Sep. 2012 Art Exhibition Recommendations

Another Africa’s top picks for exhibitions in September around the globe. From Kampala to Rabat, Cape Town, London, New York , Madrid and more contemporary Africana abounds.

Discover the dialogue within the realm of contemporary Africana, the hot topics being proposed by the artists and curators, that are actively widening the intellectual field and encouraging dialogue.



Goodman Gallery | Suspect Language
Sep.22 – Oct.27


Mounir Fatmi, Sleep Al Naim (still from film), 2011. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

Multimedia artist Mounir Fatmi presents his first solo exhibition in South Africa, titled Suspect Language. Fatmi constructs visual spaces and linguistic games that aim to free the viewer from their preconceptions of politics and religion, and allows them to contemplate these and other subjects in new ways. His videos, installations, drawings, paintings and sculptures bring to light our doubts, fears and desires.

Goodman Gallery | 3rd Floor, Fairweather House,176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town | More info


Kalk Bay Modern | Jürgen Schadeberg & Andrew Barker
Sep.12 – Oct.6

Jürgen Schadeberg. Lighting up, Johannesburg, 1952.

Jürgen Schadeberg. Lighting up, Johannesburg, 1952.

The first exhibition for Cape Town’s ‘The Month of Photography’ (MOP) features photographs by Jürgen Schadeberg , The Black and White Fifties and Andrew Barker’s , Alchemical Jargon series. Schadeberg’s images are an insightful collection of photographs from South Africa’s past, featuring portraits from Drum magazine to Nelson Mandela during the Treason Trial, forced removals from Sophiatown, the night life of jazz musicians and dancers as well as enigmatic scenes of township life. Barker presents a series of images he calls his ‘Chemical Dreams.’ In his words, “I am always brought back to the question of how and why I make things with my own hands.  I am intrigued by the reverie created when light reacts with chemicals (Grotthus Law 1817), and the simplicity of the method it represents.”

Kalk Bay Modern| 1st Floor Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Road, Kalk Bay, Cape Town | More info


Stevenson Gallery | Zander Blom
Sep.5 – Oct.13


Zander Blom, New Paintings, 2012, installation view. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery.

Solo show of new paintings by Johannesburg based artist Zander Blom. This latest body of work Blom describes as a return to a monochromatic palette “with newfound drive, purpose, clarity and intent.”

Stevenson Gallery | Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town | More info


Whatiftheworld Gallery | These Waves
Sep.20 – Oct.27


Mounir Fatmi, Sleep Al Naim (still from film), 2011. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

These Waves, a solo exhibition by Pierre Fouché. The works in These Waves take as their impetus the torrents of time and desire, a heightened awareness of mortality, and early modern experiments with optics and capturing the transience of light, weather and human consciousness. Fouché’s work engages with portraiture, the languorous gaze, domestic photography, and how these intersect with desire. His employment of these broad categories constitutes an example of the subtle and poetic side of queer representation.

Whatiftheworld Gallery | 1 Argyle Street, Woodstock 7925 Cape Town| More info



The Third Line | My Rock Stars: Volume 1
Sep.12 – Oct.18

Hassan Hajjaj, Caravan, 2011.

Hassan Hajjaj, Caravan, 2011. Courtesy of The Third Line and the artist.

My Rock Stars: Volume 1, new body of work by photographer Hassan Hajjaj that pays homage to traditional African portraiture, while celebrating present-day pop stars, unsung artists and personal inspirations in Hajjaj’s life.

The Third Line | Street 6, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, UAE | More info



Kampala Railway Grounds | Visionary Africa : Art at Work
Sep.19 – Oct.14


Visionary Africa – Art at Work is an itinerant urban exhibition of contemporary African artistic practices organised jointly by the European Commission and the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Centre for Fine Arts) in Brussels, including artist residencies, showcases of local artists, and workshops on art and development in modern urban centers in Africa. As several African countries celebrate their 50th independence anniversary, the exhibition focuses on the importance of culture and creativity as a motor for development. The aim is to further provide, through the work of African artists, a snapshot of transformations that have occurred on the African continent during the last half century, as well as put its future development into perspective. This travelling exhibition launched in Tripoli, and shown in Ouagadougou, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Harare, Bujumbura now makes its final stop in Kampala.

Kampala Railway Grounds | More info |facebook



Galería Sabrina Amrani | Paraître
Sep.12 – Oct.20

Shakl, 2012. Nicène Kossentini.  

Nicène Kossentini. Shakl, 2012. Courtesy of Galería Sabrina Amrani.

