Claudette Johnson honours the form, figure and strength of Black women in her drawings and paintings. The large scale of her work, combined with the sensuality of her style, establishes presence and quiet power. As a student she became one of the founding artists behind the BLK Art Group, and later helped catalyse the Black feminist art movement in the UK. Johnson’s work is attuned to the politics of representation within the arts, the depth of emotion held within a body and the capacity for drawing and painting to accentuate fluidity.
“I am interested in interrupting the linear narrative of portraiture and reinforcing a lack of fixity in drawing”, says Johnson. Figure in Blue, 2018 depicts a sitter whose body is turned away as she looks over her shoulder, gaze averted. The work is one of a series of drawings in which Johnson asked the sitter to put their body in a state of tension or contortion. Monochrome pastels describe the figure’s unease, while flowing cerulean blue gouache hints at freedom of movement.
- Artwork Details: 163 x 133cm
- Material description: Gouache and pastel on paper
- Credit line: © the artist
- Medium: Drawing
- Accession number: ACC35/2018