The work of contemporary black British artists is celebrated in an exhibition opening at Wolverhampton Art Gallery later this month.

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Black Art in Focus brings together paintings and prints from the gallery's existing collection as well as artwork recently acquired thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures programme.

Britain's Black Art Movement had its roots in Wolverhampton more than 30 years ago and has since gone on to influence black and Asian artists across the UK.

Iconic work by acclaimed artists including Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, Tam Joseph, Keith Piper, Claudette Johnson and Donald Rodney will feature in the show at the Lichfield Street gallery.

Keith, who is now associate professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University, was an influential member of the Blk Art Group from 1979 to 1984.

He started working with fellow artists in the Wolverhampton Young Black Artists Group which held its first exhibition at the gallery in June 1981 under the title 'Black Art an' done'. The following year Wolverhampton Polytechnic hosted the First National Black Art Convention.

The art movement grew from 1981 and by 1984 was renamed as the BLK Art Group. It had a series of exhibitions mounted around the UK and today has works in major galleries including Tate.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "Wolverhampton Art Gallery championed the start of the Black Art Movement in Britain.

"Many of its local founder members have gone on to be incredibly influential artists on British culture.

"It's great that 35 years later the gallery is putting black art back in focus again.

"It highlights the diversity of art and the collections on offer at the gallery."

Black Art in Focus opens at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on 28 May and runs until 9 July.

  • released: Tuesday 17 May, 2016