Must-See Exhibitions this September
The month of September offers a selection of highly anticipated exhibitions at Africa’s leading art galleries. Here’s a list of some of the most exciting.
Kitso Lynn Lelliott
I Was Her and She Was Me and those We Might Become
September 2 – October 14, 2017
From September 2 to October 14, 2017, ROOM Gallery will present I Was Her and She Was Me and those We Might Become, a solo exhibition of works by Batswana artist, Kitso Lynn Lelliott.
In this exhibition, the artist elaborates on her interrogation of the philosophical underpinnings and ontological construct of race that emerged during the European Imperial era, which in turn have resulted in the production of an “Othering” using hegemonic colonial languages. Lynn Lelliott’s research further delves into the perpetuation of idea of “racially marked beings” with the associated violent omissions, erasure and deletion of knowledge carried in diverse languages.
Residence 16/16, Lagos
September 3 to September 24, 2017
From September 3 to 24, 2017, 16/16, Lagos, will present Amost Delirium, a solo exhibition of works by emerging Nigerian artist, Aàdesokan. The exhibition is an exploration of a state of delirium embodied by the artist for a particular period of time in his recent past.
Aàdesokan creates portraits centred on face perception. These genderless and ageless faces lack physiognomic accuracy, and are his way of conveying the emotion of trauma he experienced. The works contain a synergy of materials – nylon, petroleum jelly, acrylic, charcoal and sketches rendered in ink.
Aàdesokan (b.1994) is a self-proclaimed emerging abstract artist. His art delves into the complexities of the human mind and psyche. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he has always been regarded as deeply analytical and introspective mind – perhaps a consequence of having a psychologist as a father. His analytical mind is belied by an experimental work process which is highly intuitive. His works are reflective of his emotions at the time and he is often unaware of where his subject matter will end up when he begins to create.
Lina Iris Viktor
Black Exodus: Act I – Materia Prima
Amar Gallery London
September 12 – October 20, 2017
From September 12 to October 20, 2017, Amar Gallery, London will present Black Exodus: Act I – Materia Prima, a solo exhibition of works by British-based, Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor.
Bringing together recent and old works in a solely black and gold colour palette, the exhibition renegotiates artistic and socio-political definitions of “blackness”, whilst exploring existing narratives surrounding race and the African diaspora. Black Exodus marks the first ‘Act’ in an evolving series for the artist.
Presenting large and small scale gilded works on canvas and paper, the exhibition highlights the co-dependent relationship of light and dark, within a folkloric universe of the artist’s creation. Taking a new Exodus tale as a point of departure – a mythologised dystopia where the black race itself has been extinguished – Viktor’s works interrogate the implications of this theoretical future.
Lina Iris Viktor is a multidisciplinary artist, working across performance, painting, installation and photography. Viktor currently lives and works between New York and London. Uniting materials and methods from both contemporary and ancient art forms, her work calls into question the nature of time and being. Her utilization of ancient gilding practices is notable by the inclusion of 24-karat gold to create intensely evocative canvases embedded with “layers of light”, in the form of symbols and intricate patterns. These “light-works” at once address the infinite and the finite, immortality and mortality, microcosm and macrocosm, and the socio-political and historical preconceptions surrounding “blackness” and its universal implications.
Addis Fine Art, London
September 14 – October 8, 2017
From September 14 to October 8, 2017, Addis Fine Art, London will present Erase Me, a solo exhibition of recent work by Brooklyn-based Ethiopian-born artist Tariku Shiferaw.
His body of work One of These Black Boys interrogates the concept of mark-making both physically and metaphysically. Using titles of songs from Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, Blues, and Reggae music, these paintings embody both the experiences and struggles expressed through music by Black artists. The topics range from expressions of being Black bodies in a white social construct to expressions of romance and sex.
In appropriating song titles as painting titles, the work automatically inherits the references, identities, and the history portrayed through the songs. For Instance, If I Rule the World (1996) is a song used as a title of a painting, by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill, where he re-imagines a world different from the unjust one he lives in. Every song used to title each painting tells a story that refers to a certain reality. The work becomes a reference of a reference, much like a signifier to another symbol. This creates repetitive patterns both aesthetically and conceptually.
