Artists in Conversation | Lisa Brice


March 22, 2024 

Lisa Brice will talk to Sue Williamson, artist, about her artistic practice and her recent projects.

About Lisa Brice

Born in Cape Town in 1968, Lisa Brice graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1990. From 1988 to 1991 she worked as a printmaking assistant to artist Sue Williamson. She moved to London in 1998 to take up a residency at Gasworks Gallery and later settled in the United Kingdom. Her influences include her experiences growing up in South Africa during a time of political upheaval and the extended periods of time she spent working in Trinidad, where she participated in a workshop in Grande Riviere and a residency in Port of Spain. While in Trinidad, she met fellow artists Emheyo Bahabba, Peter Doig, and Chris Ofili.

Brice challenges traditional representations of women in Western art history through her figurative painting practice. The female nude, depicted in Brice’s signature cobalt blue, is reclaimed from a male gaze that disempowers women by treating them as passive objects of desire. In individual and group portraits set in studios and bars, women are liberated from the roles of model and muse. They are shown brandishing paint brushes, as they capture their own likenesses (and those of their companions), or at rest, posing in front of mirrors and lounging against doors as they smoke cigarettes, breaking down hierarchies between the artist and the model. Whether confronting viewers with a direct gaze or seemingly unaware of their presence, Brice’s women stand as empowered figures driven by their own desires rather than those of the spectator.

Brice has participated in both solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Her work is held in collections around the world, including the High Commission of South Africa, London; Johannesburg Art Gallery; the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to name only a few. She lives and works in London.