Apr 2013 | Art Exhibition Recommendations

Another Africa’s art exhibition picks this April from around the globe. From Cairo, to Cape Town, Lagos to London, Johannesburg and more contemporary Africana abounds.

Discover the discourse within the realm of contemporary Africana, the topics and intellectual spaces being interrogated by artists and curators actively widening the intellectual field and encouraging dialogue.

 

CAIRO

 

Beirut | The Magic of the State
~ Apr.6

'The Magic of the State', installation view. Rana Hamadeh, Al Karantina, 2013. Performance and installation; Christodoulos Panayiotou, Flowers, 2012. 8 B&W digital prints, Images sourced from the Press and Information Office, Cyprus. Courtesy of the artists and Beirut.

‘The Magic of the State’, installation view. Rana Hamadeh, Al Karantina, 2013. Performance and installation; Christodoulos Panayiotou, Flowers, 2012.
8 B&W digital prints, Images sourced from the Press and Information Office, Cyprus. Courtesy of the artists and Beirut.

 

The Magic of the State is an exhibition and editorial project, taking place in Cairo and in London in Spring 2013. Each exhibition features a different constellation of works by the same artists, including new commissions, and a public program of performances, talks and screenings.

With Ryan Gander, Goldin & Senneby, Rana Hamadeh, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, Liz Magic Laser, Christodoulos Panayiotou and Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Michael Taussig, conceived by Silvia Sgualdini, Lisson Gallery and Beirut’s co-directors Jens Maier-Rothe and Sarah Rifky.

The invited artists adopt magic as a filter to chart, re-evaluate and disrupt the immanent and circular exchange of power forces through given social, economic and political structures.

At a time of uncharted and complex political transition in Egypt, the selected and newly commissioned works question the legacy of outmoded systems of beliefs and mythological principles within the modern state, pointing to the slippage between the prescriptive intent and the idiosyncratic manifestations of stately power. They chart the potential of alternative aggregations, and explore the possibility of resistance by thinking laterally and looking at unorthodox places.

 

*The concurring show will be held at Lisson Gallery, London from  27 March – 4 May 2013.

 

Beirut | 11 Road 12 Mahmoud Sedky Agouza, Cairo, Egypt | More info  | facebook

 

 

CAPE TOWN

 

Stevenson | Robin Rhode | Paries Pictus
Apr.11 – Jun.1

Robin Rhode, Carry-on, 2013. Installation on nine framed c-prints. © Robin Rhode. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong.

Robin Rhode, Carry-on, 2013. Installation on nine framed c-prints.
© Robin Rhode. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong.

 

Robin Rhode is notably the most high-profile South African artist of his generation. Paries Pictus will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in South Africa in more than a decade.

Rhode creates narratives that are brought to life through stop-motion animation, using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk and paint. In addition to the street art and performance aspects of his work, there is always a formalist foundation inspired by his interest in abstraction in general and Russian constructivism in particular.

For Paries Pictus, Rhode will use the walls of the gallery for a site-specific intervention of drawings. The artist has partnered with the Lalela Project, a Cape Town-based organisation that specialises in arts education for children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In addition Rhode will show a range of photographic, drawing, moving image and sculptural works, ranging from abstract drawings made in Germany in 2007 to a new photo series done in Johannesburg in 2013.

 

Stevenson | Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock 7925, Cape Town, South Africa | More info

 

 

CHAMPAIGN

 

Krannert Art Museum | Counterpoints / Moshekwa Langa: Mogalakwena
~ May.12

Counterpoints / Moshekwa Langa: Mogalakwena, installation view. Courtesy of the artist. Photos | Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Counterpoints / Moshekwa Langa: Mogalakwena, installation view, 2013.
Courtesy Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

 

Counterpoints | Moshekwa Langa: Mogalakwena presents the work of artist Moshekwa Langa.  Known for his usage of everyday objects and organic materials, Langa creates whimsical, map-like collages and imaginary landscapes that link disparate things. Langa’s diaristic paintings and assemblages are born of a boyhood fascination with the power of words to conjure images in the mind’s eye.

