An absolute must-see exhibition, The Global Africa Project is on view at the Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle through May 2011. I have anticipated this show for a while, as the works of my friends Xenobia Bailey and Cheryl R. Riley are included, but I was unprepared for the magnitude of the unprecedented installation of the design, art and craft of Africa and its diaspora. As I entered the opening celebration, I was immediately struck by the opportunity to view up close, the Ndebele BMW painted by South African artist Esther Mahlangu which I’d only seen heretofore online.
Esther Mahlangu and her BMW 525i Art Car.
The very well-attended fête bustled with artists and patrons exploring the expansive three-floor installation of work from over fifty artists including Chakaia Booker, Stephen Burks, Nick Cave, Meshac Gaba, Lyle Ashton Harris, Odili Donald Odita, Duro Olowu, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Ike Ude, Kehinde Wiley and MacArthur Fellow, Fred Wilson. Read the complete list of participating artists.
Kudos to co-curators Lowery Stokes Sims, Charles Bronfman, MAD’s International Curator, and Leslie King-Hammond, Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) Definitely pick up a copy of the catalogue for this show and support this revitalized institution by becoming a member.
Satch Hoyt, “Rimology,” 2009. Chrome wheel rims with soundscape. Satch.
Black Coffee: Jacques van der Watt and Danica Lepen, “Mercedes Benz South Africa Award Installation,” 2009. Polyspandex robe, wood on elongated mannequins.
iona rozeal brown, “my e.a.s.y. – for Octavia” (after Kitagawa UtaMaro’s ‘The Young Daughter of a Townsman and Her Lover with Shamisen Beside’ and ‘The Lovers’ from Utamukura’s ‘The Poem of the Pillow) 2009. Acrylic, pen on wood panel.
Xenobia Bailey and her “Zulu Queen Harvest Coat,” 1991, Acrylic, cotton 4-ply yarn, glass beads, mirrors, buttons; single-stitch crocheted.
Sheila Bridges, “Harlem Toile de Jouy,” 2010, Wallpaper, glassware, plates.
Left, Algernon Miller in collaboration with Sanaa Gateja and the Kwetu Afrika Womens Association Angels – KAWAA, detail from “Change 2010,” Beads fabricated from recycled Barack Obama presidential campaign literature. Right, Victor Harris, Big Chief of the Fi Yi Yi Mardi Gras Indian tribe, “Spirit of Fi Yi Yi,” 2010, Cardboard, cloth, feathers, beads, sequins.
Clockwise: Cheryl R. Riley, “Dogon Chair 1,” 1997, Poplar, amber, beads, brass tacks, copper pipes, powder, pennies, wire; Former 6-year member of the board, Cheryl was instrumental in planning the relocation of the former American Craft Museum from their Lincoln Center digs to the modern space on Columbus Circle and renaming it The Museum of Art and Design; Detail from Cheryl’s remarkable “Elevation Mirror I: Arizona/New Mexico, “2000, Honduran mahogany, beveled mirror, brass tacks, found and made objects.