Nijdeka Akunyili Crosby encourages you to keep looking; the more you gaze at her works, the more layers of materiality and meaning are revealed. Initially they seem fairly self-explanatory, intimate domestic scenes in seemingly generic middle-class rooms, some empty, others occupied. The colours are flat and the people stylised, somewhat reminiscent of Congolese artist Cheri Samba’s comic-style portraits (albeit a softer, more painterly version). The works draw you in with the layers of photomontage and collage. Woven into the figures and surrounding rooms, these layers disrupt the perspective between the three-dimensional rooms depicted and the two-dimensional picture plane they are depicted on.
Expressive, hard-contoured figures and airy, dream-like surroundings; strong compositions depicting cruel and tragic episodes; fairy-tale-like representations of genuine land and cityscapes showing gentle and often chubby protagonists; geometric abstract paintings and compact, tribal art-inspired sculptures; small, individual works and large-size compositions where numerous pieces add up an extensive assemblage. The reader might think that I am writing on a group show with several participants. However, it is all about one exhibitor: Kamal Youssef, a prominent figure of twentieth to twenty-first century Egyptian art.
ART AFRICA magazine is pleased to announce this exciting event, which is certain to make a considerable contribution to the development of contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora. As an introductory note, we are thrilled to announce our illustrious line-up of international curators for this inaugural event, which will take place between the 24th February - 5th March, 2017 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
In Context,’ is an ongoing programme of exhibitions, lectures, and artistic interventions in Johannesburg, we speak to Hank Willis Thomas about relevancy of the exhibition, within the context of the newfound international interest in African art. As well as get his opinion on the differences between race identity in South Africa versus the United States, and his transition from artist to curator.
A group exhibition at EBONY Curated in Cape Town, South Africa showcasing works by Patrick Bongoy, Francois Knoetze, and Mark Rautenbach.
The group exhibition curated by Chandra Frank at Framer Framed in Amsterdam, attempts to open new conversations by addressing silenced trajectories. As the title ‘Re(as)sisting Narratives’ suggests, the exhibition marks a simultaneous attempt to ‘resist’ the prescribed colonial narrative, and through this process ‘assist’ alternate ways of seeing.
'In Context,’ an ongoing programme of exhibitions, lectures, and artistic interventions that began in Johannesburg in 2010 under the guidance of Liza Essers, is set to take place once more with the opening of 'Africans in America' at the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg this evening. “One of the many ideas that circulated as the project began to take shape, was the dynamics of place and geography (political, social, as well as physical) in reference to the African context – with its many and varied iterations,” explains Essers, who sheds some light on the history, curatorial focus, and aims of the event in this introductory text.
After having to cancel their first art fair and refund all the exhibitors in the wake of the horrific November 13th attacks in Paris 2015, Also Known As Africa (AKAA) has made a massive comeback, as witnessed at the inaugural event this last week. Prior to its opening, ART AFRICA spoke to fair director Victoria Mann to find out more about the curatorial framework for the event and how, with the help of Elisabeth Lalouschek (Artistic Director & Director of Art Sales at October Gallery) and Simon Njami (Artistic Director of the Dak’Art Biennale 2016), they managed to bounce back.
ART AFRICA spoke to Isobel O'Connor in the build up to her solo exhibition 'DEEPER THAN SKIN,' opening this Saturday at Objekt | Design | Art Gallery in Franschhoek, South Africa.
“C’est le regardeur qui fait le tableau.”
- Marcel Duchamp
La focalisation sur l'objet déchet est un moyen d'identifier et d'intégrer l'invisible dans nos commandes d'être. Même dans le déni et la fuite, nous sommes en relation permanente avec ces invisibles inaperçus qui font partie de notre entité. En les rendant visibles, Kai Lossgott nous interpelle sur l'opacité de la transparence.
Fearsome, playful and simultaneously profound, these photographs of African masks from West Africa (Nigeria, Gabon, and the Ivory Coast) by artist and scientist Hennric Jokeit, are bound to evoke a number of responses and questions on the part of the viewer.
Aspire Art Auction’s inaugural sale on 31 October 2016, which took place in a new venue at The Park on 7 in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, was bursting at the seams with seasoned and new bidders, proving that the market is ripe for top quality art. Viewers complimented the curated selection of works on offer and the museum quality aesthetic of the installation.
Held at Sun International’s Maslow Hotel on the 21st October 2016, six industry stalwarts were named Lifetime Achievement Award winners and five young creatives were recognised for their talent at the 19th annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards.
Goodman Gallery will have a new street-level presence in Cape Town when its Video Room opens on Saturday, 29 October downstairs from the gallery in Fairweather House on Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock’s main artery. The space will add a dynamic element to the gallery’s programming with curated films on show, book launches, performances and print exhibitions.
ART AFRICA spoke to Stanislaw Trzebinski about his sculptural practice, symbiosis and his upcoming exhibition 'Ortus,' which will be on show at the Jan Royce Gallery, Cape Town, from November through December 2016.
Matthew Hindley has extended his series of paintings, entitled 'Resurrection' exhibited at Everard Read in Cape Town last year with its focus on fire and destruction in a new body of work and has developed a slightly different stylistic methodology. His most recent body of work, 'Ruin Lust' at Everard Read in Johannesburg explores the fascination, even aesthetic beauty, associated with violence, explosions, and bomb blasts. In conversation with the artist, what became evident is that in his steering away from the merely 'pretty,' the artist wishes the viewer (and he himself) to confront the shadow side; that a recognition of one's lust for violence and chaos may in fact be cathartic. Tragedy in art may ironically lead to healthier or more profound living.
ART AFRICA spoke to Tamara James about photography, surface and and the body in her latest body of work 'Figures Within Outline,' which can be seen at Candice Berman Fine Art gallery in Johannesburg.
Situated in the small rural town of Huntly in the North East of Scotland, Deveron Arts is an international residency programme that was established in 1995 by director Claudia Zeiske, Annette Gisselbaek, and Jean Longley. Rather than occupying a defined space, Zeiske’s approach to artistic practice is to integrate artists into the small, albeit historic village, where artists are required to build an engaged, process-based project through site-specific processes within the town and the larger global community.
This year, AKAA welcomes five Special Projects. These exhibits hold a prominent place in the cultural programming of AKAA, whose goal is the development of cultural initiatives that contribute to increase the visibility of artists in Africa and beyond.
ART AFRICA spoke to South African artist Paul Blomkamp about his latest body of work, 'Quanta,' which will be on show at Objekt | Design | Art (ODA), Franschhoek from the 21 October - 19 November 2016. Here Blomkamp takes us through his history and working process, placing light and the 'electrical essence' of quantum science at the forefront of his practice.
The coming six months will perhaps be some of the most interesting and testing times in the story of African contemporary art and its international market engagement. From September 2016 to February 2017, there will be eight art fairs dedicated to African art, three of which will be first editions (Art X Lagos, AKAA and Accra Contemporary) and five of which will be on the continent (FNB JoburgArtFair, Art X Lagos, Accra Contemporary, Cape Town Art Fair and the ART AFRICA Fair), as well as the already established 1:54, London. The expansion of market events in the African contemporary art scene appears a sensible progression from the enormous attention that African contemporary art has received over the past three to four years. However, to treat the current status quo as a fait accomplis, without analysing the broader historical context and current international market trends beyond the niche, would be a mistake.
Crowded into the newly renovated Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, a congregation of artists, writers, gallerists, curators, educators, and facilitators sat down to an aptly titled panel discussion, 'Making Space.' This conversation took place a couple months ago, yet in light of the current #FeesMustFall movement, it would appear that the need for such conversations and the need to create alternative spaces for education and growth is more prevelant now than ever.
ART AFRICA speaks to Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa – who gives us insights into her curatorial practice and contemporary artistic practices from the Middle East, North Africa and the region’s diaspora.
Lhola Amira is sitting at a table, a glass of wine in one hand, looking pensively at the laptop screen in front of her. She’s dressed in a smart, earth coloured onesie, high-heels and head gear. There’s a chopping board on the table; a big cutting knife; a packet of menthol cigarettes; two bottles of wine; a bag of red onions; a book; and underwear – lots of it. By this point, the onions are lying in a large, homogenous and finely-diced heap next to the knife. There’s a suitcase lying open on the floor, full of colourful underwear. She stands up and continues dicing the remaining onions, knocking the tears back with wine. At one point she grabs a cigarette off the table, moving toward the window of the gallery space where she lights up, observing the people around her.
Originally published by Invisible Borders, this text by founder Emeka Okereke forms part of Borders-Within: The Trans-Nigerian Road Trip, which took place over the course of six weeks, beginning in Lagos on 12th May 2016. Through both a written and photographic record, this particular text tells of Okereke's respective conversations with two men, both of whom had experienced the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 - 1970.