Discovering that Bakenberg the town of his birth (located in apartheid-era KwaNdebele “homeland”) was not even on the maps he was shown at school, Langa assembled his own map and inserted himself into it. Today, Langa is perhaps best known for his introspective, almost insurgent visual journeys through time, place, and memory, and for his attention to ephemeral acts and events that evoke enduring narratives of (be)longing, displacement, and solitude.

Immersive and topographical, Langa’s poetic installations emerge from his intimate connections to people and places, often lost or left behind. Though free of distinct destinations, they are navigable terrains, adeptly exploiting the aesthetic and accidental offerings of his chosen materials. Langa “draws” with yarn and string, and delights in the abundance of small colorful toys interspersed among fanciful outcrops of books and LPs. The beet juice, salt crystals, wine, coffee, and tea with which he paints possess an organic materiality that is eternally giving, and in Langa’s hands, capable of extraordinary beauty. Collaged adjacencies clipped and created anew become layered striations and fragmented terrains of Dutch tulip fields, South African thorn trees, mirages, and thresholds of interior, mystical spaces. Indeed, Langa’s psycho-geographical mark-making throws into relief the limits of place-based identity, African or otherwise, and the liberating power to envision the spaces in between.

 

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion | 500 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820, United States | More info | facebook

 

 

DAKAR

 

Raw Material Company | Hollandaise : a journey into an iconic fabric
Apr.10 ~ Jun.1

Godfried Donkor. The Currency of Ntoma (fabric), two-channel video projection, 2012 (video still).

Godfried Donkor. The Currency of Ntoma (fabric), two-channel video projection, 2012 (video still). Courtesy of the artist and Raw Material Company.

 

HOLLANDAISE : A Journey into an iconic fabric looks at the long-standing economic relation between The Netherlands and the African continent through a critical, contemporary art exhibition. First shown last November in the Netherlands at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam the exhibition now travels to Dakar.

Built on a creative and analytical examination of historical, global developments and their local implications in relation to iconic Dutch wax cloth, curator Koyo Kouoh invites fives artists working with textile as a medium to reflect and create new works for this exhibition. Hollandaise, this brightly coloured fabric regarded as typically African, is however the result of complex globalisation processes that right down to this day exhibit colonial features.

Artists | Godfried Donkor (Ghana), Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (The Netherlands), Willem de Rooij (The Netherlands), Billie Zangewa (Malawi).

 

Raw Material Company | 4074 bis Sicap Amitié 2 BP 22710 Dakar, Senegal | More info | facebook

 

 

ESSEN

 

Museum Folkwang | Cairo. Open City | New Testimonies from an Ongoing Revolution
~ May.5

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Mosa’ab Elshamy, Protestors during a speech, Tahrir Square, Cairo, April 8, 2011. © Mosa’ab Elshamy. Courtesy of Museum Folkwang.

 

Cairo. Open city. New testimonies from an ongoing revolution is an experimental, continually regenerative group exhibition project. Not only does it afford insight into the freedom movement currently underway in the Arab world but also seeks to write a new chapter in the history of images.

There are two different ways in which one can interpret the exhibition Cairo. Open city. The first looks to the political and social awakening of a generation that came to light with the onset of mass demonstrations on January 25, 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. This story is predominantly told by Egyptian artists and photographers, activists and curators. The second is linked to the role of images and new digital networks, which in part served to initiate the uprising, documented events and broadcast them to the entire world.

Artists | Myriam Abdelaziz, Ahmed Abdel Latif, Peter van Agtmael, Mostafa Bahgat, Lara Baladi, Ahmed Basiony, Taha Belal, Eva Bertram, Sarah Carr, Denis Dailleux, Osama Dawod, Kaya Behkalam, Johanna Domke und /and Marouan Omara, Heba El Kholi, Shady Elnoshokaty, Mosa’ab Elshamy, Mohamed El Maymony, Mohamed El Sheshtawy, Rowan El Shimi, Mohamed Ezz, Fadi Ezzat, Heba Farid, Nermine Hammam, Thomas Hartwell, Aly Hazaa, Tarek Hefny, Eman Helal, Gigi Ibrahim, Magdi Ibrahim, Ahmed Kamel, Mahmoud Khaled, Heba Khalifa, Nadine Khan und /and Mariam Mekiwi, Alex Majoli, Jasmina Metwaly, Chris Michalski und /and Sebastian Stumpf, George Mohsen, Samuel Mohsen, Jehan Nasr, Mohammad Nouhan, Nasser Nouri, Alex Nunns, Maggie Osama, Jonathan Rashad, Ivor Prickett, Philip Rizk, Ibrahim Saad, Randa Shaath, Ravy Shaker, Lobna Tarek, Lilian Wagdy, Sally Zohny.

