William Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for his charcoal drawings, animated films, theatre and opera direction, tapestries, sculptures and large-scale performance pieces. Bridging the gaps between draftsmanship, dance and literature, his work – epic in both scale and ambition – responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. Born in Johannesburg, Kentridge’s art developed against the backdrop of South Africa’s apartheid regime and the censorship of the 1980s. His early work often depicts what he has described as the “damaged logic” and absurdity of the era, and the country’s erasure of history. This ambitious exhibition – the biggest Kentridge exhibition in the UK to date – spans all 12 rooms in the RA’s Main Galleries, spilling out into our public spaces, and includes new work created in response to the galleries. Presenting a sweeping overview of Kentridge’s 40-year career, it includes rarely seen works from the 1980s up to the present day, revealing an artist at the height of his creative powers.
The Centre des monuments nationaux and the Al Thani Collection Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of the museum space dedicated to showing artworks from the Al Thani Collection at the Hôtel de la Marine on 18th November 2021. The exhibition – Treasures of the Al Thani Collection – will showcase a rich diversity of approximately 120 artworks drawn from across the Collection, bringing together exceptional works of art from antiquity to modern times. Celebrating the unifying force of art across cultures, it will juxtapose superlative works of art from different civilisations, sharing with the public high points of creative expression across periods and geographies.
The colonial occupation of the Kingdom of Benin by British troops in February 1897 marked the end of one of the most powerful West African kingdoms. In consequence thousands of works of art made of bronze, ivory and wood were looted from the royal palace and dispersed worldwide. In view of the planned restitution, the MARKK’s Benin collection will now be presented in its entirety. In addition to informing on the British colonial war and the current restitution debate, the show offers different perspectives on the original meaning of the objects, their outstanding artistic quality, and their significance for African art and cultural history. A specific focus is given on the provenance of the collection and its intertwined history with the Hamburg trade networks.
For nearly 3,000 years a series of kingdoms flourished in ancient Nubia (present-day southern Egypt and northern Sudan). The region was rich in sought-after resources such as gold and ivory and its trade networks reached Egypt, Greece, Rome, and central Africa. This exhibition presents highlights from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's extensive collection of Nubian objects and features superbly crafted jewelry, metalwork, and sculpture exhibiting the wealth and splendor of Nubian society.
The first major survey of the celebrated London-based painter. Widely considered to be one of the most important painters of her generation, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. Her paintings often allude to historic European portraiture – notably Francisco de Goya, John Singer Sargent and Édouard Manet – yet in subject matter and technique, her approach is decidedly contemporary. Through her focus on the depiction of imagined black characters, Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings raise important questions of identity and representation. This exhibition will bring together over 80 paintings and works on paper from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of the artist’s career to date.
Africa Fashion will celebrate the irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashion creatives. Over 250 objects spanning iconic mid-twentieth century designers to the present day, complemented by photographs and textiles from the V&A’s collections, will explore the vitality and innovation of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself. The V&A will explore how music and the visual arts also formed a key part of Africa’s cultural renaissance, laying the foundation for today’s fashion revolution. Following a major public call-out, new acquisitions highlighting African diasporic fashion trends of the day, paired with personal testimonies, will go on show for the first time. Alongside, Africa Fashion will highlight the new generation of ground-breaking designers, collectives, stylists and fashion photographers working across the continent today, transforming global fashions as we know them.