The Armory Show Focus: African Perspectives

Participating Galleries Part I

Participating Galleries Part I

Participating Galleries Part I

Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa, Founded 2013

Emmanuel Tegene, Born 1985, Booth # 544

Armory Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

Emanuel Tegene was trained at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design in Addis Ababa, where he still works and lives. While at Alle, he worked as a cartoonist, later developing projects as diverse as movie storyboards and book covers. These projects pair with an affinity toward recording his surroundings through drawing. Like many contemporary Ethiopian artists, Tegene is chiefly occupied with exploring the possibilities created by artists who are responding to the changing cultural dynamics of the society around them.

Armory Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

At Armory Focus 2016, Tegene showcases recent large-scale paintings, with a particular emphasis on works inspired by a trip to Israel where Tegene went to stay with his father while working in the technology industry. Recent solo exhibitions of Emmanuel Tegene include Art and Social Commentary: Here and There, Tobya Art Gallery, Seattle (2015); Emanuel Tegene, Galani Gallery, Addis Ababa (2014) and Angels and Demons, Alliance Ethio-Française, Addis Ababa (2014). He has been featured in group shows at the Italian Cultural Institute, Addis Ababa (2012); at the Ethiopian National Gallery (2012) and at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Museum (2013).


Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa: Emanuel Tegene

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BLANK, Cape Town, Founded 2006

Turiya Magadlela, Born 1978, Booth # 537

Armory Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

Johannesburg-based artist Turiya Magadlela uses ordinary materials—from pantyhose and sheeting to correctional service uniforms. By stretching and folding these materials across wooden frames, Magadlela creates abstract compositions.

Armory Focus: Installation View

For her most recent body of work, Kaffersheet, on view at Armory Focus 2016 Magadlela juxtaposes the traditional Xhosa cloth, with prison uniform cloth. “Today,” states the artist, “you can either sleep in your Woolworth sheets or in prison sheets; one can never tell of a time when physical freedom is lost. So with thoughts of all criminals since the 1800s, I paint these sheets.”

blank, Cape Town: Turiya Magadlela

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Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Founded 2012

Ato Malinda, Born 1981, Booth # 546

Armory Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

Kenya-born, Rotterdam-based artist Ato Malinda explores various mediums ranging from painting and drawing to installation, video and performance, exploring themes of colonialism, race, gender, and the ontology of feminist narratives.

“Imagine an ‘outing.’ Not an outing as a noun, but an outing as a verb. ‘Outing’ as a colloquialism for the LGBT community. A verb that can both describe the notion of freedom and simultaneously describe a violation upon one’s freedom. Imagine being ‘outed,’ or perhaps, coming out. But into what does one come out? If queerness is not a phenotype, then is coming out not a singular event, but instead a series of negotiations? Or is there, in fact, a queer aesthetic; what does queer visibility?” This is how Ato Malinda, discusses the conundrums of the intersectionality of lesbian, African Diaspora and queer aesthetics in her work presented at Armory Focus 2016.

Armory Focus, Installation View

Armory Focus, Installation View

By presenting video and photographic performance within a complex black box, Malinda invites the audience to experience her subjectivity with the help of designer and sculptor Eto Otitigbe. Malinda and Otitigbe’s collaborative series incorporates architecture and design into installations for performance and video work.

The works on view are three video installations as well as Malinda’s collaboration with New York photographer Daniel Jack Lyons.

Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi: Ato Malinda

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Echo Art, Lagos, Founded 2013

Namsa Leuba, Born 1982, Booth # 560

Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

Namsa Leuba is a Swiss-Guinean, South Africa-based photographer. In her diverse photographic practice, she examines the representation of African identity through Western imagination. Spanning documentary, fashion, and performance, Leuba creates visual imagery that explores the signs and symbols of her cultural heritage—from rituals and ceremonies to statuettes and masquerades. Whether executed on location in the artist’s ancestral hometown of Guinea or a constructed studio environment, Leuba’s projects combine an anthropological interest in traditional customs with an aesthetic that is informed by fashion and design.

Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

Adopting a theatrical approach with careful attention to props, colors and gestures, Namsa Leuba questions the relationship between fact and fiction, action and representation, as well as the sacred and the profane. In July 2015, Leuba was an artist-in-residence at Echo Art in Lagos, where she produced a new photographic series, which is now on view in her Armory Focus 2016 solo presentation.

Namsa Leuba graduated with a Master in Art Direction at the University of Art and Design in Lausanne. Recent exhibitions include That Art Fair Cape Town (2015); Photo Quai – Museum Quai Brainly, Paris (2015); Making Africa— A Continent of Contemporary Design, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2015); Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria (2014); Photography Festival, Canada (2014); and Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea (2014).

Echo Art, Lagos: Namsa Leuba

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Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, Founded 2012

François-Xavier Gbré, Born 1978, Booth # 542

Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

French-Ivorian artist photographer Francois-Xavier Gbré explores new territories by taking in his surroundings. Gbré’s photographs reveal passages and traces where an unexpected object or detail is always present and at the same time recalls a certain history. His explorations are as much aesthetic as historical and social, concerned with territory, urban mutations and architectural resilience.

Focus: Installation View

Armory Focus: Installation View

At Armory Focus 2016, Gbré shows a selection of different works, in both large and regular format, produced in diverse locations including Senegal, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.

After graduating in Photography from the École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques, Montpellier in 2002, Gbré trained with established photographers in the fields of Fashion and Design. His works were on view in the group exhibition The Lay of the Land, Walther Collection Project Space, New York (2015) and in the solo shows The Past is Foreign Country, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College (2015) as well as Abroad, Echo Art, Lagos (2014). Gbré currently lives and works in Abidjan.

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan: François-Xavier Gbré

 

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