 

Apr.19 @ 6pm | Panel Discussion | “(De-)stabilization of an entire region? The political view of the changes in the Arabian world.”

 

Museum Folkwang Essen | Museumsplatz 1, D-45128 Essen, Germany | More info | facebook

 

 

FRANKFURT

 

Weltkulturen Museum | Trading Styles | Weltmode im Dialog
~ Aug.30

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Design by P.A.M./ Perks and Mini, Trading Style, 2013 – exhibition view.
Exhibition design | Mathis Esterhazy Bausprache. Photo | Wolfgang Günzel. Courtesy of the Weltkulturen Museum.

 

What does fashion tell us about society? How do styles travel and mediate identity? In an unprecedented dialogue between the past and future worlds of fashion, TRADING STYLE – Weltmode im Dialog presents over 500 historic objects, photos and films from the Weltkulturen Museums’ ethnographic collection next to new clothing and accessories designed by four contemporary fashion labels: A Kind of Guise (Germany), Buki Akib (Nigeria), CassettePlaya (Great Britain) and P.A.M./ Perks and Mini (Australia). Cut from a different cloth, these designers stress regional craftsmanship from around the world, which they combine with luxury materials and advanced manufacturing.

In 2012, the designers participated in the museum’s residency program, the Weltkulturen Labor,  where they were able to explore the ethnographic collection, drawing on the museum’s anthropological expertise to inform their new creations – videos, multi-media works and prototypes for clothing and accessories.  These works are showcased together with the artefacts that inspired their creative process.

Trading Style,  highlights today’s city as an urban stage with its theatre of objects, international networks and systems of exchange. Traditional clothing and folklore from the past are translated into 21st century expressions of identity, evoking uniformity and eccentricity, group subcultures and individual self-fashioning.

 

Weltkulturen Museum | Schaumainkai 29, 60594 Frankfurt, Germany | More info | facebook

 

 

GOCH

 

Museum Goch | Jodi Bieber | Between Darkness and Light
~ May.26

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Jodi Bieber, Claire, 2008. From the series, Real Beauty. © Jodi Bieber. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

Between Darkness and Light is an exploration of award-winning photographer Jodi Bieber’s work and her first major solo exhibition in Germany.  The exhibition which debuted at Stadthaus Ulm in 2012, now travels to Museum Goch with close to one hundred photographs from some of Bieber’s most significant series : Between Dogs and Wolves, 1994 – 2004; Going Home : Illegality and Repatriation, South Africa to Mozambique, 2001; Real Beauty, Survivors, Las Canas, Women who Murder their Husbands, 2005.

The earlier works in particular, bring together images that reveal a strained shift between Bieber’s work for magazines and newspaper, and her personal work during a twilight period in the decade following the advent of democracy in South Africa. While Bieber’s idiosyncratic style defies the definition of both photojournalism and visual art, she explains that photography was a way for her to discover her country. Bieber has previously won eight World Press Photo Awards and is only the second South African photographer to win the highest honour in the contest.

 

Museum Goch | Kastellstraße 9, D – 47574 Goch, Germany | More info | facebook

 

 

JOHANNESBURG

 

Stevenson | Guy Tillim | Libreville
~ Apr.19

Guy Tillim, Independence Day celebrations, Boulevard de l'Indépendance,2012. ©Guy Tillim. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Guy Tillim, Independence Day celebrations, Boulevard de l’Indépendance, 2012. ©Guy Tillim. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

 

Libreville, a body of new work by Guy Tillim and the artist’s first solo exhibition in Johannesburg in a decade. Tillim’s latest series of photographic images taken in Libreville, the capital of Gabon in 2012, draws on the formal and aesthetic concerns of his Second Nature series, as well as the ongoing interest in power and ideology in Africa that informed his Avenue Patrice Lumumba and Congo Democratic series.

