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HURVIN ANDERSON (B. 1965)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more SOLD TO BENEFIT THE SAATCHI GALLERY'S FOUNDATION
HURVIN ANDERSON (B. 1965)

Afrosheen

Details
HURVIN ANDERSON (B. 1965)
Afrosheen
signed and titled 'HURVIN ANDERSON "AFROSHEEN"' (on the stretcher); signed and dated 'July 1st 2009 Hurvin Anderson' (on the overlap)
oil on canvas
98 ½ x 81 7/8in. (250 x 208cm.)
Painted in 2009
Provenance
Thomas Dane Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2009.
Exhibited
St Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum, Newspeak: British Art Now, 2009-2010 (illustrated in colour, p. 8). This exhibition later travelled to London, Saatchi Gallery.
Adelaide, The Art Gallery of South Australia, Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now, 2011, p. 38 (illustrated in colour, p. 39).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Lot Essay

‘Like the artists before him, it was the space of the Black barbershop that Anderson sought to commemorate in the Barbershop… and in so doing he has produced a remarkable body of work… [which] effectively problematizes dominant societal notions of African-Caribbean males. In referencing elements of the modernist grid, colour field painting and Black male grooming, Anderson has produced a work of great sophistication, capable of telling no end of stories’ (E. Chambers, ‘Double consciousness,’ Hurvin Anderson reporting back, exh. cat., Ikon, Birmingham, 2013, p. 73).

Spanning over two metres, Hurvin Anderson’s Afrosheen, 2009, is a mesmerizing synthesis of architecture, social history and spatial experience. Transforming the familiar fragments of the everyday into the colourful dissonance of a surreally illusory space, Afrosheen deconstructs the time-honoured ‘Black barbershop’, and in doing so exposes it as a social and culturally charged site. Indeed, Anderson’s envisioning of the barbershop is considered to be the artist’s most celebrated series, with another work from the Barbershop series, Jersey, 2008, in the collection of Tate, London.

Anderson’s paintings often present us with re-imaginings of public spaces that have individual and cultural significance. In Afrosheen, the barbershop chairs are empty; their off kilter angles suggest they are swivelling as if just vacated. Representing both presence and absence, the abandonment of the barbershop heightens the sense of displacement in the work. Set against a grid of glistening red and blue tiles the linear lines introduce a sense of pictorial depth in their abstraction, while vivid chromatic patterned posters and clippings of hair interrupt the planar geometry. The conflation of abstraction and figuration create a captivating fusion of spatial reasoning and narrative gestures. ‘Anderson begins by photographing a subject, interested in the distance that working from photographs affords him. It is as if being on site would provide an excess of information. He then assembles different viewpoints and creates collages which form the basis of his compositions’ (E. Caughlin, Hurvin Anderson, exh. cat., Thomas Dane Gallery, London, 2005). In this departure from photographic reality, at its heart, Afrosheen performs as a platform upon which to address social history.

Born to Jamaican immigrants, Anderson’s painterly practice reflects shared experiences in his hometown of Birmingham, United Kingdom. In response to the rapidly shifting milieu that came with the Windrush Generation, from the late-1940s through the mid-1960s the migrant afro-Caribbean community in the United Kingdom flocked to centres which they could identify as their own. As a result, West Indian churches, sports clubs and barber shops become more than just utilitarian buildings, but social hubs for a displaced cultural diaspora seeking a sense of community. Focusing on the so-called ‘Black barbershop’, Afrosheen exists in this context. ‘In response to the reluctance of white barbers to cut Black people’s hair (and a corresponding lack of faith in the services offered by white hairdressers) Black hair salons and barbershops were established… The Black barbershop represented more than a much-needed amenity. Instead, it represented a space of comfort, affirmation of self, and a certain double consciousness. Within the Black barbershop, such things as current affairs, sport, and music in the UK could be passionately discussed and argued over at the same time that equally nuanced observations were being made in the Caribbean. Many Black people in Britain found that a substantial sense of self could only be maintained if they continually availed themselves of understandings of aspects of the country to which they had migrated, alongside corresponding familiarities with the cultural life they had left behind’ (E. Chambers, ‘Double consciousness,’ Hurvin Anderson reporting back, exh. cat., Ikon, Birmingham, 2013, pp. 71-72).

An intriguing mélange of the domestic and the public, the details of Afrosheen reveal the level of Anderson’s absorption of his personal history into his practice. ‘Like the artists before him, it was the space of the Black barbershop that Anderson sought to commemorate in the Barbershop … and in so doing he has produced a remarkable body of work …[which] effectively problematizes dominant societal notions of African-Caribbean males. In referencing elements of the modernist grid, colour field painting and Black male grooming, Anderson has produced a work of great sophistication, capable of telling no end of stories’ (E. Chambers, ‘Double consciousness,’ Hurvin Anderson reporting back, exh. cat., Ikon, Birmingham, 2013, p. 73).

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