Late Okwui Enwezor appointed Curator of Sharjah Biennial 2021 and More News

Friday, 8 November 2019

ART WORLD

LATE OKWUI ENWEZOR ANNOUNCED AS CURATOR OF SHARJAH BIENNIAL 2021Sharjah Art Foundation stated that the renowned critic and curator Enwezor (1963–2019) conceived the 15th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, entitled Thinking Historically in the Present, in 2018 and left behind substantial preparatory materials for it. A working group of his longtime collaborators, which includes art historian professor Chika Okeke-Agulu, will execute Enwezor’s curatorial concept. Earlier this year, it had been announced that Enwezor bequeathed his papers and library to Sharjah’s new Africa Institute. [NYT]

YINKA SHONIBARE CBE OPENS ARTIST RESIDENCY IN LAGOS. The Guest Artist Space Foundation is dedicated to facilitating international artistic and cultural exchange. According to Shonibare, “The journey has always been Africans going to the West and I think we need to reverse that … It’s important that African cultures are properly understood in the context of Africa and that people actually come here to learn.” The residency spaces will be located in Lagos and on a 30-acre farm in Ijebu. [Sahara Reporters]

A LOOK AT SALES BY GALLERIES AT ART X LAGOS 2019. From sale of Abdoulaye Diarrassouba’s abstract figurative work at $28,000 to a Nigerian collector to sales of a number of Sam Nhlengethwa’s mixed-media works priced at $10,000 each to international collectors. Artnet looks at what works sold and if buyers were local or international collectors. [Artnet News]

REVIEW OF LAGOS BIENNIAL 2019. By holding its second edition at the Independence House, the Lagos Biennial stays consistent with its use of historic spaces in the city. Kovie Parker considers the highlights of the ongoing biennial, themed ‘How to Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine.’ [TSA]

CONVERSATION WITH SOUTH AFRICAN ARTIST SIWA MGOBOZA. In this scintillating read, the multidisciplinary visual artist talks about his issues with the curriculum at art school, working as an artist in South Africa, and white privilege (referring to William Kentridge’s success compared to El Anatsui’s. [GlobalVoices]

THE POLITICS OF INNOCENCE IN THE JAVETT ART COLLECTION. The outcry against the inclusion of an artwork by a convicted murderer in the Javett-UP’s opening exhibitions has obscured its narrative. Graham Wood wants us to look beyond this to consider the incredible selection of artworks in the show. And its other exhibition, ‘101 Collecting Conversations: Signature Works of a Century,’ which explores “the art of Africa”, rather than the ubiquitous “African art”. [Business Live]

BLESSING NGOBENI RECEIVES STANDARD BANK YOUNG ARTIST AWARD 2020. Visual artist Ngobeni and 4 other creative South Africans were named recipients of this most wanted arts prize at a ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening. The winners receive cash prizes and commissions to premiere a new work at the 46th National Arts Festival in 2020. [C&]

 

Here We Are II (2019), Emeka Udemba. Courtesy of SMO Contemporary Art
Here We Are II (2019), Emeka Udemba. Courtesy of SMO Contemporary Art
EXHIBITIONS: EDITOR’S PICKS

SMO CONTEMPORARY ART PRESENTS ‘A QUESTION OF BEING’ BY EMEKA UDEMBA. Through the exhibition, on view at Temple Muse, Lagos till 15 December 2019, Udemba addresses issues of his own identity and sense of place in the world. “These works are trying to say ‘I am confident in my skin, I am confident in my race’ and we should not allow ourselves to be defined by a stranger’s gaze,” says the 51 year-old artist. The exhibition is curated by Sandra Mbanefo Obiago. [Exhibition Catalogue]

ZEITZ MOCAA PAIRS OFF ARTISTS IN EXCITING NEW EXHIBITION. Titled ‘Two Together,’ the exhibition, which includes pairings of and conversation between works by Zanele Muholi and Mouna Karray; Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Joël Andrianomearisoa; Nicholas Hlobo and Taiye Idahor, and Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou and Athi Patra Ruga, is centered on major themes explored by artists from Africa and its diaspora. It runs from 7 November 2019 through 25 October 2020. [Zeitz MOCAA]

 

El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist based in Nigeria, uses woods in different colors to represent unity, as Nigerian spiritual leaders and ancestors gather to discuss the country’s troubles. With it, the Big Six, Ghana’s founding fathers, on a 10 cedi note. Courtesy of Washingtonian
El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist based in Nigeria, uses woods in different colors to represent unity, as Nigerian spiritual leaders and ancestors gather to discuss the country’s troubles. With it, the Big Six, Ghana’s founding fathers, on a 10 cedi note. Courtesy of Washingtonian

HAPPENING ELSEWHERE

PHOTOS: Highlights of ‘Heroes: Principles of African Greatness.’ The exhibition, which opens at the National Museum of African Art on November 16, celebrates history’s heroes, from the legendary to the relatively unsung. The 50 works on display will be paired with historical figures who embody the qualities depicted in the works. [Washingtonian]

 

Okwui Enwezor. Courtesy of Chika Okeke-Agulu.

 

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