African Art Outlook for January

African Art Outlook for January

Posted in Events

As interest in contemporary African art continues to grow, we identified several events that are worth visiting in January. From Addis Ababa to Taipei, 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.


Michael Tsegaye: Ankober is still on view at Addis Fine Art Gallery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia until January 21, 2017

Shot in the Ethiopian highlands, Michael Tsegaye’s Ankober is a series of black and white photographs that portray the fog-enveloped town that was once Emperor Menelik’s capital. Even though Ankober now appears to be no more than a humble rural outpost, the dense fog and diffused light that enshrouds and obscures Tsegaye’s subjects (lowly goats and donkeys, the ghostlike figures of villagers) seemingly raises them to a mythological and archetypal status. Through the haze (which conceals much of the setting) readily recognizable motifs of the Ethiopian highlands—swaying eucalyptus trees, a woman wearing an embroidered gabbi—peek through. Ankober is as much about the unseen as it is the seen, as competing shades of gray outline both the readily visible and the barely perceptible, resulting in a gradient that wistfully creates a sense of depth.

William Kentridge: Thick Time is still on view at Whitechapel Gallery in London, United Kingdom until January 15, 2017

Thick Time features six works created between 2003 and 2016 – including two of the artist’s immersive audio-visual installations, The Refusal of Time (2012) and O Sentimental Machine (2003), which have never previously been exhibited in the UK. The exhibition also features his flip-book film, Second-hand Reading (2013), a series of mural-scale tapestries based on his opera production of Shostakovich’s The Nose and a set model which reveals his working process on the opera production Lulu (2016). Kentridge is one of South Africa’s pre-eminent artists, globally acclaimed for his drawings, films, lecture performances and opera and theatre productions. His work draws on varied sources, including philosophy, literature and early cinema to create intricate art works and spellbinding environments in which he explores theories of time and relativity, the history of colonialism and the aspirations, and failures of revolutionary politics.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is still on view at Barbican Art Gallery in London, United Kingdom until January 28, 2017

Boom for Real focuses on Basquiat’s relationship to music, text, film and television, placing it within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings and notebooks are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and ephemera in a design that aims to capture the dynamism of Basquiat’s practice. Highlights of the Barbican’s exhibition include a partial reconstruction of the first body of work that Basquiat exhibited, made for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York / New Wave at PS1 in February 1981. These exhibits are brought together for the first time in 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of his fellow artists and critics. The Barbican exhibition continues with an exploration of his energetic, often collaborative, work as the prodigy of the downtown scene – from the birth of SAMO© (a collective created with his classmate Al Diaz) to his relationship with Warhol.

Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali is still on view at Somerset House in London, United Kingdom until February 26, 2017

Somerset House and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, in collaboration with MAGNIN-A Gallery, Paris, present Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali, the first major solo exhibition in the UK of the late Malian photographer. Sidibé is acclaimed for his black-and-white images chronicling the lives and culture of the Malian capital, Bamako, in the wake of the country’s independence. Curated by André Magnin and Philippe Boutté, the exhibition showcases 45 original prints from the 1960s and 1970s around three defined themes: ‘Au Fleuve Niger / Beside the Niger River’, ‘Tiep à Bamako / Nightlife in Bamako’, and ‘Le Studio / The Studio’. With the arrival of rock ‘n’ roll, cutting-edge fashions, and independence in 1960, his images capture the essence of joie de vivre – the energy and exuberance of young, newly independent Africans, experiencing an era of significant social and cultural change.


The 10th edition of Taipei Biennial is still open in Taipei, Taiwan until February 5, 2017

Gestures and Archives of the Present, Genealogies of the Future is the central exhibition of the 10th edition of Taipei Biennial which aims to explore the museum’s catalytic role in navigating between knowledge systems and in the experience of trans-artistic practices and research in societal configurations that take into consideration cultural paradigm shifts. Treating the biennial as a matrix, an organic whole with its various forms, intensities, rhythms, and traces, it engages “performing the archives, performing the architecture, performing the retrospective” and the invention of narrative apparatuses and reflexive images in relation to artistic productions and practices of thought with a firm grip on historical conditions and realities, which play along with or resist realities to come, or whose advent is impossible.


Posted in Events  |  January 07, 2017