John Akomfrah

1957 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

John Akomfrah is seen as an established artist, who was born and brought up in the United Kingdom. John Akomfrah was born in 1957. Also born in the United Kingdom around 1957 and of the same generation are Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor and John Akomfrah.

John Akomfrah's Gallery representation

John Akomfrah's work is on display at Lisson Gallery | West 24th Street, New York in the United States.

Historical Context of United Kingdom

Britain has been a crucial hub for artistic production for centuries. While it accrued vast wealth through colonisation and the rise of its Empire, it was also exposed to the cultural supremacy of other countries and continents. In the modern period, Britain had been to a great extent overshadowed by the reputation of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But towards the end of the 19th century, Britain became an important hub in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a major movement setting the tone for artist-led organisations, associations and organisational co-operative types that would later become into a template of sorts for bohemian artists movements of the Twentieth Century. Major artistic movements that characterize British modernism include for instance Vorticism, comprised of artists associated with the Bloomsbury group. Some noteworthy British artists of the modern and contemporary period include Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego - and in more recent years the YBA generation led by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Chris Ofili and others.

Further Biographical Context for John Akomfrah

John Akomfrah was born in 1957 and was predominantly inspired by the 1970s. The 1970s were a period of consolidation and development in the arts, most often characterised as a response to the central strains of the previous decade. Conceptual art emerged as a influential movement, and was in part an evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the artwork into the expansive outdoors, taking creative production away from commodities and looking to engage with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined elements of conceptualism with other formal considerations, creating mysterious and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain prominence for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years before, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly respected figures worldwide. New York maintained an prominent position in the international art world, ensuring that global artists continued to gravitate to the galleries, bars and downtown scene in the city. International movements gained prominence included feminism, which translated strongly into the visual culture, and photorealism which had begun in the 1960s and enjoyed substantial commercial and critical success. For the first time painters and sculptors from Latin America were embraced by the leading critical and institutional levers in New York.

John Akomfrah

  • Exhibitions 1

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