Here, Tillim considers the construct of our perception of space in a city landscape, situated amidst the realities of an African capital and, inevitably, described through the prism of Africa’s colonial past. The irony of the name of the city, with its complicated relationship to autocracy and democracy, permeates Tillim’s images of this urban landscape, as do the markers of power that recur throughout his work.

 

Stevenson | 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein 2001 , Johannesburg, South Africa | More info

 


 

 

The University of the Witwatersrand Arts Museum | Song for Sekoto 1913 – 2013
Apr.26 ~ Jun.2

GGerard Sekoto. Song of the Pick, 1947. Signed. Oil on Canvas-Board. © Gerard Sekoto. Courtesy of the BHP Billiton Collection.

Gerard Sekoto. Song of the Pick, 1947. Signed. Oil on Canvas-Board. © Gerard Sekoto. Courtesy of the BHP Billiton Collection.

 

An exhibition of Gerard Sekoto’s work, entitled Song for Sekoto 1913 – 2013, his life and times will be presented in celebration of the centenary of the artist’s birth. Gerard Sekoto is considered by many to be the ‘Father of South African Art’. His work has fetched extremely high values on the international art market yet in his birthplace of South Africa, he is still relatively ‘unknown’ amongst the general public.

In recent years Sekoto’s local profile has been raised by the extensive efforts of author Barbara Lindop – both through the research and publication of her books on the topic, and her work in establishing and running the Gerard Sekoto Foundation. It is under these auspices that this exhibition was initiated, in order to facilitate further discovery of the excellence and depths of Sekoto’s important multi-disciplinary works. Supplemented by a personal history, documents and photographs, this showcase will allow Sekoto’s work to be considered for the first time within the tangible context of his life and the extraordinary circumstances in which he lived.

 

Wits Arts Museum | The University of the Witwatersrand, Corner of Jan Smuts and Jorrissen, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa | More info | facebook

 

 

LAGOS

 

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos | Adolphus Opara | Emissaries of an Iconic Religion
~ Apr.21

Adolphus Opara, Orisa Lajoomi [diety of children] - Mrs. Ogunremi Lekun. Courtesy of the artist and CCA,Lagos.

Adolphus Opara, Orisa Lajoomi [diety of children] – Mrs. Ogunremi Lekun. Courtesy of the artist and CCA,Lagos.

Emissaries of an Iconic Religion, the first major solo exhibition in Nigeria of Lagos-based photographer Adolphus Opara. The presentation curated by Jude Anogwih includes fifteen images from the twenty strong “Emissaires” series made between 2009 and 2011, offering a unique and visually compelling photographic portrayal of the custodians of indigenous religious beliefs.

Through this body of work, which pushes the boundaries of contemporary portraiture, Opara highlights some of the existing tensions between the cultures of animist belief and organised religion. The works inform the sensitive debate surrounding the demonisation and denigration of traditional religion instigated by colonial and missionary rhetoric, and more recently by the most dominant and visible forms of the religious belief systems in Nigeria and across the continent: Islam and Evangelical Christianity. These issues of power and representation are at the fore of present tensions and civil unrest between what is characterised as the Muslim north and the Christian south.

 

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos | 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria | More info | facebook

 


 

African Artists’ Foundation Gallery | Designing Africa: Appropriating Culture, Mediums, and Meanings
~ Apr.5

L | Ifeanyi Oganwu, Double Agent Chair, 2011. R | Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, Nigerianisms, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and African Artists’ Foundation Gallery.

L | Ifeanyi Oganwu, Double Agent Chair, 2011. R | Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, Nigerianisms, 2010.
Courtesy of the artists and the African Artists’ Foundation Gallery.

 

Designing Africa: Appropriating Culture, Mediums, and Meanings presents a survey of the vital yet often under-appreciated emerging tendencies in contemporary design on the African continent. With a particular focus on Nigeria, Designing Africa examines the work of a diverse group of artists in the country who explore avenues of the vast design field, including product, furniture and graphic design, typography, and constructed surfaces. While their practices span wide spectrums of art and design, their work shares a commonality in a particular design sensibility, one that can be traced back to a shared interest in process, experimentation, and presentation. Designing Africa investigates the blurred boundaries between the definition of artist and designer in contemporary art and the ways in which design is articulated through both a regional paradigm and a more inclusive global conversation.

