Isaac Julien was born in 1960 in London, where he currently lives and works. While studying painting and fine art film at St Martin’s School of Art from which he graduated in 1984, Isaac Julien co-founded ‘Sankofa Film and Video Collective’ in which he was active from 1983–1992. He was also a founding member of Normal Films in 1991.

Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his films The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999), made in collaboration with Javier de Frutos and Vagabondia (2000), choreographed by Javier de Frutos. Earlier works include Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996), Young Soul Rebels (1991) which was awarded the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the same year, and the acclaimed poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989), which also won several international awards.


Isaac Julien
Isaac Julien
London, 1960

Past Exhibitions

Hyper Visuality. Film & Video Art from the Wemhöner Collection

Palazzo Dugnani 04/04/2019 — 14/04/2019

Light in/as Image

Daimler Contemporary
13/04/2018 — 09/12/2018

The Restless Earth

Triennale di Milano
28/04/2017 — 20/08/2017

Diaspora Pavilion

Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina 13/05/2017 — 26/11/2017

Isaac Julien: Playtime

PLATFORM-L Contemporary Art Center
22/02/2017 — 30/04/2017

Solo Shows


Isaac Julien: Riot, De Pont Museum, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Isaac Julien: Playtime Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid


Isaac Julien: Western Union: Small Boats (The Leopard), Urban Video Project Everson, Syracuse, New York
Isaac Julien: Playtime, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, Fotografiska, Stockholm
Playtime: Photographic Works, Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid
Isaac Julien: Playtime, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Isaac Julien: Playtime, Victoria Miro Gallery, London


Isaac Julien: Better Life (Ten Thousand Waves), Museum De Pont Project Space, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Isaac Julien: Playtime, Metro Pictures Gallery, New York
Isaac Julien: The Long Road to Mazatàn, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago


Isaac Julien: Scopic Landscapes, Galeria Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo
Isaac Julien: Better Life (Ten Thousand Waves), Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
Isaac Julien: Geopoetics, SESC Pompeia, São Paulo
Isaac Julien, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Currents 34: Isaac Julien, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA
Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, Museum of Contemporary San Diego, USA
Isaac Julien, Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, USA
Ten Thousand Waves, Photographs by Isaac Julien, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore
The Leopard, Dirimart Garibaldi, Istanbul
Icons of Art: Isaac Julien, Rolls Royce, Mayfair, London


ICA Boston, Massachusettes, USA
Brandhorst Museum, Munich, Germany


Bass Museum, Miami
Victoria Miro Gallery, London
Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
ShanghART Gallery, H-Space, Shanghai
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Akron Art Museum, Ohio, USA

Group Shows


All the World’s futures, 56th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Time / Image, Blaffer Art Musuem, University of Houston, Texas, USA
Harmony and Transition: Chinese landscapes in contemporary art, Marta Herfod, Herford, Germany
Mobile M+: Moving Images, Cattle Depot Artist Village, Hong Kong
The New Human: You and I in Global Wonderland, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden


A History (Art, Architecture, Design, from the 80s to now), Centre Pompidou, Paris
Feito Por Bresileiros, Cidade Matarazzo, São Paulo
Man in the Mirror, Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels
The Surface of The World : Architecture and The Moving Image, Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Manila, Philippines
Just images, BFI, London
Baroque, Kulturhuset, Stockholm
Einblicke – Insights into the Wemhöner Collection, Sammlung Wemhöner, Berlin
Lost in Landscape, MART, Rovereto, Italy
Ship to Shore, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK
Queer Pagan Punk: Derek Jarman, BFI, London


Vanishing Ice, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington, United States; travelling to McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Ontario, Canada
Theatrical Fields, Bildmuseet, Umea University, Sweden; touring to Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore
Dialogues with the Horizon, Fundacío Joan Miró, Barcelona
Reading Cinema, Finding Words: Art after Marcel Broodthaers, The National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAK), Kyoto; touring to The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
The Cinematic Impulse, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
A Sicilian Summer, Chateau de Nyon, Switzerland
The Insides are on the Outsides, Casa de Vitro and SESC Pompeia, São Paulo


Language Games, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain
Expanded Cinema: Isaac Julien, Fiona Tan, Yang Fudong, EYE filmmuseum, Amsterdam
Unfinished Journeys, Nasjonalmuseet, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo
Open End, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
The Dwelling Life of Man, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
This Will Have Been, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
This Will Have Been, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, USA
Border Crossing, Kunsthallen Brandts, Denmark
Sinopticon, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, UK
La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Johannesburg Biennale, Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town
National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo
This Will Have Been, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Take Me Somewhere Nice, Stene Projects, Stockholm


CaixaForum, Palma, The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image- Selections, Spain
Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Pandemonium: Art in a Time of ‘Creativity Fever’, Sweden
Konepaja Centre, Turku, Finland


Move: Choreographing You, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London
17th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Riso Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo, Italy
Grand National, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Oslo
Fast Forward 2: The Power of Motion, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany
I Love You, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark
Collected. Reflections on the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas
Julia Stoschek Collection, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany

Contacts & Details

City of birth: London Country of birth: UK Date of birth: 1960 Lives in: London
W: Isaac Julien M: