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Afterall: Research and Publishing Organisation

Published date
24 Jul 2018

Afterall is a research and publishing organisation founded in 1998 by Research Fellow Charles Esche and Professor Mark Lewis at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, with the aim of providing an arena for exploring new ways of writing about contemporary art, at a time when discussion was often limited to exhibition reviews or artists’ monographs. The organisation focuses on contemporary art and its relationship to wider theoretical, social and political fields. Researchers associated with Afterall undertake and commission research, and this is disseminated to an international audience.

Afterall Journal

Was launched in 1999, offering an in-depth analysis of artists’ work and the context in which it was created. Each issue is a research project using editorial and curatorial methods; the editorial team conduct research into an area, then commission writing on the topic by both world-renowned figures and younger scholars.

Afterall Books

Was launched in 2006, enabling the organisation to undertake dedicated research into areas of knowledge. Among many successes, the book series Exhibition Histories (2010) was described by Frieze magazine as ‘an invaluable resource’ (01/11) and one edition Making Art Global: The Third Havana Biennial 1989 was shortlisted for the Art Book Prize in 2012.

Afterall Online

Is a dedicated platform for new, specially commissioned materials as well as a response to the move to digitalisation in publishing. E-books complement its digitalisation, which includes online open access to a number of articles from the journal, along with through JSTOR, reaching over 160 countries. E-subscriptions are available to individuals for One Works, a series of Afterall Books, and will be available for further forthcoming titles.

As a result of the influence exerted by Afterall Esche’s was appointed as curator for the 2014 edition of the Bienal de São Paulo, which he will co-curate with Lafuente and Galit Eilat (announced 04/13).

Afterall seems aware that art exists within a larger world. That’s much more worthwhile than offering secondary access to a glamorous “art world” that doesn’t exist

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian (04/09)

Related links

Visit the Afterall website

Visit Professor of Contemporary Art and Curating and Editorial Director of Afterall, Charles Esche's research profile