UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS + PROJECTS


 

Lines, Motions and Rituals / Magnan Metz, new York

12 July — 18 August 2017


The artists in this exhibition use lines, motions and emotions to highlight the ways in which structures, patterns and rhythm function as modes of communication and socialization. Their work codifies these artistic processes to produce communities and rituals of identification. These creative productions introduce us to the history and conventions of art making within African and African Diasporic communities. Moreover, the artists blaze their own innovative trails by fashioning these diasporic conventions into art for contemporary audiences.

 

Featured artists: Olu Amoda, Omar Victor Diop, Victor Ehikamenor, Angele Essamba, Taiye Idaho, Bartelemy Toguo, Lina Iris Viktor, & Deb Willis.

 


 

In-Significations (Part II) / Lagos, nigeria

August— September 2017

 

In-Significations exhibition will travel onto Lagos, Nigeria, as a continuation of the Re-Significations exhibit that was launched and exhibited at 3 different venues in Florence, Italy in 2015. The exhibition offered a revision and re-engagement with the history and historicity of representations of black bodies as subjects of art by inviting contemporary artists from Africa, Europe and the Americas to translate and re-stage a collection of sculptures and paintings depicting ornamental black bodies associated with decorative art known to us as “Blackamoors.” Embedded within centuries-old discourses, cross-cultural encounters, and artistic productions shaped by migration, conquest, servitude, and exile, these objects presented a rich opportunity with which we deconstructed, compared, and contextualized myriad portrayals of the black body in western societies from multidisciplinary angles. 

 

 In-Significations extends the curatorial narrative by staging works in which African and African Diasporic conventions of art making inscribe such histories and subjectivities through their subjects and styles. Like its sister exhibition, InSignifications will display the innovative ways with which artists translate, extend and project traditions of making art to inscribe black subjects and contexts in world history. From geometrical to painterly and sculptural, musical and photographic traditions and their re-inventions, our proposed exhibition will illustrate how the dialogical display across time and space reflect visual and performing arts and how they produce archives, texts and artistic methods of the black world. 

 


 

Black Exodus: Act I - Materia Prima / Amar Gallery / London, UK

12 September — 20 October 2017

 

Amar Gallery, London is proud to announce the first UK solo exhibition from the British Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor, running from September 12 to October 20 2017 . Bringing together new and existing abstract works in a solely black and gold colour palette, Black Exodus renegotiates artistic and socio-political definitions of “blackness", whilst exploring existing narratives surrounding race and the African diaspora. The exhibition 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.

 

In her ongoing ‘Constellations’ series, Viktor presents black canvases perforated by hand-gilded gold patterns - regal abstractions piercing the surface of the darkness beneath. Drawing together religious symbology, cosmology and naturally occurring biological patterns - such as human DNA - the artist explores indigenous and etiological beginnings, repositioning blackness not as a void, but rather a source of matter. The hypnotic alchemy of the artist’s gold renderings present Viktor in the role of cartographer, mapping out labyrinthine patterns which reference the Dogon of Mali, indigenous cultures of Australia and Aztec and Ancient Egyptian lore. Riffing on the national flag of the UK, Viktor also debuts large-scale black translucent gilded canvases titled ‘Union Black’ and ‘Black Union’.

 

New pieces revisiting Viktor’s ‘Dark Continent’ series depict the artist’s form as a central motif, though these too are considered abstractions - ultimately obscuring the human subject. The works on paper present the artist shrouded in a shadowy botanical landscape; at once inviting and foreboding, the setting evokes an uneasy paradise, somewhere before - or after - the fall. Here Viktor’s use of g old is sparing, highlighting focal points within the picture plane: a sun, rays of light or a glimpse of the human form. The silhouetted tableaux expose displaced figures seemingly oscillat ing between the ancient and the futuristic; the body becomes a timeless conduit for interrelated, trans-cultural histories, representing a circular idea of being which references non-linear (and distinctly African) concepts of time.

 

Discussing the exhibition, Viktor explains: ‘ Black Exodus explores the charged topic of race universally, lifting the veil of seemingly ‘colour-blind’ societies, and reinvestigating stereotypes surrounding “blackness”. Across the globe, throughout history and to this very day, the black race has suffered subjugation and marginalisation, and “blackness” has become indicative of deficiency, or absence. The exhibition repositions the colour as a ‘materia prima’ - the ultimate presence that is the source of all matter, all people and all life; it is the place from which gold and precious materials are mined, and in which stars and planets are born.’

 


 

In-Significations (Part III) / The Cooper Gallery / Harvard University, MA

January - April 2018

 

In-Significations exhibition will travel onto The Cooper Gallery (Harvard University), as a continuation of the Re-Significations exhibit that was launched and exhibited at 3 different venues in Florence, Italy in 2015. The exhibition offered a revision and re-engagement with the history and historicity of representations of black bodies as subjects of art by inviting contemporary artists from Africa, Europe and the Americas to translate and re-stage a collection of sculptures and paintings depicting ornamental black bodies associated with decorative art known to us as “Blackamoors.” Embedded within centuries-old discourses, cross-cultural encounters, and artistic productions shaped by migration, conquest, servitude, and exile, these objects presented a rich opportunity with which we deconstructed, compared, and contextualized myriad portrayals of the black body in western societies from multidisciplinary angles

 In-Significations extends the curatorial narrative by staging works in which African and African Diasporic conventions of art making inscribe such histories and subjectivities through their subjects and styles. Like its sister exhibition, InSignifications will display the innovative ways with which artists translate, extend and project traditions of making art to inscribe black subjects and contexts in world history. From geometrical to painterly and sculptural, musical and photographic traditions and their re-inventions, our proposed exhibition will illustrate how the dialogical display across time and space reflect visual and performing arts and how they produce archives, texts and artistic methods of the black world. 

 


Black exodus: Act II / Aicon Gallery / New York, NY

February - March 2018

 

Further details regarding the Exhibition to be Announced.

 


 

In-Significations (Part IV) / Manifesta European Contemporary Art Biennial 12 / Palermo, Italy

June - July 2018

 

In-Significations exhibition will continue onto Palermo, Italy for the 12th edition of the Manifesta European Contemporary Art Biennial, as a continuation of the Re-Significations exhibit that was launched and exhibited at 3 different venues in Florence, Italy in 2015. The exhibition offered a revision and re-engagement with the history and historicity of representations of black bodies as subjects of art by inviting contemporary artists from Africa, Europe and the Americas to translate and re-stage a collection of sculptures and paintings depicting ornamental black bodies associated with decorative art known to us as “Blackamoors.” Embedded within centuries-old discourses, cross-cultural encounters, and artistic productions shaped by migration, conquest, servitude, and exile, these objects presented a rich opportunity with which we deconstructed, compared, and contextualized myriad portrayals of the black body in western societies from multidisciplinary angles. 

 

 In-Significations extends the curatorial narrative by staging works in which African and African Diasporic conventions of art making inscribe such histories and subjectivities through their subjects and styles. Like its sister exhibition, InSignifications will display the innovative ways with which artists translate, extend and project traditions of making art to inscribe black subjects and contexts in world history. From geometrical to painterly and sculptural, musical and photographic traditions and their re-inventions, our proposed exhibition will illustrate how the dialogical display across time and space reflect visual and performing arts and how they produce archives, texts and artistic methods of the black world.