Foster Sakyiamah: Lines through Time is still on view at ADA Contemporary Art Gallery in Accra, Ghana until January 15, 2023
In his vibrantly distinct palette and deep concentric patterns, Foster looks towards history in reimagining some of the most recognizable paintings throughout 20th century contemporary art history; from Gaugin’s The Seed of the Areoi to Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earing. This adopted sense of celebrating the feminine and multidimensional male gaze is a motif that continues within the artist’s practice. Sakyiamah’s paintings are praised for their vivid depictions of the people and culture of Ghana. They are instantly recognizable for their vibrant colour palettes and predominance of curved linear patterns. Sakyiamah’s fascination in the work of Malian photographer Malick Sidibé and Ghanaian-British photographer James Barnor – who frequently dressed his subjects in patterned clothing and positioned them against highly patterned backdrops and floors – led to his fondness for patterns.
Kamala Ibrahim Ishag is still on view at Serpentine South Gallery in London, United Kingdom until January 29, 2023
Ishag has forged a unique and expansive practice which is not defined by a singular style or movement. Her work embraces and expresses different earthly and spiritual landscapes and histories of Sudanese visual culture across many eras. The artist also roots her practice around subjects including women, spiritualism, Zar ceremonies, plants and stories from her mother and grandmothers in relation to how she has experienced them. The exhibition celebrates the breadth and importance of Ishag’s work and offers London audiences insights into her worlds, featuring works spanning from the 1960s to today, including her time in London studying at the Royal College of Art (RCA) from 1964-66, in addition to new paintings created in her Khartoum studio that have previously never been presented.
Lubaina Himid: So Many Dreams is still on view at Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland until February 5, 2023
Comprising brightly colored paintings, monumental installations, and sound environments, So Many Dreams offers a unique opportunity to discover the scope and depth of the Lubaina Himid’s work. The exhibition unfolds along several narratives that touch on the question of places and their histories, historical memory and its resurgence in the present, and the transmission of certain stories through color, patterns, and sound. Narrative is never straightforward or linear. The artist creates spaces in her paintings which invite us to question the place each of the depicted figures occupies and the place we, too, occupy. The exhibition galleries unfold like the scenes of a play in which visitors are active participants.
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration is still on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, United States until January 29, 2023
The Great Migration saw more than six million Black Americans leave their homes in the rural South for cities across the United States between 1915 and 1970. This incredible movement of people transformed nearly every aspect of Black life and spurred a flourishing culture that established a new cadre of artists, writers, musicians, and makers. For this exhibition, the curators grounded the project in a key prompt: “What would happen if today’s leading artists were given the space to think about the intersections of the Great Migration in a holistic, expansive, and dynamic way?” The artists engaged with new and ongoing research, examining this history and reflecting on their families through the lens of contemporary life.
13th Bamako Encounters is still open at various locations in Bamako, Mali until February 8, 2023
This year, the overarching focus of the biennial is On Multiplicity, Difference, Becoming, and Heritage. The dominant narrative in this ‘globalized world’ is, incidentally, that of singularity–of universalism, of single identities, of singular cultures, of insular political systems. With this narrative, however, comes an illusory sense of stability and stasis; identities seem inalterable, cultures are immutable, political systems prove uneasy in the face of change. Thus, in sustaining this pervasive discourse, there has been a great loss of multiplicity, of fragmentation, of process and change, and not least of complex notions of humanity and equally complex narratives.