Revisiting Art History

Multiple Narratives

Revisiting History of Art and bringing in a multitude of narratives is vital and important. 

Thinking about this, made us look back to the artworks below by Kadder Attia, part of a series entitled Mirrors and Masks 2013-2015. They were made in tribute to African Art and the influence it has had on artists in the "Western" canon of art history.


Kader Attia’s first mask in the series was made after he visited a Picasso exhibition, where he was shocked to not find any African masks as part of the art that influenced Picasso’s cubism. So in response, and in homage to art from Africa, Attila created masks with shards of broken mirror to reflect back to the viewer, showing all who look at the masks a cubist portrait of themselves.

Through this cycle, it could make the viewer think of where art and its influences come from. 

These images were taken from the artist's exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 2019.



Here are some links and resources for us to read and learn on the subject of revisiting History of Art and adding to the narrative:

Decolonizing Art History: a set of responses from different art historians, curators and artists on decolonizing Art History, put together by Catherine Grant and Dorothy Price from Art History - Journal of the Association for Art History

The Met Museum: African Influences in Modern Art by Denise Murrell

Serubiri Moses

TedEd: How ancient art influenced modern art - Felipe Galindo

Black Artists and Modernism

Studio Museum Harlem: (+ Learn with online lesson plans)

@Thelma Golden


154 Art Fair

The Black Curriculum

via  @sarahmower



Art influences art, a work of art or an art movement builds on top of another, or pushes forward, disrupts and so on, but it should not erase people, artists, movements or civilisations. For instance Toulouse Lautrec was influenced by Japanese prints, this does not take away anything from the talent of Toulouse Lautrec or the wonders of French art, but at the same time, not learning about the art that comes from Japan and how it may have influenced the post impressionists, and not being taught all perspectives in art history means that art becomes a tool to showcase one history, one power and not multiple spheres of influence or the multitude of beautiful art that comes from all over the world.  
To learn about Fauvism, an understanding of Cezanne and Van Gogh takes place, and so why not learn about all the influences from all over the world and a variety of art and culture that have impacted artists.

Here below are some resources on multiple narratives in art history, for us to learn and read. We will be adding some more as we find them. If you have any recommendations to share please send them through or add a comment.

Online Museum Resources in Asian Art (OmuRAA)

Kyoto National Museum

The Met Museum: The Arts of Korea, A Resource for Educators

Asia Art Archive



Whitney Museum



Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World

The Met Museum: Art of the Islamic World

Modern Art Iraq Archive

Museums With No Borders

AMCA: The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey

The Barjeel Art Foundation


"The personal is political" - the title of an essay written by Carol Hanisch - in reference to, women being pushed out of the narrative and stating that the notion of everyday life is of political importance. Being pushed out of the narrative has also been true for women in art. Here are some links readdressing this:

Hundred Heroines

The Great Women Artists

Google: Arts and Culture