Ben Uri Gallery and Museum is delighted to present Art, Identity, Migration, a display of highlights from the permanent collection featuring paintings, drawings, collage, and sculpture by 32 artists of Jewish and/or immigrant origin from across the past century.
This exhibition explores – in reverse chronological order – three principal waves of migration to Britain, illustrating the history, width and breadth of the institution and its collection with representative works by artists including Guler Ates, Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, Benedict Enwonwu, Eva Frankfurther, Mark Gertler, Josef Herman, Tam Joseph, Hormazd Narielwalla, Lancelot Ribeiro, Zory Shahrokhi and Alfred Wolmark. Ben Uri is a small, purposeful, scholarly institution that uses art and technology differently to deliver distinctive national programmes. Ben Uri was founded in Whitechapel in 1915 by Russian-Jewish artist Lazar Berson to support fellow Jewish immigrant artists working outside the cultural mainstream.
In 2002, it relaunched in a new gallery, widening its focus to embrace immigrant artists from all ethnicities, nationalities, and religions, who have made a distinct contribution to British art since 1900.
In 2018 the Museum published a transformative Sustainability and Public Benefit Strategic Plan, making a prescient shift to create the first full-scale digital museum (benuri.org) and Research Unit (buru.org.uk) to complement Ben Uri’s vibrant gallery programming. Its Arts and Mental Health department develops researched art interventions and digital programming for the 70+ demographic, often living in social isolation and/or with dementia.
The redefined, fully digitised Ben Uri Collection (benuricollection.org.uk) uniquely reflects the wider British immigrant contribution with some 880 works by 390 artists, 70% immigrant and 29% women, from 45 different countries of birth.
Ben Uri extends huge thanks to the London Art Fair,
and its sponsors, for this wonderful opportunity to share
our collection, research unit and mission and for all their
generous help and support.