African Art Outlook for April

African Art Outlook for April

Posted in Events

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

Solo Exhibitions

Gideon Appah: How to Say Sorry in a Thousand Lights is still on view at Pace Gallery, London, United Kingdom until April 15, 2023

In How to Say Sorry in a Thousand Lights, Appah will present new paintings in his distinctive style that occupies the blurred space between imagination and memory. Appah’s signature use of flattened perspective and ambiguous surroundings evoke ethereal landscapes that appear to exist outside the physical world. In A Love Song (2022) and Red Sun (2022), nude and semi-nude figures move through a seemingly utopian landscape with a sense of ease and grace. The subjects are alert to their surroundings, at once electrified and enmeshed in the undulations of the environment. The lush green carpet of grass in The Dream (2021) mirrors the reclined nude figure’s soft flesh, underscoring the feeling of harmonious equilibrium between human and nature. The colour palette of rich, jewel toned blues, reds, pinks, and greens draw the viewer into Appah’s cinematic world.

Edward Burtynsky: African Studies is still on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, United States until April 22, 2023

Edward Burtynsky’s powerful new photography series African Studies is a seven- year project spanning ten countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania between 2015 and 2020. Presented in large-format photographs, African Studies conveys the fragility of the natural world, bringing together images of lush, undisturbed landscapes and environments irretrievably altered by industry. The series was largely photographed from aerial perspectives, a viewpoint that distills the continent’s diverse topography into graphic patterns and gradients of sumptuous color. The resulting effect seemingly transforms the marks of human infrastructure into painterly abstract compositions. In these images, as in all his work, Burtynsky skillfully integrates critical reporting with sublime visual aesthetics creating a harmonious balance between content and form.

Group Exhibitions

Against the Grain is still on view at Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until April 15, 2023

Against the Grain is an exhibition of photographic works by Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Ruth Motau, Ming Smith, and Lindokuhle Sobekwa. Across three generations, the exhibition explores how each photographer has used the medium to expose, question and reflect on their social and political contexts. From the 1960s to the present, the works convey an explicitly South African narrative, whilst revealing some historical parallels with the United States. From the segregation and disenfranchisement laws of Apartheid to the era emerging from the liberation struggle and US civil rights movement, the exhibition is framed by Black life under those conditions. Often working against the grain of dominant culture, the photographers demonstrate varying degrees of resistance. This exhibition comes at a time when each photographer is receiving considerable local and international attention.

The Dance is still on view at Luce Gallery in Turin, Italy until April 28, 2023

Bringing together fifteen artworks, including painting, drawing, and sculpture, The Dance embodies the rhythmic movements – both literal and metaphorical – of dancing styles. Deeply embedded in our cultural histories, the expressiveness of movement relates to celebration, ritual, or simply a distinct pattern or tempo. Each artwork on view addresses the various art historical connections, abstract qualities, or symbolic references to dance in the visual arts. The exhibition seeks to explore the myriad ways in which contemporary artists can interpret, layer, or reconsider this classic subject matter. The dynamism of movement, elegance of patterns, graceful steps, and rhythms of ancestral rituals have provided inspiration to artists for centuries. When contemplated as a whole, the artworks in this exhibition express what it means to see, feel, and experience “dance” in contemporary visual art today.


Aria Dean: Abattoir, U.S.A.! is taking place at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, United States until April 16, 2023

Abattoir, U.S.A.! surveys the interior of an empty slaughterhouse, animated using a 3D computer graphics tool which creates real-time environments for a wide range of platforms. Aria Dean was initially inspired by philosophers Georges Bataille and Frank Wilderson, each of whom address the slaughterhouse in their writings – whether as a metaphor or paradigm – as crucial to the constitution of civil society. Abattoir, U.S.A.!, also builds on Dean’s own research into the slaughterhouse and industrial architecture, and the ways they reveal modernism’s intimacy with death on conceptual, political, and material levels. The film ruminates on this through the slaughterhouse’s presence as both an allegorical structure and a literal place where the boundary between human, animal, and machine is produced and reproduced. As it takes the slaughterhouse as its subject and projects its forms into a virtual space, Abattoir, U.S.A.! ultimately explores how meaning is produced through moving images, working across material, symbolic, and technological registers.


Posted in Events  |  April 01, 2023