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African Art Outlook for January

Posted in Events  |  January 08, 2022

African Art Outlook for January
Since the global expansion of the covid-19, many contemporary African art events have been cancelled, postponed, or transitioned to virtual exhibitions. Some galleries are opened for exhibition visits by appointment. 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 January featuring African and Africa related art practices and projects.

Solo Exhibitions

Martine Syms: She Mad, Season One is still on view at Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen, Norway until January 19, 2022

Martine Syms, born 1988 in Los Angeles, has emerged in recent years as one of the defining artists of her generation. Her work combines in-depth research on the history of mass media with humour and social commentary, using film, photography, installation, performance and writing. The exhibition presents the artist’s work to a broader audience in Scandinavia for the first time. Within a specifically developed architectural installation, viewers are invited into an immersive presentation which features a survey of Syms’ ongoing episodic project She Mad in the form of a fragmented imagined television series. The episodes revolve around a protagonist also named Martine – an overachieving, stoner graphic designer who lives in Hollywood and wishes she were an important artist.

Adelaide Damoah: Radical Joy is still on view at Sakhile&Me in Frankfurt am Mai, Germany until January 29, 2022

In Radical Joy, Adelaide Damoah extends her body print work into a playful and thoroughly explorative space, plunging into the realm of both sensory and sensual expression. The exhibition includes works on paper and on canvas as well as a triptych on wooden boards, each work being adorned with illuminated pigments peering out of blackness, soft and muted in parts and starkly sharp and vibrant in others. The works are layered in multiple soaks of dye and raw pigment and the compositions collectively reveal a sweeping release, mirroring Damoah’s conscious decision to rest and heal her mind by immersing herself in color. Radical Joy introduces a new approach in the artist’s practice, diverting from her usual reds, blues and golds as she meditates on poetry, writing and music. She indulges in a space of play and sensuality, reveling in florescent pinks, yellows, purples and blues.

Hervé Télémaque: A Hopscotch of the Mind is still on view at the Serpentine South Gallery in London, United Kingdom until January 30, 2022

Since the late 1950s, Hervé Télémaque has created an expansive body of work with a unique and playful visual vocabulary, featuring abstract gestures, cartoon-like imagery, and mixed media compositions. Through paintings, drawings, collages, objects, and assemblages, he brings together striking combinations of historical and literary references with those of consumer and popular culture. Incorporating images and experiences from his daily life, the artist’s extensive body of work consistently draws connections between the realms of interior consciousness, social experience and the complex relationships between image and language.

Group Exhibitions

Liminal Identities in the Global South is still on view at the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa until January 29, 2022

Liminal Identities in the Global South forms part of JCAF’s first research theme: Female Identities in the Global South. The second of three exhibitions in this theme explores hybridity and resistance in the artistic practices of seminal women artists from Latin America, alongside artists from the MENA region, the African diaspora and South Africa. The exhibition considers heterogeneous forms of expression across art, architecture and music, from the 1960s to the present. With artists Jane Alexander, Lina Bo Bardi, Lygia Clark, Kamala Ibrahim Ishag, Kapwani Kiwanga, Ana Mendieta, Lygia Pape, Berni Searle, and Sumayya Vally.

We Are History: Race, Colonialism & Climate Change is still on view at the Somerset House, London, United Kingdom until February 6, 2022

Curated by writer Ekow Eshun, and showcasing photography, prints, textile, installation and video, We Are History presents works which are moving, lyrical and thought-provoking, capturing nature as a place of both beauty and fragility. Featuring artists Alberta Whittle, Allora & Calzadilla, Carolina Caycedo, Louis Henderson, Malala Andrialavidrazana, Mazenett Quiroga, Otobong Nkanga, Zineb Sedira, and a newly commissioned work by multidisciplinary artist Shiraz Bayjoo, the exhibition interrogates the environmental issues facing the southern hemisphere by looking to the past and drawing important insight from the cultural practices and knowledge systems of indigenous peoples.