Installation View

Press Release

Take Ninagawa is pleased to present a solo exhibition of British artist Derek Jarman (1942–94), an indefatigable polymath whose practice extended to painting, filmmaking, activism, costume and set design, writing, and gardening. On view in this exhibition is a selection of Black Paintings made between 1986 and 1991, alongside Jarman’s first film, Electric Fairy (1971), and the film Imagining October (1984).

Derek Jarman graduated from Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 1967. He began work on his Black Paintings in 1986, around the time he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and moved to Dungeness, a hamlet on the English coast next to a nuclear power plant. Variously incorporating glass shards, photographs, an empty tube of K-Y Jelly, and bits of flotsam on thickly painted black backgrounds, these intimately scaled mixed-media works register the intersections between Jarman’s personal history and his filmmaking. The paintings also refer to broader social currents at a time of pervasive homophobia toward people living with AIDS, and they can be seen in dialogue with works by artists ranging from Kurt Schwitters to Robert Rauschenberg and Paul Thek.

Solo exhibitions of Jarman’s work have been held at the Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Ivry—Le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine (2021); Manchester Art Gallery (2021); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2019); Tate Britain, London (2008); and the Barbican Centre, London (1996). Jarman’s work has been exhibited in thematic surveys and screenings at institutions such as the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (2023); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2023); Tate Liverpool (2022); Para Site, Hong Kong (2021); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul (2020); HOME Manchester (2020); Courtauld Institute, London (2019); Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018); National Gallery of Art, Vilnius (2015); Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); and the Venice Biennale (1993).