 

Artists | Native Almaqri, Chinenye Emelogu, Ifeanyi Oganwu, Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, thanksthanksafrica

 

African Artists’ Foundation Gallery | 54 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria | More info | facebook

 

 

LONDON

 

Jack Bell Gallery | Cameron Platter: Everyday Apocalypse
~ Apr.20
Cameron Platter, Rainbows, 2013. Image courtesy the Jack Bell Gallery.

Cameron Platter, Rainbows, 2013. Image courtesy Jack Bell Gallery.

South African artist Cameron Platter presents ‘Everyday Apocalypse’, the artist’s first exhibition in the UK. The drawings shown form part of an ongoing, projected ten-year series of large-scale documentary drawings. His drawings are a series of interlinking thoughts and meditations, capturing the most fleeting moments as well as the most expansive scene, linked together to form a singular meta-narrative.

Translating contemporary reality, Platter’s work fills the ordinary and the marginal, with incendiary new meaning. Interacting with transitory subjects and sources considered delinquent, sordid and lowbrow, he reconnoiters notions and concepts on the outside fringes of popular culture to create a highly edited, transitive, violent, personal, cynical, symptomatic and abstract vision.

 

Jack Bell Gallery | 13 Mason’s Yard London SWIY 5BU, United Kingdom | More info | facebook

 


 

Lisson Gallery | The Magic of the State
~ May.4

Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Ultimate substance, 2012 (Video Installation). Courtesy of the artists and Lisson Gallery.

Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Ultimate substance, 2012 (Video Installation).
Courtesy of the artists and Lisson Gallery.

Lisson Gallery presents The Magic of the State, an exhibition and editorial project conceived in collaboration with Beirut, a new art initiative and exhibition space in Cairo, Egypt. Curated by Silvia Sgualdini of Lisson Gallery, in conjunction with Jens Maier-Rothe and Sarah Rifky, co-directors of Beirut, the project defines an ambitious platform for artistic exchange by bringing a number of international artists to Cairo for the first time. It also presents an innovative model of collaboration between an independent space and commercial gallery, highlighting the different social and political contexts in which the two organizations operate.

The project is structured as two discrete yet interconnected exhibitions, opening first in Cairo (3 March – 6 April) and then London (27 March – 4 May). Different works by the same group of artists will be presented, including new commissions, performances and discursive platforms. The project will be accompanied by a publication featuring critical texts and artists contributions in English and Arabic.

The Magic of the State takes its name from the book of the same title by anthropologist Michael Taussig. In this text, Taussig conceives the modern State as configured through a theatre of spirit possession into the living body of society. Historically placed at the intersection of science, religion and politics, magic in its broadest sense is addressed within the context of the project: both secular magic and its connection to propaganda and mysticism with its claim to access supernatural entities and powers.

 

Lisson Gallery | 52-54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA, United Kingdom | More info | facebook

 


 

Tiwani Contemporary | Younès Rahmoun | Darra
Apr.5 ~ May.25
Younès Rahmoun, Darra Dahab, 2012. Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Imane Farès.

Younès Rahmoun, Darra Dahab, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.

Darra represents interdisciplinary artist Younès Rahmoun’s first solo exhibition in London. The show, a series of photographic enlargements, explores spiritual transcendence as presented through capsules of real life.

Just a few centimetres in diameter, the fragments that compromise “Darra” (atom) are everyday materials, as simple as chocolate wrappers, pieces of worn blankets, and scraps of electric cable. A collection of encounters in life, with family and through travels, these found objects of triviality were transformed over a period of seven years, into spheres of miniature dimensions.

Recurrent in his practice is his use of artwork as a trace of spiritual life. The artist’s different symbols, materials, and forms of expression, which relate to the idea of using religion to search for the meaning of things, and a connection with the other. Darra, a spiritual journey towards the heart as well as the universe, offers up the notion that one’s ideal place can exist in one’s country, neighbourhood, small ghorfa (room) or one’s own heart.

