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, and 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 will launch Exhibition Histories, a series of books focusing on key international exhibitions of contemporary art since 1955.