Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue: Washington, D.C., United States

April 11, 2020 - November 29, 2020 Exhibition April 11, 2020 November 29, 2020 Europe/London Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue: Washington, D.C., United States

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa is the first major exhibition addressing the scope of Saharan trade and the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe from the eighth to sixteenth centuries. Weaving stories about interconnected histories, the exhibition showcases the objects and ideas that connected at the crossroads of the medieval Sahara and celebrates West Africa’s historic and under-recognised global significance. Presenting more than 250 artworks spanning five centuries and a vast geographic expanse, the exhibition features unprecedented loans from partner institutions in Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria, many of which will be seen in North America for the first time.


Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art

11150 East Boulevard: Cleveland, United States

July 11, 2020 - November 29, 2020 Exhibition July 11, 2020 November 29, 2020 Europe/London Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art 11150 East Boulevard: Cleveland, United States

Second Careers explores the connections between historical African art and contemporary practices through a selection of exemplary highlights from the museum’s African collection and loaned works. CMA objects from nine cultures in Central and West Africa—male and female figures and masks, masquerade costume, a hunter’s tunic, and a prestige throne—are juxtaposed with large-scale installations, sculptures, and photographs by six leading contemporary African artists. The exhibition considers the status of canonical African art objects when they begin their “second careers” upon entering museum collections.


Wo ist Afrika?

Linden-Museum, Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde, Hegelplatz 1: Stuttgart, Germany

March 16, 2019 - December 31, 2020 Exhibition March 16, 2019 December 31, 2020 Europe/London Wo ist Afrika? Linden-Museum, Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde, Hegelplatz 1: Stuttgart, Germany

The Linden-Museum Stuttgart presents its new permanent exhibition "Wo ist Afrika?" from 16 March 2019. "Wo ist Afrika?" invites the visitor to critically explore and re-evaluate contexts and narratives associated to Linden-Museum Stuttgart’s collection of artefacts from the African continent. The exhibition shows how the collections were established, how they developed over time, and which rules of classification they adhered to. A large part of the objects on display were acquired from Cameroon, the Congo basin, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania between the end of 19th and the first half of the 20th, at the height of the European "Scramble for Africa". "Wo ist Afrika?" examines stories and histories inscribed into these objects and what they can mean for us today. The exhibition opens up a space of cultural creativity, which allows the visitors to near themselves to a wider understanding of culture. "Wo ist Afrika?" has a process-oriented approach, questioning the authority of the museum by showing a multitude of parallel narratives and asking important questions addressed to our contemporary societal cohabitation.


Not Visible to the Naked Eye: Inside a Senufo Helmet Mask

1717 North Harwood, Texas: Dallas, United States

November 23, 2019 - January 03, 2021 Exhibition November 23, 2019 January 03, 2021 Europe/London Not Visible to the Naked Eye: Inside a Senufo Helmet Mask 1717 North Harwood, Texas: Dallas, United States

The DMA’s Conservation and Arts of Africa departments, in an exciting and cutting-edge collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center, will present CT scans of a Senufo helmet mask from the Museum’s African art collection. This kind of mask is worn like a helmet by a medium at initiations, funerals, harvest celebrations and secret events conducted by the powerful male-only Komo society, which has traditionally maintained social and spiritual harmony in Senufo villages in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Visible attachments on the mask include a female figure, cowrie shells, and imported glassware. The CT-scans reveal unexpected materials beneath the surface and objects contained in the attached animal horns that empower the mask.


Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS: London, United Kingdom

August 11, 2020 - January 24, 2021 Exhibition August 11, 2020 January 24, 2021 Europe/London Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS: London, United Kingdom

The first-ever UK exhibition by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, this epic cycle of new work will explore an imagined ancient myth, with an immersive soundscape by artist Peter Adjaye. Toyin Ojih Odutola, recognising the pen as a ‘writing tool first’, plays with the idea that drawing can be a form of storytelling. Working exclusively with drawing materials including pastel and charcoal, she approaches her process of drawing as an investigative practice. Ojih Odutola proposes speculative fictions, inviting the viewer to enter her vision of an uncannily familiar yet fantastical world. Drawing on an eclectic range of references, from ancient history to popular culture to contemporary politics, Ojih Odutola encourages the viewer to piece together the fragments of the stories that she presents.


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 48009 : Bilbao, Spain

September 25, 2020 - January 31, 2021 Exhibition September 25, 2020 January 31, 2021 Europe/London Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 48009 : Bilbao, Spain

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. In order to capture the unique moment of the flow of consciousness, each one is completed in a single sitting. Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings often allude to historic European portraiture – notably Thomas Gainsborough, Francisco de Goya, John Singer Sargent and Édouard Manet – yet in subject matter and technique her approach is decidedly contemporary. 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.