Ode to Black

Ode to Black

From May 18 to June 30, 2017, Stevenson will present Ode to Black by Burundian artist Serge Alain Nitegeka.

He says, “Black is the colour of mourning and melancholy. Black epitomises stealth; it is central to clandestine ventures and cool lonesomeness. Black is the colour of executive cars, gadgets, accessories and clothing. Eternally beautiful, Black is the colour of the universe, the infinite deep dark unknown abyss. Black is a wormhole, mysterious and ever-receding, absorbing everything around it and revealing nothing. Black is all colours mixed together, perhaps the sum of the visible. Black is the only colour without light, though full and empty.

Black is a colour reserved unto itself. It is comfortable in its own nature, unruffled and confident. It tries very hard to stay anonymous but inquiring eyes are drawn to it; spectators cannot resist it. It is not popular. It reveals little because it is neither warm nor cold. It is an enigmatic pigment.

The colour black presents itself ambiguously in meaning, like the abstract forms in my practice. Ode to Black explores the multitude of meanings that the colour black invites in my work thus far, in paintings, sculptures and installations.”

Serge Alain Nitegeka was born in 1983 in Burundi and lives in Johannesburg. He holds Bachelor degree in fine arts from Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Nitegeka produces works that address issues of identity sparked by forced migration, cultural and political borders. His installations present obstacles that promote participation in this metaphoric experience: they physically bisect three-dimensional space and use the viewer as a further disruptive variable, resulting in a tableau vivant of sorts. He won the Tollman award for the visual arts, and won a Fondation Jean Paul Blachère prize in 2010.

Nitegeka has exhibited severally including the Le Manège gallery, French Institute, Dakar (2012); This House, part of Nouvelles vagues, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); My Joburg, La Maison Rouge, Paris (2013); and The Space Between Us, ifa Galleries, Berlin (2013); Marianne Boesky Gallery and Boesky East in New York, (2014 and 2016); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (2015); A story within a story…, 8th Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (2015); What remains is tomorrow, South African Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness, The Harvey B Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, Charlotte, North Carolina (2015); Exchange, Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf (2016); and I Love You Sugar Kane, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius (2016).


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