STEVENSON Johannesburg present Ode to Black, a solo exhibition by Serge Alain Nitegeka, his fifth with the gallery.
Black is the colour of mourning and melancholy. Black epitomises stealth; it is central to clandestine ventures and cool lonesomeness. Black is the colour of executive cars, gadgets, accessories and clothing. Eternally beautiful, Black is the colour of the universe, the infinite deep dark unknown abyss. Black is a wormhole, mysterious and ever-receding, absorbing everything around it and revealing nothing. Black is all colours mixed together, perhaps the sum of the visible. Black is the only colour without light, though full and empty.
Black is a colour reserved unto itself. It is comfortable in its own nature, unruffled and confident. It tries very hard to stay anonymous but inquiring eyes are drawn to it; spectators cannot resist it. It is not popular. It reveals little because it is neither warm nor cold. It is an enigmatic pigment.
The colour black presents itself ambiguously in meaning, like the abstract forms in my practice. Ode to Black explores the multitude of meanings that the colour black invites in my work thus far, in paintings, sculptures and installations.
Nitegeka was born in Burundi in 1983 and lives in Johannesburg. He won the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2010, and in the same year he was selected for the Dakar Biennale, where he won a Fondation Jean Paul Blachère prize. In addition to Stevenson Johannesburg and Cape Town, Nitegeka has held solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery and Boesky East in New York, in 2016 and 2014; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (2015); and Le Manège gallery, French Institute, Dakar in 2012. Recent group exhibitions include Exchange at Galerie Hans Meyer, Düsseldorf (2016); I Love You Sugar Kane at the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean in Port Louis, Mauritius (2016); A story within a story…, at the 8th Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (2015); What remains is tomorrow at the South African Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness at The Harvey B Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina (2015); This House, part of Nouvelles vagues at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); My Joburg at La Maison Rouge, Paris and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2013) and The Space Between Us at ifa Galleries in Berlin in 2013.