Paraître, a solo show by Nicène Kossentini examines contemporary Tunisian society after the revolution. Among the ideological and political conflicts, the issue of identity emerges in a search for a new social model, and the social reference points diverge and divide between religion and modernity, freedom and conservatism.

Galería Sabrina Amrani | Madera 23, 28004 Madrid | More info



Jack Bell Gallery |Demoiselles de Porto-Novo
Sep.20 – Oct.20


Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou. Untitled (Demoiselles de Porto-Novo series), 2012. Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery.

Demoiselles de Porto-Novo, a solo exhibition of Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou’s latest works.The series delves deeper into his on-going portraiture project entitled ‘Citizens of Porto Novo’. Using a daylight studio on location and shooting 6 x 9 medium format film, this new body of work focuses on the young female citizens of Leonce’s hometown Porto-Novo, Benin’s capital.

Jack Bell Gallery| 13 Masons Yard St James’s London SW1Y 6BU | More info


Iniva | Queens of the Undead
Sep.13 – Nov.24


Kimathi Donkor, “When shall we 3? (Scenes from the life of Njinga Mbandi),” 2010.Courtesy of the artist.

Kimathi Donkor’s solo exhibition Queens of the Undead at Rivington Place, including new works commissioned by Iniva, celebrates the lives of exemplary figures from African Diaspora history as well as those who have suffered at the hands of the authorities. Donkor’s paintings are unashamedly affirmative and political, recounting insurgencies against slavery and colonial rule as well as present day injustices. In terms of their medium and genre they are unusual in the context of current art—Donkor makes large scale figurative oil paintings which explore the genre of history painting and set this category to work in ways that undermine its underlying ideology.

Iniva | Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA | More info


Tiwani Contemporary | Cut & Paste
Sep.14 – Oct.20

Mary Evans, Held, 2012.

Mary Evans. Held, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

Cut and Paste, artist Mary Evans’ first solo exhibition at Tiwani Contemporary as well as in London presents a new large-scale installation, works in cut paper and a video, which highlight the conceptual intricacies and emotional pendulum that frequently surface within her work. Foregrounding
migratory and displacement narratives, the past and the present coalesce into a lived and shared experience that is personal and collective yet indicative of our contemporary realities.

Tiwani Contemporary | 16 Little Portland Street W1W 8BP | More info



David Krut Projects| Call and Response
Sep.6 – Oct.25


Cedric Nunn, The wedding of Deborah Eksteen and Noel Norris, 2001. Courtesy the artist.

Call and Response, a travelling retrospective of photographs by South African artist, Cedric Nunn. His first ever solo exhibition in New York. Nunn began taking photographs professionally in the early 1980s in South Africa and is well-known for images taken during the struggle period under Apartheid rule and from the transition to democracy in the 1990s.

David Krut Projects | 526 West 26th Street, #816, New York | More info


International Center of Photography | Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life
Sep.14 – Jan.6
Graeme Williams, <em>Right Wing. South Africa, Pretoria, 1990.</em> Courtesy the artist.

Graeme Williams.  Right Wing. South Africa, Pretoria, 1990. Courtesy the artist. © Graeme Williams.

Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life is a photographic exhibition examining the legacy of the apartheid system and how it penetrated even the most mundane aspects of social existence in South Africa, from housing, public amenities, and transportation to education, tourism, religion, and businesses. Curated by Okwui Enwezor with Rory Bester, the exhibition proposes a complex understanding of photography and the aesthetic power of the documentary form and honors the exceptional achievement of South African photographers.

International Center of Photography | 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York | More info


Jack Shainman Gallery | All Manner of Needs
Sep.14 – Oct.13

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

© Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s second solo exhibition, All Manner of Needs, with the gallery includes new paintings that continue the artist’s exploration of fictional subjects who inhabit a world purposefully left open to the projected associations and inferences of the viewer. These scenes are often still, stripped down to a single action in an unidentifiable space, and built around glimpses and subtle gestures. In addition to new paintings, Yiadom-Boakye will show a series of hard ground etchings which together comprise one work. This is the first group of etchings that the artist has exhibited, although she has used this medium as a study in the past. Existing independently from the paintings, this labor intensive work, with its stripped down monochromatic black ink, is considerably more about line and process, complementing the immediacy of the paintings.

Jack Shainman Gallery | 513 West 20th Street, New York | More info


The Walther Collection | Distance and Desire : Encounters with the African Archive
Part 1 | Santu Mofokeng and A.M. Duggan-Cronin
Sep.12 – Nov.17


Santu Mofokeng, The Black Photo Album / Look at Me: 1890-1950 (1997), A.M. Duggan-Cronin, Korana Girl, Kimberley, South Africa, early twentieth century. Courtesy of The Walther Collection.

