Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South

Royal Academy of Arts, London
17 March - 18 June 2023

The extraordinary works in this exhibition combine a unique heritage with an eviscerating take on American history.

Of the 65 pieces featured in this exhibition, most have never been seen before in the UK and Europe. Spanning sculpture, paintings, quilts, reliefs and drawings from the mid 20th century to today, each is individually exceptional; collectively, the selection reflects on the history of enslavement, segregation and institutionalised racism in America. 

They are the work of Black artists from southeastern states, a multi-generational art tradition almost entirely distinct from established practice. Living in poverty, and in lieu of conventional art materials, readily available mediums such as clay, roots, discarded objects and driftwood were all used to explore global issues including sexuality, the significance of place and economic inequality.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a poem by Langston Hughes, the purpose a showcase of some of the most striking and innovative art from the last century – unflinching in its testimony to America’s past.

Why you should go

  • See works rarely seen in the UK and Europe

  • Explore a unique part of American history

  • See some of the most striking art made in the 20th century

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

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