Donald Rodney (1961 – 1998) rose to prominence as a leading figure in Britain’s BLK Art Group. Founded in 1982 by Rodney and his contemporaries, BLK Art Group courageously opened up the platform for young Black artists in the UK by working together to foreground a dynamic movement that confronted issues of racism and racial identity through varied artistic languages.
Rodney suffered from sickle cell anaemia and, with a uniquely bold sensitivity, incorporated the condition as a motif into his artistic practice, becoming a metaphor of Black emasculation and racial stereotyping. His work also highlighted post-colonialism, globalisation and the socio-political condition of Britain in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Solo exhibitions include: Reimaging Donald Rodney, Vivid Projects, Birmingham (2016); Donald Rodney in Retrospect, iniva, London (2008); 9 Night in Eldorado, South London Art Gallery, London (1997); Crisis, Chisenhale Gallery, London, touring to Graves Art Gallery Critical, Sheffield (1989); The Atrocity Exhibition & Other Empire Stories, Black Art Gallery, London (1986).
Group exhibitions include: Civic Duty, Cell Project Space, London (2019); The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary (2017); Trophies of Empire, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (1992); An Exhibition of Radical Black Art: The BLKArt Group, Battersea Art Centre, London (1984); The Pan-Afrikan Connection: An Exhibition of Work by Young Black Artists, Herbert Gallery, Coventry (1983); The Pan-Afrikan Connection: An Exhibition by Young Black Artists, Good Ideals, Bristol (1982).