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Frequency two times per year
Publisher Afterall
Country United Kingdom and United States
Based in London
Language English

Afterall is a nonprofit contemporary art research and publishing organisation. It is based in London, at Central St Martins College of Art & Design.

The journal Afterall was founded by curator Charles Esche and artist Mark Lewis in 1998 (issue 0 came out in 1999). Each issue focused on the work of four artists, presenting two in-depth essays for each artist. In 2006 Afterall incorporated AS (Andere Sinema), a journal previously published by MuHKA, the museum of contemporary art in Antwerp, which became a publishing partner. In 2009, the International University of Andalucia, Seville also became a publishing partner. From 2002 to 2009 the journal was co-published with the California Institute of the Arts, with Thomas Lawson as a co-editor.

In 2006, the journal widened its remit to include not only essays on artists themselves, but also contextual essays on the political, social, and economic issues that surround contemporary art, and retrospective looks at key artworks, events and exhibitions. Examples of these include an analysis of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's Riddles of the Sphinx from 1977 ('What Does It Mean to Say Feminism Is Back? A Reaction to Riddles of the Sphinx', spring 2007) and Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti and Eyal Weizman's proposals for architecture in Palestine after Israeli decolonisation ('The Future Archaeology of Israel's Colonisation', spring 2009). The issues at this point (2007) went up from being published twice a year to the current rate of three times a year.

In 2006, Afterall instituted two series of books, the Readers and the One Works. The first Reader was on Eastern European art and was edited by the Slovenian art collective IRWIN; subsequent books have brought together essays on art and social change and art and the moving image. The One Works series looks at single works of contemporary art in an extended book-length analysis, and directs focus on the art object (or performance) itself.

In 2010, Afterall launched Exhibition Histories, a series of books focusing on key international exhibitions of contemporary art since 1955.



The journal Afterall is published two times a year and is distributed worldwide by the University of Chicago Press. Each issue focuses on the work of three to five selected contemporary artists, with two or more essays on each. It has featured artists such as Chantal Akerman, Paweł Althamer, Kai Althoff, Michael Asher, Michael Clark, Enrico David, Maria Eichhorn, Cerith Wyn Evans, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Isa Genzken, Hilary Lloyd, Goshka Macuga, Nasreen Mohamedi, The Red Krayola, Hito Steyerl, Sturtevant, Christopher Williams and The Wooster Group.


Afterall Readers are a series of survey publications that aim to look at currently significant areas of modern and contemporary art practice through the commissioning and reprinting of key texts.

The Readers include:

  • Esche, Charles; Bradley, Will, eds. (2007). Art and Social Change. Afterall and Tate Publishing. 
  • Leighton, Tanya; Esche, Charles, eds. (2008). Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader. Afterall and Tate Publishing. 

One Works[edit]

One Works is a series of books, each presenting a single work of art considered in detail by a single author. The focus of the series is on contemporary art and its aim is to provoke debate about significant moments in art's recent development

One Works include:

The series is distributed by MIT Press.


Afterall has participated in international exhibitions such as Documenta, and regularly organises conferences and symposia at venues including Tate Britain, the Showroom Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the British Film Institute in London; REDCAT in Los Angeles; The Kitchen and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) in New York; and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.


External links[edit]