September 14 – October 13, 2017
From September 14 to October 13, 2017, LKB/G will present Art Transposition, Hamburg, a group exhibition featuring emerging artists from Kenya and Uganda including Denis Mubiru, Waswad, Xenson, Boniface Maina and Shabu Mwangi. Curated by Robinah Nansubuga, the exhibition explores the boundary between abstract and figurative.
Curatorial projects in Kampala and Nairobi unite the emerging artists, revealing the common features of their oeuvres.
A Continent Beyond
September 14 – October 14, 2017
From September 14 to October 14, 2017, Gallery MOMO Cape Town will present A Continent Beyond, a group exhibition featuring Roger Ballen, Stephane Conradie, Florine Demosthene, Kimathi Donkor, Modupeola Fadugba, Dumile Feni, George Hallett, Ayana V Jackson, Coby Kennedy, Dillon Marsh, Maurice Mbikayi, Kenrick McFarlane, Sethembile Msezane, Pedro Pires, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Mary Sibande, Ransome Stanley, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Andrew Tshabangu and Khaya Witbooi. These artists have all defined and redefined contemporary art within and beyond our borders.
The exhibition offers an occasion to reflect on the multiple journeys both from the artists, and also from Gallery MOMO. Over the past fourteen years, the gallery has challenged the seams that bind the South African art scene and burst into the international scene with a certain degree of conviction that has captured a changing country and continent through her artists.
Ce Qui Demeure
Selma Feriani Gallery
September 28 – November 30, 2017
From September 28 to November 30, 2017, Selma Feriani Gallery will present Ce Qui Demeure, a solo exhibition by Tunisian artist Ismail Bahri.
Here, Bahri carefully assembles a selection of his recent video-portfolio, capturing his simple signature experiments beautifully portrayed with minimal gestures. For example, a blank sheet of paper absorbs all its surroundings (Foyer, 2016); a colour magazine cut-out is repeatedly crumpled and smoothed by the artist’s hands, slowly losing all its pigments until all imagery fades away (Revers, 2017); a waving flag mirrors the immediate landscape where it has been hoisted (Sketch, for E. Dekyndt, 2017). Whether these were shot within caulked, intimate indoor spaces or the restless, bright outdoors, each video-approach focuses on the various manners objects directly affect and communicate with their surroundings and vice-versa. The outcome of these recorded visual experiments is the effortless emergence of physical, emotional and the occasional social and political energies.
Stall(s) of Fame
September 29 – November 4, 2017
From September 29 to November 4, 2017, Tiwani Contemporary will present Stall(s) of Fame, a solo exhibition of works by Zimbabwean artist Gareth Nyandoro. The exhibition is an immersive installation, partly inspired by the urban landscape of Paris.
Nyandoro’s new large works on paper, at once graphic and sculptural, cover the floor and take the shape of a quintessentially Parisian urban structure: the Bouquiniste stands, wooden boxes used as second-hand bookshops and scattered along the banks of the Seine. Since their inception in the 12th century, these portable bookshops – the earliest examples of which pre-date the invention of the printing press in 1450 – have actively contributed to the diffusion of new ideas. Well-loved by tourists today, these precursors of mobile commercial practices embody early connections between innovation, mobility and intellectual enlightenment. They also evoke the informal market economy that has been a great source of inspiration for Nyandoro in recent years: most of his output is inspired by markets and street vendors, whose aesthetic flair and sense of entrepreneurship he has always admired.
If You Keep Going South, You’ll Meet Yourself
September 29 – November 15, 2017
From September 29 to November 15, 2017, Tyburn Gallery will present If You Keep Going South You’ll Meet Yourself, a solo exhibition by Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, her first at the gallery.
Hwami draws inspiration from her collection of family photographs, using experimental techniques to paint figures and scenes that evoke the nostalgia and longing of the diaspora experience. The works are a meditation on the idea of home and multiple homes; their stories tend to blur into autobiography – existing between portrait and self-portrait, whilst exploring family connections and shared memory.
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts, London, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (first-class honours) in 2016, after completing a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at North Manchester College in 2013.
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