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Reintroducing a pioneering artist whose practice focused on representations of black womanhood, Maxine Walker: Untitled is a poignant exploration of identity by a young artist at the height of her career - using photography to interrogate the intricacies of skin, blackness and being. Active between 1985 - 1997, this is Maxine Walker’s first solo exhibition in more than twenty-two years.
In her seminal series of self portraits Untitled (1997), Walker draws our attention to the features of her face in closely-cropped black and white photographs. The sequence of ten portraits share a charged visual journey as she seemingly peels away layers of her surface skin, conjuring a narrative that is more sinister than playful, intimating that her blackness cannot - and must not - be stripped away. Magnifying the delicacy of her skin, we are invited to consider complex notions of beauty, masquerade, and vulnerability.
Deeply invested in dialogues that advocated black art practices in Britain, Maxine Walker (b.1962, Birmingham, England) was active within the photographic community between 1985 and 1997.
As a pioneering artist, she was instrumental in cofounding several creative platforms for black female photographers – such as Monocrone Women’s Photography Collective, Women + Photography and Polareyes – and participated on editorial boards, including at Autograph (then known as the Association of Black Photographers).
Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Our building Rivington Place is an accessible space with a step-free entrance at street level, and a lift to all floors. Unisex, accessible toilets are located on all floors.
Download our Accessibility Guidefor detailed access information about our venue and transport.
We are happy to help. If you would like to discuss your visit, or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7749 9200
11am - 6pm
11am - 6pm
11am - 9pm
11am - 6pm
12 noon - 6pm
T: 020 7749 1240
All vintage material on display from Autograph’s archive collection of photography. Ephemera from Intimate Distance (1989) courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
Maxine Walker and Autograph would like to thank: Derek Bishton, Vanley Burke, Claudette Holmes, Joy Gregory, Denise Walker, and Ella Yvonne Delores Walker Cole.
Banner images: 1-2) Maxine Walker, Untitled, 1997. Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London. 3) Maxine Walker: Untitled at Autograph, London. Photograph by Zoe Maxwell.
Pages images, from top left: 1) Lola Flash, Sadako [detail], New York, 2008. From the series [sur]passing. Courtesy the artist. 2) Maxine Walker, Untitled, 1997. Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London. 3-4) Maxine Walker. 5) Maxine Walker at her exhibition at Autograph, London. Photograph by Zoe Maxwell. 6) Rivington Place, home of Autograph. Photograph by Zoe Maxwell.