizku Tyler Mitchell Dana Scrugg
Nadine Jewere Jamal Nxedlana Stefan Tayo

exhibition manager

The new black avant-garde at the Saatchi Gallery is generously supported by Burberry.#TheNewBlackVanguard

Saatchi Gallery

The Duke of York’s Headquarters, King’s Rd, London SW3 4RY, United Kingdom

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