6 July 2022
Congratulations to Dr Richard Hylton, Lecturer in Contemporary Art in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, whose article 'Bridging the Gap: The Postwar Era and the Significance of John Biggers’s Ananse' has been published in the acclaimed Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art.
This special 50th edition issue of Nka focusses on 'African American Art in the International Arena'. In his editorial piece for the issue, Professor in Art History Eddie Chambers cites Hylton's chapter in the 2019 Routledge Companion to African American Art History, 'Status and Presence: African American Art in the International Arena', as being the genesis of this particular issue of Nka, emphasising the importance of Hylton's contributions to a largely overlooked area of scholarship.
Hylton's new article further highlights this issue through an in-depth exploration of the work of African-American artist John Biggers, focussing in particular on his 1962 publication Ananse: The Web of Life in Africa - a deeply moving illustrated monograph featuring a series of striking artworks created during a 1957 UNESCO-funded fellowship that enabled Biggers and his wife to travel to West Africa and study the cultural traditions of Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Togo. In his latest article, Hylton notes the "prevailing undervaluing of Ananse" within the contemporary international art world and suggests that this is "perhaps an inevitable consequence of a broader undervaluing of Biggers’s artistic legacy, particularly within the United States." To read this fantastic new piece, click here.