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Entangled Pasts, 1768–now

Art, Colonialism and Change

J.M.W. Turner and Ellen Gallagher. Joshua Reynolds and Yinka Shonibare. John Singleton Copley and Hew Locke. Past and present collide in one powerful exhibition.

This spring, RA brings together over 100 major contemporary and historical works as part of a conversation about art and its role in shaping narratives of empire, enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism – and how it may help set a course for the future.

Artworks by leading contemporary British artists of the African, Caribbean and South Asian diasporas, including Sonia Boyce, Frank Bowling and Mohini Chandra will be on display alongside works by artists from the past 250 years including Joshua Reynolds, J.M.W.Turner and John Singleton Copley – creating connections across time which explore questions of power, representation and history.

Experience a powerful exploration of art from 1768 to now. Featuring a room of life-sized cut-out painted figures by Lubaina Himid, an immersive video installation by Isaac Julien, a giant flotilla of model boats by Hew Locke, and a major new sculpture in the Courtyard by Tavares Strachan. Plus, powerful paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings and prints by El Anatsui, Barbara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, Shahzia Sikander, John Akomfrah and Betye Saar.

Informed by RA’s ongoing research  and its colonial past, this exhibition engages around 50 artists connected to the RA to explore themes of migration, exchange, artistic traditions, identity and belonging.

This exhibition contains themes of slavery and racism. Some works include historical racial language and violent imagery. Please contact RA for more information.



February 3
April 28


Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair
London, Greater London W1J 0BD United Kingdom
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