A three-part series of exhibitions on photography from Southern Africa, Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive. The exhibitions, curated by Tamar Garb, offer new perspectives on the archive, exploring its poetic and political dimensions, its diverse histories and materialities, and its changing and contingent meanings.

Part I juxtaposes A.M. Duggan-Cronin’s early twentieth century ethnographic project of portraits and “native types,” set outdoors, with Santu Mofokeng’s “counter-archive” of largely self-conscious modern African sitters posing in the studio.

Gallery Talk | Oct.23 at 7pm | Portraiture in South Africa, by John Peffer, Associate Professor of Contemporary and Nonwestern Art History at Ramapo College.

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



Maison Revue Noire | “POURQUOI PAS BYLEX ? PUME”
May.23– Oct.06

PUME , L’Oeil, 2011.

PUME , L’Oeil, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Revue Noire. © Photo Antoine Guide.

“It is not only the rich who find poverty distasteful.The poor hate poverty too.” A phrase from Kinshasa based artist Pume in relation to his latest solo exhibition, POURQUOI PAS BYLEX ? PUME and body of work created under the brand name, Bylex : an entity created by the artist in 1988. Like other artists engaged in a similar field, Pume’s practice is based on the individual’s construct of reality and the world. He presents intriguing forms that can be called ‘artistic’, which he integrates into an explicit thesis, moral stance and vision of the world. Bylex is a proposal of Pume : the “why not ? ” founder. His works executed with the greatest of hardships – universes retained in glass frames – are year after year on the same themes: bestiary, everyday objects, clothing, and the pantheon of ideas. Pume’s oeuvre belongs to “bylex,” a term coined by the artist encompassing his obsession in speech, and of metaphor.

Maison Revue Noire | 8 rue Cels, 75014 Paris | More info



L’appartement 22| JF_JH Libertés
Aug.24 – Oct.10

Bernard Plossu, Tangier, 1975. Courtesy of L'appartement 22

Bernard Plossu. Tangier, 1975. Courtesy of L’appartement 22.

L’appartement 22 opened its doors on October 10, 2002, with the exhibition “JF_JH Libertés”, shortly thereafter with  “JF_JH concubinages” and “JF_JH conventions”. The  projects reflected on the position of the artist in society, of living spaces and action whilst considering the artist is also a citizen, the space of art is that of dialogue and debate of ideas on freedom of thoughts, beliefs and convictions. For the ten year anniversary,  L’appartement 22 revisits this series including the artists of the “Generation 00” who invented a new vocabulary of artistic creation, closer to cultural issues and geo-politics. The current edition,“JF_JH Libertés” brings together artists, curators and art professionals who have made the existence of this unique cultural adventure possible. It includes exhibitions, meetings, conferences, radio programs etc.

Artists and participants include | Mustapha Akrim, Ismail Bahri, Gabriella Ciancimino, Pedro Gomez-Egana, Badr El Hammami, Fadma Kaddouri, Bernard Plossu, Catherine Poncin, Karim Rafi, Younis Rahmoun…

L’appartement 22 | 279 avenue Mohamed V, Rabat | More info



Château de Tours| Pierre Bourdieu. Images of Algeria
Jun.16 – Nov.4

Pierre Bourdieu. In Algeria. Untitled.

© Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation, LIBER, Geneva. In Algeria, Untitled. Courtesy Camera Austria, Graz

The exhibition “Pierre Bourdieu. Images of Algeria” shows the photographic works of Pierre Bourdieu, taken during his fieldwork between 1958 and 1961, in the period of the war of liberation in Algeria. The exhibition places these photographic documents in the context of Bourdieu’s ethnographic and sociological studies of that time. Bourdieu’s pioneering field research, which is here supplemented by his own photographs, provides an insight into the development of his sociological tenets. In addition to illuminating the evolution of his work, the photographs are also impressive documents of social history, which — even after five decades — have lost none of their immediacy and relevance.

Château de Tours | 25 avenue André Malraux – 37000 Tours | More info



Hilger Contemporary| The Politics of Art as Life
Sep.20 – Oct.25

Peterson Kamwathi, Life III, 2011.

Peterson Kamwathi, Life III,2011. Courtesy of the artist.

The Politics of Art and Life curated by Claire Breukel, a duo show of works by Kenyan artist Peterson Kamwathi and Simon Vega. Inspired by sociopolitical beliefs and systems of behavior imposed by their surroundings, the art of both Kamwathi and Vega is rooted in, and interrogative of, the politics of everyday life.

Galerie Ernst Hilger | Dorotheergasse 5 1010 Vienna | More info


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