 

Tiwani Contemporary | 16 Little Portland Street, London W1W 8BP, United Kingdom | More info | facebook

 

 

Other London Highlights


 

Stephen Friedman Gallery | Yinka Shonibare MBE, POP! on view until  Apr. 20

The gallery presents a solo exhibition of new works by the artist that heralds a new direction for Shonibare in terms of scale, social commentary and power. This oeuvre looks at the corruption and excess of the current economic crisis, the show is a raucous celebration of its decadence and debauchery, sharply revealing its dark underbelly. With characteristic wit and critique, Shonibare explores the fetishisation of commodities rife in a society where luxury goods now take the place of religious iconography.

25-28 Old Burlington Street, London W1S 3AN United Kingdom | More info

 

 

MULHOUSE

 

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse | Before Our Eyes (part 1)
~ Apr.28

Gabriella Ciancimino, Liberty Fleurs (Project Le jardin de la Résistance), 2013 - detail. Courtesy of the artist and L'appartement 22. © La Kunsthalle Mulhouse.

Gabriella Ciancimino, Liberty Fleurs (Project Le jardin de la Résistance), 2013 – detail.
Courtesy of the artist and L’appartement 22. © La Kunsthalle Mulhouse.

 

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse presents Sous nos yeux (“Before our eyes”) , a three parts project proposed by Abdellah Karroum, associate curator featuring works by Adel Abdessemed, Gabriella Ciancimino, Badr El Hammami, Pedro Gómez-Egaña and Younès Rahmoun, and an intervention by the group LMDP (l’Autre moitié du paysage) in collaboration with social activists and cultural organisations.

The series includes encounters, exhibitions and publications with the curatorial project exploring artistic processes as if they were writings or material inventions. Stories place each work in a specific place for investigation and a common intervention space. This connection is revealed as a common theme in Sous nos yeux (part 1) providing a link between the geography of the Rif Mountains and La Kunsthalle and its history, activities and frequentation.

Whether the artist’s chosen investigation place is real or virtual, he leads us to read and think of the ideas behind the works in the context of history. From this undoubtedly experimental perspective the Sous nos yeux project brings together artists, researchers and professionals from the art world and other areas of the humanities, placing artworks within the context of society’s other forms of creative production. Part 1 of Sous nos yeux includes also a Radio program conceived by Georgia Kotretsos, opening transdisciplinary dialogues.

 

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse Centre d’art contemporain | La Fonderie, 16 rue de la Fonderie, 68093 Mulhouse, France | More info | facebook

 

 

PRINCETON

 

Princeton University Art Museum | Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe
~ Jun.9
 Annibale Carracci, attrib. (Italian, 1560 – 1609), Portrait of an African Slave Woman, ca. 1580s. Tomasso Brothers, Leeds, England. Courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum.

Annibale Carracci, attrib. (Italian, 1560 – 1609), Portrait of an African Slave Woman, ca. 1580s.
Tomasso Brothers, Leeds, England. Courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum.

 

Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe, an exhibition exploring the presence of Africans and their descendants in Europe from the late 1400s to the early 1600s and the roles these individuals played in society as reflected in art.

The first half of the exhibition of approximately 75 works explores the historical circumstances as well as the conventions of exoticism that constituted the prism of “Africa” through which individuals were inevitably perceived.

In the second half, attention shifts to individuals, focusing on portraits. These often very sensitive images underscore the role of art in bringing people from the past to life. While some Africans played respected, public roles, the names of most slaves and freed men and women are lost. Recognizing the traces of their existence is a way of restoring their identity.

Panel Discussion | Apr.25 | 17:30 ~ 19:30

Panelists include Joaneath Spicer, curator, Walters Art Museum; Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values; and Adam Beaver, Assistant Professor of History. Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History, will serve as moderator.

 

Princeton University Art Museum | McCormick Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08542, United States | More info

 

 

NEW YORK

 

The Brooklyn Museum | Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui
~ Aug.4

El Anatsui. Gravity and Grace, Monumental Works by El Anatsui (installation view), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

El Anatsui. Gravity and Grace, Monumental Works by El Anatsui (installation view), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

 

The Brooklyn Museum presents the first solo exhibition in a New York museum by globally renowned contemporary artist El Anatsui. Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui features over 30 works in metal and wood that transform appropriated and found objects into site-specific sculptures.

