Art Icon 2024: Isaac Julien

  • Gilane Tawadros, Isaac Julien & Zeinab Badawi at a gala event

    Gilane Tawadros, Isaac Julien & Zeinab Badawi, Art Icon Gala 2024, 18 March 2024, Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo: Hannah Burton

  • Isaac Julien and Mica Paris at a gala event

    Isaac Julien & Mica Paris, Art Icon Gala 2024, 18 March 2024, Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo: Hannah Burton

  • Whitechapel Art Icon-18.03.24_Dan Weill Photography-183

Art Icon 2024: Isaac Julien

On Monday 18 March 2024, Whitechapel Gallery hosted its annual Art Icon Gala in honour of artist Isaac Julien. Julien is the eleventh artist to receive the award.

Of the announcement, Gilane Tawadros (Whitechapel Gallery Director) said:

“It’s an honour to announce Isaac Julien as our 2024 Art Icon.  His ground-breaking, visually compelling film and video works, alongside his elaborate multi-screen installations, have defined new and important territories for artists and filmmakers, and changed the way that audiences view and experience moving image work – both within and outside art spaces.

His work offers a uniquely seductive yet critical lens to explore and interrogate historical and contemporary experiences and he is rightfully acknowledged to be one of the most influential artists of his generation.  I couldn’t be more delighted to be presenting him with this year’s award on behalf of Whitechapel Gallery and the 2024 Art Icon committee.”

The evening celebrations included a special guest performance from the legendary Soul, R&B and Jazz singer, Mica Paris MBE.   Paris performed the title track of Julien’s 1991 award-winning feature film, Young Soul Rebels.

There was also an online auction of artworks donated by leading contemporary artists hosted by Phillips. All funds raised support Whitechapel Gallery’s Education and Public Programmes, in particular, a dedicated series of activities designed to increase access to and engagement with, arts and creativity for children and young people.

Previous recipients of the Art Icon award are: Sir Howard Hodgkin (2014), Richard Long (2015) Joan Jonas (2016), Peter Doig (2017), Mona Hatoum (2018), Rachel Whiteread (2019), Francis Alÿs (2020), Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (2021), Tracey Emin CBE (2022) and Jenny Holzer (2023).

View the Art Icon 2024 press release.

For more details about Art Icon 2024 please email