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b. 1968, South Africa

Lisa Brice Biography

Lisa Brice's paintings confront the inherent misogyny in the historical portrayal of the female figure in Western painting, giving the female subjects she portrays agency and self-possession.

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Early Years

Born in Cape Town, Brice studied at the city's Michaelis School of Fine Art and graduated in 1990.

In 1998, Brice took up a residency at Gasworks Gallery in London, before completing a residency programme in 2000 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where she met and worked alongside Chris Ofili and Peter Doig.

Lisa Brice Artworks

The Male Gaze

Brice interrogates the misogynistic portrayal of women in historical painting by reinterpreting the representation of the nude through the eyes of a female artist.

Echoing the compositions of Modernist masters, Brice reworks the politics of the male gaze, representing figures unconcerned by their nakedness and imbuing them with a renewed agency and sense of self-possession.

No Bare Back, After Embah (2017) features a woman sitting at the table, while a scantily-clad woman poses behind her. While the former invokes the male sitter in Édouard Manet's Plum Brandy (1877), the standing figure is lifted from a photograph of the Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj.

Evoking notions of liminality, Brice often places her figures within doorways or in a state of movement.

Meanwhile, Brice employs imagery such as mirrors, cigarette smoke, and awnings as a means to obscure the viewer's gaze, as seen in Between This and That (2017), Midday Drinking Den, after Embah I (2017), and Smoke and Mirrors (2021).


Traversing abstraction and figuration, Brice's depictions of the human figure are rendered primarily in cobalt indigo and cerulean.

Working primarily in oil and ink on canvas, Brice's chromatic canvases are built up of layered brush strokes, imbuing her interiors with a sense of energy and vividness. Repetition of motifs and figures appear throughout Brice's paintings, which she achieves through a variety of printing and tracing techniques.

Art Market

No Bare Back, after Embah (2017) far exceeded its high estimate of $300,000 at Sotheby's The Now Evening Auction in November 2021. The painting sold for $2.6 million, 91 times her former auction record of $34,487.


Lisa Brice is included in Life Between Islands (2021), a landmark exhibition at London's Tate Britain exploring the breadth of Caribbean-British art, alongside Peter Doig, Frank Bowling, and Sonia Boyce, among others.

Lisa Brice's solo exhibitions include Lisa Brice, Charleston Trust, Lewes (2021); Smoke and Mirrors, KM21, The Hague (2020); Lisa Brice, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2019); Art Now: Lisa Brice, Tate Britain, London (2018); Lisa Brice, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2017); Boundary Girl, Salon 94, New York (2017); Well Worn, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); Cut Your Coat, French Riviera, London (2014); Throwing the Floor, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town (2012); and More Wood For The Fire, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2009), among others.

Lisa Brice's group exhibitions include Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); A Contemporary Collection, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (2020); This Corrosion, Modern Art, London (2020); Artists I Steal From, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2019); In Context, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town (2018); La Diablesse, Tramps, London (2016); Home Truths: Domestic Interiors in South African Collections, South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2016); and Making & Unmaking, Camden Arts Centre, London (2016), among others.

Public and Private Collections

Brice's works have been collected by prominent museums and public institutions worldwide, including Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg; Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington; Tate Britain, London; and X Museum, Beijing, among others.

Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2021

Lisa Brice
featured artworks

Ol' Fire Stick Hook by Lisa Brice contemporary artwork painting
Lisa Brice Ol' Fire Stick Hook, 2009 Ink and gesso on canvas
102 x 76 cm
Goodman Gallery

Lisa Brice
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Represented by this
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Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa
Goodman Gallery London, Johannesburg, Cape Town

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