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African Art Outlook for February

Posted in Events  |  February 05, 2022

African Art Outlook for February
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 San Francisco to Amsterdam, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide of what to discover this month. So, we’ve rounded up our favorite events of February featuring African and Africa related art practices and projects.

Solo Exhibitions

Billie Zangewa: Thread for a Web Begun is still on view at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Fransisco, United States until February 27, 2022

Although many of the scenes depicted in Zangewa’s layered silk tapestries are autobiographical, there is a relatability that goes beyond her personal journey as an artist. Zangewa’s labor-intensive processes recall the historic implications of “women’s work” but remain a steadfastly contemporary interpretation of lived experiences. Zangewa is dealing firstly with identity, as well as socio-politics around gender and skin tone, in a gentle everyday manner. She is also exploring the different roles that women play in society, including motherhood and the impact that it has individually and collectively. The images in her work are deliberately decontextualized. However, when shown in a group, their fragmentary nature is further emphasized, suggesting they are excerpted from a larger narrative.

Hana Yilma Godine: A Hair Salon in Addis Ababa is still on view at Rachel Uffner Gallery and Fridman Gallery in New York, United States until March 5, 2022

Each gallery will present Godine’s new paintings portraying female protagonists in domestic and public spaces of their own making, drawing on everyday scenes of her home town of Addis Ababa: preparing for wedding celebrations, interacting in hair salons, resting in their living rooms. In a patriarchal society torn apart by a brutal civil war, Godine presents a parallel dimension where women are safe from violence and free to express themselves independently of social restrictions. Godine’s use of flattened perspective, elongated figures and evenly distributed light recalls Ethiopian iconography which underscores the divinity of biblical subjects by rejecting the rules of earthly representation. On the other hand, Godine’s artworks are firmly grounded in reality – she paints on traditional fabrics which women buy at local markets and turn into affordable dresses. She weaves her brushstrokes with the fabric print, at times leaving the flowery patterns untouched, at times letting them faintly show through the painted layers.

Remy Jungerman: Behind the Forest is still on view at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands until March 13, 2022

The survey, organized in close collaboration with the artist, focuses on Jungerman’s artistic output over the last 15 years and includes new work created specifically for this occasion. In a borderless and timeless conversation between styles, schools, and identities, Jungerman’s sculptures, installations, panels, collages, and screen prints trace pathways of patterns from the Maroon culture in Suriname, the African Diaspora, and the visual idiom of 20th-century modernism. In his work, Jungerman seeks to establish an autonomous visual language by initiating a dialogue between abstract geometric patterns drawn from this multiplicity of visual traditions. He shows how not only people migrate, but also colors, shapes, and aesthetic principles.

Group Exhibitions

Do Nothing, Feel Everything is still on view at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria until February 20, 2022

Currently, every crisis, every catastrophe, every threat is instantly overridden by another. This state of constant emergency, often translated into apathy and exhaustion, makes passing through coherent stages of emotion impossible and makes us realize that our physical and mental well-being is not an individual matter anymore but that we were sharing a state of insanity before we even knew we were insane. The works in this exhibition examine and present a wide range of affects, ambitions, and risks. Do Nothing, Feel Everything thus looks into art practices that understand insanity as a common condition and as a dynamic form of knowledge with something crucial at stake—art practices that, through careful bruising, find ways to soothe and to bear.

MaDzimbahwe is still on view at AKKA Project in Dubai, United Arab Emirates until February 28, 2022

MaDzimbahwe is a group exhibition “traversing generations, gender and media to encapsulate Zimbabwe’s artistic offering at this prestigious platform: Expo Dubai 2020” as stated by Curator Raphael Chikukwa. Most of the presented works were created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as such, these works are rife with different viewpoints, speaking to the embodiment of principles of creativity, social consciousness and critical engagement that have manifested in these trying times. Each artist, coming from different backgrounds and generations, serves as archivists of both public and private memories enabling the viewer to capture different realities and identity issues.