Lubaina Himid

The Thin Black Line



Digital pigment print on hahnemuehle photo rag paper 308gsm with silkscreen glaze

64 x 45 cm

Edition of 75 copies, signed and numbered by the artist


In stock

This edition is published by ICA

Pick up at / ships in 5 to 10 business days from London (UK)

about this work

This edition references The Thin Black Line exhibition Lubaina Himid organised at the ICA, London in 1985. Marking the arrival on the British art scene of a radical generation of young Black and Asian women artists. They challenged their collective invisibility in the art world and engaged with the social, cultural, political and aesthetic issues of the time.

Lubaina Himid says: “Some people said I was a cultural terrorist because I made this exhibition in 1985. Others warned me that the ICA would never show the work of Black Women Artists again once The Thin Black Line was over. This print I’ve designed to celebrate 75 years of the ICA is a letter to the doubters to remind everyone that the exhibition is important now and was important even then. The artists involved were ready, at that time, to be taken seriously and many of us have managed to keep making work and developing our practice during the past 37 years despite the changing fashions and the political shenanigans at work during in the intervening period. We have tried not to let it hold us back, slow us down or wear us out.”

about Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid is a British painter who has dedicated her four-decades-long career to uncovering marginalised and silenced histories, figures, and cultural expressions. Initially trained in theatre design, Himid is known for her innovative approaches to painting and to social engagement. She has been pivotal in the UK since the 1980s when she was a central figure of the British Black Arts Movement. This artistic movement demanded more visibility and recognition for Black artists and Black identity more broadly.

Commitment to this movement has informed Himid’s practice ever since: her paintings, collages, drawings, and textile works address the invisibility of Black people—and especially of Black women—in Western culture. Her work challenges recorded history and questions power relations, often by celebrating the people who find themselves at the margins. Himid’s work is concerned with the question of belonging. How and when does one belong to a community, and how is this reflected in a given community’s ‘official’ culture? What are the stories we tell about our national treasures? And who and what is left out?


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