Sam Nhlengethwa: Art Meets Fashion is still on view at Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until January 20, 2024
Art Meets Fashion is an exhibition in which the artist explores the connection between art and fashion, as well as highlighting beauty of and visibility for people with albinism. Throughout his career, Sam Nhlengethwa has developed a distinctive collage and painting practice that explores everyday life in South Africa, from city life to domestic spaces to the influence of mining. His oeuvre, approach to artmaking and involvement in institutions such as Bag Factory Artist Studios has contributed greatly to the South African arts landscape, making him one of the country’s seminal artists. Central to his practice and his life is a fascination with the sartorial; how people dress themselves to represent who they are and how they view the world. For the artist, clothing and art have always fed each other. This circular feedback loop is what he highlights through runway scenes and portraits of vibrant colour.
Aplerh-Doku Borlabi: Uncaged and Watered is still on view at Gallery 1957 in London, United Kingdom until January 27, 2024
Uncaged and Watered is a collection of portraits inspired by photographs that are both staged and candid, intimate and forthcoming. Taking inspiration from the rich and boundless space of his community, Aplerh-Doku Borlabi seeks to resolve the ambivalence of common experiences and the shared impulse to be oneself in a world that demands otherwise. Using reference photos taken in Accra and producing these new works in London orchestrates a rewriting of the artist’s history that is refreshing and rendered in bright hues. Lush greens, which resonate with the original environment of the coconut sheaths, bring an abundant liveliness to the canvases, offering the African portrait tradition a naturalistic and ecological layer that is unique in its approach.
Nengi Omuku: As Water Never Touched is still on view at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in West Palm Beach, United States until January 27, 2024
As Water Never Touched presents a powerful new body of work that delves into three key aspects of the artist’s practice: political paintings, landscapes and portraits. While dealing with different subject matter, these works are united by Omuku’s distinctive painting process and a blurring of temporal and spatial boundaries where figures and environments converge to create fragile, other-worldly scenes. In this exhibition, the fabric is suspended in space in a maze-like arrangement, allowing viewers to walk around and in-between the works. Each composition appears simultaneously whole and fragmentary as if fading into or out of focus. In Omuku’s words what the paintings capture is less a specific subject or event than a psychological state or a thought process, “something that you’re trying to grasp or make sense of that keeps eluding you”.
A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography is still on view at Tate Modern in London, United Kingdom until January 14, 2024
Bringing together a group of artists from different generations, this exhibition will address how photography, film, audio, and more have been used to reimagine Africa’s diverse cultures and historical narratives. Moving beyond a traditional photography exhibition, the show seeks to explore the many ways images travel across histories and geographies. Using themes of spirituality, identity, urbanism and climate emergency, the exhibition will guide the viewer through dream-like utopias and bustling cityscapes viewed from the artists’ perspectives. The exhibition follows artists across the many landscapes, borders and time zones of Africa to reveal how photography allows the past and the future to co-exist in powerful and transformative ways.
After the Dream will take place at the Lusaka Contemporary art Centre in Lusaka, Zambia from January 13 to February 3, 2024
Edward Festus Mukuka Nkoloso (1919-1989) was a science teacher, member of the Zambian resistance movement and the founder of the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space research and Philosophy. He came up with the term Afronaut which could be interpreted as African Astronaut to refer to his team. These Afronauts have been the subject of subsequent art works and documentaries. Inspired by a flight he took as a young child and his desire to walk on the clouds, Nkoloso’s aim was to train twelve Zambian astronauts and make Zambia the first country to reach the moon before the USA and Soviet Union in the 1960s. Nkoloso’s unwavering courage challenged the doubters and defied the condescension of colonial echoes. He is a testament to unyielding audacity. After the Dream, a film and video art screening will shed light on Nkoloso’s relevance to post-colonial Zambia as a necessary antidote to neo-colonialism.