Claudette Johnson

i Claudette Johnson, Figure in blue, 2018, Pastels and gouache on paper, 163 x 133 cm. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Claudette Johnson. Image courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

29 Sept 2023 – 14 Jan 2024 
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries

A major exhibition of work by British artist Claudette Johnson (born 1959) will open at The Courtauld Gallery on 29 Sept 2023. 

A founding member of the Black British Art Movement, Claudette Johnson is considered one of the most significant figurative artists of her generation. For over 30 years she has created large-scale drawings of Black women and men that are at once intimate and powerful.

Presenting a carefully selected group of major works from across her career, from key early drawings such as the arresting Untitled (Woman with Earring), 1982, which first established her name, alongside brand-new works, this exhibition will offer a compelling overview of Johnson’s pioneering career and artistic development.

It will consider how Johnson has directed her approach to representing her subjects over three decades, and how her practice is rooted in the art of the past with The Courtauld’s collection providing a rich context in which to see her work.

Working in a variety of media, ranging from monochrome works in dark pastel to vast sheets brightly coloured in vibrant gouache and watercolour, combined with dramatic use of pose, gaze, and scale, Johnson’s distinctive drawings of friends, relatives, and often herself seek, as the artist puts it, “to tell a different story about our presence in this country”.

This exhibition will be the first monographic show of Claudette Johnson’s work at a major public gallery in London and is rooted in the ongoing research, teaching and activities in the field of Black and Diasporic British Art by Dorothy Price, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Critical Race Art History at The Courtauld.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new catalogue based on original research and conversations with the artist.

Tickets for Claudette Johnson go on sale in the summer. Sign up to The Courtauld Gallery newsletter to find out about our latest announcements, exhibitions, events and more.

29 Sept 2023 – 14 Jan 2024 

10.00 – 18.00 (last entry 17.15)

The Courtauld Gallery  The Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries 

Tickets on sale this summer.

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