This past weekend I finally made my way to the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in Columbus Circle to see The Global Africa Project. The show is a terrific survey of over 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean. The official press release and details are below. Trust me when I say this show is a MUST SEE for everyone! Kudos to co-curators Lowery Stokes Sims, MAD’s Charles Bronfman International Curator, and Leslie King-Hammond, Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA for their wildly successful exhibition and curatorial tour de force. I am humbled and inspired by the works in the show as well as the works of the curators themselves.
See the show and take a friend.
An unprecedented exhibition exploring the broad spectrum of contemporary African art, design, and craft worldwide, The Global Africa Project which premiered at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) this past November. Featuring the work over 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean, The Global Africa Project surveys the rich pool of new talent emerging from the African continent and its influence on artists around the world. Through ceramics, basketry, textiles, jewelry, furniture, and fashion, as well as selective examples of architecture, photography, painting, and sculpture, the exhibition actively challenges conventional notions of a singular African aesthetic or identity, and reflects the integration of African art and design without making the usual distinctions between “professional” and “artisan.”
Co-curated by Lowery Stokes Sims, MAD’s Charles Bronfman International Curator, and Leslie King-Hammond, Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA, The Global Africa Project showcases a diverse group of creators, including artists who are experimenting with the fusion of contemporary practices and traditional materials, and design collectives that are using their creative output as engines of local economic change. Featured artists range from such well-known figures as Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Kehinde Wiley, and Fred Wilson; to Nigerian-born, London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu, and Paris-based Togolese/Brazilian designer Kossi Aguessy, who has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent, Cartier, and Swarovski; to the Gahaya Links Weaving Association, a collaborative of Hutu and Tutsi women working in traditional basketry techniques in Rwanda.
In order to present various dimensions of the work of African artists and artisans worldwide, The Global Africa Project is organized around several thematic ideas. These include: the phenomenon of intersecting cultures and cultural fusion; the branding and co-opting of cultural references; how art and design is promoted in the international market and the creative global scene; the use of local materials; and the impact of art-making on the economic and social condition of local communities. In addition to providing a broad framework for the exhibition’s organization, these themes will encourage audiences to discern how global African artists grapple with the commodification of art production and the meaning and value of art in society-an increasingly significant issue for nations in a rapidly changing global context.
Click here for a complete list of artists in The Global Africa Project.
All educators will appreciate the Teacher Resource Packet – A collection of images and questions for discussions, with bibliography and glossary of terms, designed for educators k-12, but made available to all. Click here to view online.
The Global Africa Project is made possible by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation as part of its International Cultural Engagement initiative, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and a group of private donors. Major support for the exhibition catalogue has been provided by Basil Alkazzi, who gave additional funds in memory of Judi Hoffman.
Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
closed Mondays and major holidays
High school students with ID (excluding groups): FREE
Children 12 and under (excluding groups): FREE
Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Pay-What-You-Wish