A colourful image of a painting featuring a surreal setting with five figures

The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure

A major study of the Black fig­ure – and its rep­re­sen­ta­tion in con­tem­po­rary art.

Opening Times
10:00 – 17:00 10:00 – 17:00
See a major international exhibition featuring some of the hottest names in contemporary art at The Box this summer.

'The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure' has been organised by the National Portrait Gallery and received a host of four and five star reviews from national critics while it was on display in the capital earlier this year. It's been curated by writer Ekow Eshun and features nearly 50 works of sculpture, painting and drawings by 22 of the UK and USA’s most important living artists, all of which have been made since 2000.

The exhibition surveys the presence and absence of the Black figure in Western art history and includes works by 2017 Turner Prize nominee Hurvin Anderson, 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, 1998 Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald, and 2023 Turner Prize nominee Barbara Walker.

With large-scale, dazzling works that ask questions about race, identity and history, it's a celebration of some of the most exciting artists who are working today, and the only chance to see the show outside of London before it travels to America.