isaac julien
stones against diamonds, 2015
installation view
elisabethenkirche, basel

Isaac Julien is one of the most important and influential British visual artists in the fields of installation and film. His work combines several disciplines, including cinema, photography, dance, music, theatre, painting and sculpture, which are caputured in his audio-visual installations, documentaries and photographic pieces. The plurality of his work is not only present in the process of making, but also in the way in which it is exhibited, which includes several screens, with Julien being a pioneer in multiple-screen film installations.

 

The artist's works often emerge from in-depth investigations of historical personalities, including Langston Hughes, Frantz Fanon and Lina Bo Bardi, in a process that often aims to review history's official versions. Although films are the main form of his artistic production, photography also plays a fundamental role in Julien’s oeuvre. In his photographs, he reinvents and redefines the aesthetics of his audio-visual production using techniques such as collage and digital photomontage.

 

His film Young Soul Rebels (1991) was awarded the Semaine de la Critique prize in Cannes Film Festival. Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996), which the artist co-directed with Mark Nash, received the Pratt and Whitney Canada Grand Prize. Julien was also awarded the McDermott Prize from MIT and The Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Prize (2014) during the San Francisco Film Festival. In 2015, Isaac Julien obtained the Kaino Prize for artistic excellence.

 

Julien was born in 1960 in London, where he lives and works. He has had various solo exhibitions at institutions such as: Lessons of the Hour, at Metro Pictures and Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) (2019), both in New York, USA; Western Union: Small Boats, at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum (2018), in Aarhus, Denmark; To the End of the World, at Galerie Forsblom (2018), in Stocholm, Sweden; and Ten Thousand Waves, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói (MAC-Niterói) (2016), in Niterói, Brazil. Julien's work has been included in 57th Venice Bienalle, Italy (2017); at Paris Triennial, France (2012); at 7th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2008), and participated in group shows such as Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity, at Walker Museum, in Liverpool and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2017), in Birmingham, UK; The Shadow Never Lies, at Minsheng Museum (2016), in Shanghai, China. His work appears in collections around the globe, such as: Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Tate Modern, London, UK; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA.

 

Exhibitions

News

Press

  • artist isaac julien celebrates brazilian architect lina bo bardi on film View article

    artist isaac julien celebrates brazilian architect lina bo bardi on film

    Nick Compton, Wallpaper 21.6.2019
  • isaac julien: lina bo bardi – a marvellous entanglement at victoria miro, london View article

    isaac julien: lina bo bardi – a marvellous entanglement at victoria miro, london

    Caroline Douglas, Contemporary Art Society 7.6.2019
  • isaac julien’s stills: visual pleasures, multifaceted meaning View article

    isaac julien’s stills: visual pleasures, multifaceted meaning

    Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Gate 22.4.2016
  • ice or diamonds? isaac julien presents his glacial film in miami View article

    ice or diamonds? isaac julien presents his glacial film in miami

    NIck Compton, Wallpaper 8.12.2015
  • isaac julien on lina bo bardi's easels Download

    isaac julien on lina bo bardi's easels

    Jonathan Bastable, Object Lesson - Christies Magazine 2.5.2015
  • o capital de isaac julien Download

    o capital de isaac julien

    Antonio Gonçalves Filho, O Estado de São Paulo 12.10.2014
  • arte com sotaque Download

    arte com sotaque

    Antonio Gonçalves Filho, O Estado de São Paulo 3.4.2013
  • isaac julien: ten thousand waves Download

    isaac julien: ten thousand waves

    Keiko Okamura, Flash Art 1.1.2010