African Art Outlook for July

African Art Outlook for July

Posted in Events

As interest in contemporary African art continues to grow, we identified several events that are worth visiting in July. From Johannesburg to London, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide of what to discover this month. So, we’ve rounded up our favorite events of July featuring African and Africa related art practices and projects.

Solo Exhibitions

William Kentridge: The Head & the Load will be on view at Tate Modern in London, United Kingdom from July 11-15, 2018

Tate Modern joins forces with 14–18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, to commemorate the significant contribution of African men and women in this conflict. The world premiere of this major new work is performed against the dramatic backdrop of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. William Kentridge’s most ambitious project to date combines music, dance, film projections, mechanised sculptures and shadow play to create an imaginative landscape on an epic scale. It tells the untold story of the hundreds of thousands of African porters and carriers who served in British, French and German forces during the First World War. One of South Africa’s leading composers, Philip Miller, and musical director Thuthuka Sibisi create an original score that draws on a wide range of traditions. Orchestra collective The Knights perform along with an international cast of singers, dancers and performers, many of whom are based in South Africa.

Michael Tsegaye: Working Girls is still on view at TAFETA in London, United Kingdom until July 14, 2018

Ethiopia has recently seen unprecedented economic growth, with its capital being home to some of the fastest rates of urbanisation and development in the world; yet amongst its impressive achievements lies a darker reality: a conspicuous and burgeoning illicit sex trade. It is within this context that Tsegaye’s remarkable take on documenting the lives of sex workers became a reality. For two weeks, Tsegaye coexisted with a group of women in their claustrophobic, dingy communal homes. Finding them in a state of stillness and vulnerability, in a deeply intimate environment, he spent full days with them. Arriving in the morning and leaving after dark when they started work, he won their trust and approval, before taking the sensitive and striking images. The resultant black and white photographs, speak of this trust that developed between the spectator and the subject, as the photographer’s presence is reticent.

Dawn Okoro: Punk Noir is still on view at the George Washington Carver Museum in Austin, United States until July 21, 2018

Punk is a result of societal movements geared toward rebellion. Despite its roots in black culture, punk has been largely seen as reserved for whites. Punk Noir is a series of large-scale paintings that explore the idea of black people presenting truthfully, unabashed, and resisting societal expectations. Okoro captured the spirit and presence of creative people in her community who live with a kind of punk attitude. Featuring portraits of black musicians, filmmakers, and photographers, the series revels in the divine feminine and masculine energy in her subjects. Through bright color, pose, and clothing, Okoro conveys a sense of grit, glamor, and grace. This is reinforced by her gestural use of copper to obscure the body and alludes to issues of erasure, self-agency, and resistance. Indeed, Punk Noir offers an alternative to life lived in a black body on stark white canvas. For Okoro, punk has always been black.

Group Exhibitions

Narrative Means is still on view at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until July 14, 2018

The life of an artwork is a curious thing. It begins with an experience or idea translated into a tangible expression by an artist. Traditionally, this has taken the form of painting, photography or sculpture, but in some instances, the process involves the artist rethinking the boundaries of these mediums as a way to explore their subject matter. The result can be a heightened encounter between the object produced, the hand that made it, and the viewer. Through this exchange, a story unfolds and, with it, new meanings are made. Each artist featured on this exhibition uniquely grapples with this tension between perception and meaning. The constellation of artists originating from the African continent and its Diaspora also raises important questions about the literal narrative means sometimes expected from artists of African descent in today’s growing market for narrative-led art.

Art Fairs

RMB Turbine Art Fair 2018 will take place at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg, South Africa from July 12-15, 2018

The sixth edition of the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Turbine Art Fair will gather over 48 galleries and 380 artists from around the country to present and sell works. This year’s fair will present a series of special projects for visitors, including the RMB Private Bank talks programme. This daily programme includes walkabouts with celebrities, art professionals, and well-known artists. These free walkabouts also include age-appropriate options aimed at helping children understand art and sharing a vocabulary that equips them to appreciate and describe it. Strauss & Co will present an exhibition featuring a selection of Irma Stern’s still life works from private collections. The graduate exhibition will return for a fourth year, featuring some of the best postgraduate paintings.


Posted in Events  |  July 07, 2018