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Ekow Eshun Wins The Association For Art History's Curatorial Prize For Exhibitions 2023


Ekow Eshun, a British writer, broadcaster and curator, has been announced as the winner of the Association for Art History’s Curatorial Prize for Exhibitions 2023. The prize, which recognises excellence and innovation in curating art exhibitions, was conferred to Eshun for his exhibition In the Black Fantastic (29 June –⁠ 18 September 2022) at the Hayward Gallery in London.





The Association for Art History’s Curatorial Prize for Exhibitions 2023 was awarded to Eshun by an eminent panel of judges, consisting of Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain; Axel Ruger, Secretary and Chief Executive of Royal Academy of Arts; Saad-Edine Said, CEO and Artistic Director of New Art Exchange; and Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art.


The judges praised In the Black Fantastic for being “a very well realised and timely large-scale survey of the allegorical uses of fantasy by artists either side of the Atlantic to evoke imaginative, liberatory escape routes out of the historic and present-day realities of anti-Black racism”.


US artist Nick Cave's "wearable sculpture" Soundsuit (2014) CREDIT: Geoff Pugh


Eshun is a prominent figure in the British cultural scene, having served as the director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) from 2005 to 2010, and also a regular contributor to various media outlets such as BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times. He authored several books, including Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond (2005), and Africa Modern: Creating the Contemporary Art of a Continent (2019).


With his curatorial practice being driven by his interest in exploring the intersections of identity, politics and aesthetics in contemporary art, Eshun has curated several exhibitions that showcase the diversity and dynamism of African and diasporic artists, such as Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent (2005), Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity (2016), Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers (2019) among several others.


This is the second year of the Association for Art History’s Curatorial Prize, which is part of a broader initiative to highlight the excellent work that curators do to bring art history to life for diverse audiences. “We created the curatorial prizes to highlight the excellent work that curators in art museums and galleries do to bring our cultural heritage to light for broad audiences. The prizes also aim to encourage more people to consider curating as a career option”. The CEO of the Association for Art History, Gregory Perry reaffirmed.



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Ekow Eshun Wins The Association For Art History's Curatorial Prize For Exhibitions 2023

July 16, 2023

Fredrick Favour

2 min read