Charleston presents a new series of work by Lisa Brice, 19 May–30 August, 2021

For her solo exhibition at Charleston, Lisa Brice will present a new series of works on paper that continues her ongoing interest in challenging traditional depictions of the female nude

Charleston will reopen in Spring 2021 with a presentation of new work by South African artist Lisa Brice. The exhibition will form part of a season at Charleston addressing the historic relationship between artist and model and will be shown alongside the first major retrospective of the work of Nina Hamnett.

For her solo exhibition at Charleston, Brice will present a new series of works on paper that continues her ongoing interest in challenging traditional depictions of the female nude. Brice’s paintings and works on paper contest the often-misogynistic nature of art historical figuration – typically painted by white men for white men – by taking ownership over how women are portrayed.

Acknowledging the parameters of art history, Brice’s works echo iconic compositions by artists such as Vallotton, Degas, Manet and Picasso but lend their protagonists agency and self-possession. Her interiors draw on the artist’s personal experience from living and working between South Africa, London and Trinidad over the past 20 years.

Rejecting the gaze of the viewer, formal devices such as mirrors, smoke and metal grilles veil her subjects. Examining notions of liminality, Brice’s works often play with doorways to emphasise the immediacy of our encounters with her muses as we address them face-to-face. Brice is interested in threshold spaces where transitional states of being come into play; interior and exterior, public and private, artist and model. Her use of cobalt and Prussian blue in these works obscures the naturalistic skin tones of the body to further discourage an easy ‘read’ of the female form.

Discussing the women depicted in her new works, Brice explains that:

“there is no hierarchy between artist and model, as is generally implied in historical studio scenes of male painters and their female models; they are all on their own time, whether active or paused, in contemplation or in conversation with one another. Nude and clothed figures are interchangeable, and the active and the passive are similarly equal in status within the scene. They are all artists at work in one way or another.”

Accompanying Brice’s exhibition will be a new text by critic, curator and researcher Rianna Jade Parker. Parker received her MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Previously a Tate Collectives Producer, she is a Contributing Editor of Frieze and a founding member of interdisciplinary art collective Thick/er Black Lines.

Discussing the new series of works, Parker said:

“With her cobalt and Prussian blue-dipped brush, Brice contours wide hips and elongated arms showing the edges of an everyday femme fatale — concerned only with the moment, her medium, but mostly herself.”


Dr Darren Clarke, Charleston’s Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions said:

“Lisa Brice embodies the Bloomsbury spirit of resistance and change in her reclaiming of the female figure from traditional closed male power structures. Her reauthoring of the art historical past brings new life and light into her work, which is open and accessible for all audiences. We are delighted that Lisa’s work will be on display, as part of a wonderful celebration of Charleston’s survival and rebirth.”

– Ends –


Notes to Editors

For all PRESS enquiries, please contact Hannah Vitos at Rees & Co | +44 (0)7834 593 767


Lisa Brice
19 May – 30 August 2021

Firle, near Lewes
East Sussex



Tickets will be available to book soon via the Charleston website. Follow @CharlestonTrust on social media for the latest news and updates.

In March 2021, a new monograph will be published on the occasion of Brice’s solo exhibition at KM21 in The Hague, containing texts by Jennifer Higgie, Yasmijn Jarram, Aïcha Mehrez, Laura Smith and Attillah Springer.


About Charleston

Charleston is a place that brings people together to engage with art and ideas.

The modernist home and studio of the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, Charleston was a gathering point for some of the 20th century’s most radical artists, writers and thinkers known collectively as the Bloomsbury group. It is where they came together to imagine society differently, and has always been a place where art and experimental thinking are at the centre of everyday life.

Today, we present a dynamic year-round programme of exhibitions, events and festivals. We believe in the power of art, in all its forms, to provoke new ways of thinking and living.


About Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice was born in 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa, and grew up during a particularly volatile time in the country’s history. In 1998, she travelled to London for a residency at Gasworks Studios. In 1999, she was invited to undertake a workshop in Trinidad and a subsequent residency alongside local and international artists including Peter Doig, Chris Ofili and Emheyo Bahabba (Embah). She now lives and works between London and Trinidad.

In 2018, Brice had a solo exhibition at Tate Britain, London as part of their Art Now series. A major institutional exhibition by the artist opened at KM21, The Hague in November 2020 featuring new paintings and works on paper.

Other solo exhibitions include ‘Lisa Brice’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2019); ‘Lisa Brice’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2017); ‘Boundary Girl’, Salon 94, New York (2017) and ‘Well Worn’, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2015). Notable group exhibitions include ‘Artists I Steal From’, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK (2019); ‘La Diablesse’, Tramps, London, UK (2016); ‘Home Truths: Domestic Interior in South African Collections’ curated by Michael Godby, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2016) and ‘Making & Unmaking’, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2016).

Brice’s works are featured in prominent collections including Tate, London; South African High Commission, London, UK; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK; Gallery Frank Haenel, Frankfurt, Berlin, Germany; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA; Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C., USA; BHP Billiton Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa; SABC Collection, South Africa; Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Michaelis Cabinet, University of Cape Town, South Africa and X Museum, Beijing, China.

Brice is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; Salon 94, New York and Goodman Gallery, South Africa.