The Lay of the Land: New Photography from Africa

The Walther Collection Project Space, New York, United States
10 Sep 2015 - 16 Jan 2016

Mame-Diarra Niang, Satellite I, from Metropolis, 2015

Mame-Diarra Niang, Satellite I, from Metropolis, 2015

The Walther Collection is pleased to inaugurate a new multi-year exhibition series on contemporary photography and video art from Africa, to be presented in thematic exhibitions in New York from 2015 to 2017.

Expanding the collection’s longstanding focus on African photography, this program features a diverse range of emerging artists who are exploring new visions of social identity in Africa and the African Diaspora. The first exhibition, The Lay of the Land, opens on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at The Walther Collection Project Space in New York.

The Lay of the Land brings together three young artists who are examining the effects of the built environment on contemporary African landscapes. Born after the liberation movements that swept Africa in the 1960s, Edson Chagas, François-Xavier Gbré, and Mame-Diarra Niang investigate the promises and failures of the postcolonial city. Uniting their works is a vivid attention to color and form. The artists systematically portray monumental civic buildings or banal apartment complexes, imposing avenues or lonely corners, profiling spaces discovered on travels within the African continent and abroad.

Their images of physical structures—in progress, in ruins, or incomplete—are encoded with the values, dreams, contradictions, and politics of urban life. In The Lay of the Land, rather than providing purely documentary statements, Chagas, Gbré, and Niang pose open-ended questions about the changing visual narratives of the environment.

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10, from 6pm-8pm


The Walther Collection Project Space
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718
New York, NY 10001


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