Anatsui is captivated by his materials’ history of use, reflecting his own nomadic background. Gravity and Grace responds to a long history of innovations in abstract art and performance, building upon cross-cultural exchange among Africa, Europe, and the Americas and presenting works in a wholly new medium.

 

Brooklyn Museum | 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052, United States |  More info | facebook

 


 

* Also in New York at Chelsea’s High Line. El Anatsui, Broken Bridge II.

The monumental sculpture and public installation, made of pressed tin and mirrors, hangs on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it through Summer 2013.

 


 

The Walther Project Space | Distance and Desire Encounters with the African Archive
Part III | Poetics & Politics
~ May.18

Unidentified photographer, Tanzania, early 20th century. Courtesy of the Walther Collection.

Unidentified photographer, Inscribed: “Women of the E. Coast. Africa.” Tanzania, late 19th century. Courtesy of the Walther Collection.

 

Poetics & Politics, is the third and final edition to the series Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive, curated by Tamar Garb. It offers new perspectives on the African photographic archive, reimagining its diverse histories and changing meanings.

Poetics and Politics presents an extraordinary range of previously unseen vintage portraits, cartes de visite, postcards, and album pages from southern and eastern Africa, produced from the 1870s to the early twentieth century. The exhibition makes visible both the ideological frameworks that prevailed during the colonial period in Africa and the exceptional skill of photographers working in the studio and landscape.

The culmination of Distance and Desire, Poetics and Politics offers a remarkable opportunity to view the narratives that emerge from this African photographic archive, describing in particular the experience of the studio – the curiosity between subject and photographer, the negotiations of costume and pose, and the will for self-representation. The exhibition investigates typical European depictions of Africans, from scenes in nature, to sexualised images of semi-nude models, to modern sitters posing in elaborate studios, critically addressing the politics of colonialism and the complex issues of gender and identity.

 

The Walther Collection Project Space | 526 West 26th Street, Suite 718, New York, United States | More info | facebook

 


 

Yancey Richardson Gallery | Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases
~ Apr.6

Zanele Muholi, Faces and Phases series. L | Amanda Mahlaba, Mt. Moriah, Edgecombe, Durban, 2012. R | Audrey Mary, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2011. © Zanele Muholi. © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Zanele Muholi, Faces and Phases series. L | Amanda Mahlaba, Mt. Moriah, Edgecombe, Durban, 2012. R | Audrey Mary, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2011.
© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg .

 

Celebrated South African artist Zanele Muholi’s presents Faces and Phases in her first solo exhibition in the United States. The ongoing photographic series begun in 2006, presents portraits of black lesbians and transgender individuals Muholi has met in South Africa and beyond. The portraits work as a visual statement as well as an archive, presenting and preserving an often abused and ostracised community through visual records. As Muholi writes: “In the face of all the challenges our community encounters daily, I embarked on a journey of visual activism to ensure that there is black queer visibility. It is important to mark, map and preserve our mo(ve)ments through visual histories for reference and posterity so that future generations will note that we were here.”

 

Yancey Richardson Gallery | 535 West 22th Street, New York, United States | More info | facebook

 

 

WAKEFIELD

 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park |  Yinka Shonibare MBE. FABRIC-ATION
~ Sept.1

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wind Sculpture, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York. Photo Jonty Wilde.

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wind Sculpture, 2013. Courtesy the artist and
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York. Photo Jonty Wilde.

 

FABRIC-ATION, the first major UK survey of works by Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Taking place in three of Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s indoor galleries and the open air, the show features over 30 vibrant works from the period 2002 – 2013 including sculpture, film, photography, painting and collage, with many works never before seen in the UK.

His work shrewdly explores and confounds stereotypes of race and class, engaging with ideas around identity and authenticity as well as dislocation, multiculturalism, global food production and revolution, often addressed through playful conceits. This approach is part of his determination to avoid being categorised.

FABRIC–ATION is a unique opportunity for audiences to trace Shonibare’s creative development over the past decade at a time when he is increasingly active in creating work for public space.

 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park | West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG United Kingdom | More info | facebook

 


 

All images courtesy of the respective artists, and galleries, museums, institutions and private collections. All rights reserved.

 

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