The Global Africa Project

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.

Artist/curator Derrick Adams before a Lyle Ashton Harris piece.

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.

8 Responses

  1. Thanks Sharon, You are a wealth of information. I will be sure to check out this exhibit. — Lynda

  2. I WANT THAT CAR!!!!!!!

    I am so excited for these artists and especially for my good friend Xenobia! Got to get there as soon as posssible.

  3. I never cease to be overwhelmed by the enormous array of beautifully talented and spirited folks that Sharon calls friends!
    Thank you sister friend for sharing your exciting experience at the Museum of Art and Design.This wonderful list of creative designers delicately express parts of their souls through their art and these sensational images have been indelibly imprinted into my memory bank.

  4. WOW! Thanks Sharon… I must add this exhibit to my “must do” list before it closes.

  5. Oh, I HATE not being in New York when I get things like this! Definitely reposting, this looks like it’s not to be missed!

  6. I was there. It is a true representation of talent that exists in our community. It will be up for six months. so go with family and friends and see it over and over.

  7. thanks for this post, sharon. ralph, ralphie, and i went with another couple and their toddler son. we had an amazing time at the museum. what a terrific exhibition – and what a lovely space. we ate lunch up in the museum cafeteria (wowsa – snazzy!), and then headed over to 5th avenue to look in store windows and kick off the holiday season. we had an amazing day – and so thanks again for telling us about the wonderful work our sister and brother artists have done.



    • i’m so glad to hear that! yes, they have done a magnificent job with the new space. happy holidays!

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