ISAAC JULIEN | Rapture 1846 (Lessons of the Hour)



Jessica Silverman
Rapture 1846 (Lessons of the Hour), 2019
Framed archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth 305g paper mounted on aluminum
3/6 + 1AP
66.13 x 88.63 x 2 in. (framed)
59.13 x 82.63 x .25 in.


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The Artist

Isaac Julien’s multi-screen film installations and photographs incorporate different artistic disciplines to create a poetic and unique visual language. His 1989 documentary-drama exploring author Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance titled Looking for Langston garnered Julien a cult following. Earlier audio-visual installations range from Baltimore (2003), which, in part pays homage to the style, language and iconography of 1970s Blaxploitation films (particularly Melvin Van Peebles’ 1971 classic, Sweet Sweetback’s Badassss Song) and offer surreal allegories of race, class and cultural history to True North (2004), a mediation on the sublimity of diaspora, loosely inspired by the story of the black American explorer, Matthew Henson, who went to the North Pole and later wrote an account of his experience. Most recently, Lessons of the Hour (2019) re-imagines significant moments in the life and work of Frederick Douglass. Julien has said, “I’m very interested in the idea of working with characters as models, characters taken from life.”

Julien (b. 1960, London UK) splits his time between London, England, and Santa Cruz, California. He has had many solo shows at museums, including: the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; Milwaukee Art Museum; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Saint Louis Art Museum; Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover; SESC Pompeia, São Paulo; and the Aspen Art Museum. Julien was awarded the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors, 2017. Julien is Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he and Professor of the Arts Mark Nash teach within the Isaac Julien Lab.

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