Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Global Africa Project

This past week I went to New York do do some thesis research at the Museum of Art and Design. Their mission, as stated on their website, is to "[collect, display, and interpret] objects that document contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art, and design." An early leader in the push to promote and preserve studio craft, the Museum of Art and Design remains a leader in sharing innovation in traditional methods and materials.

While there, I went through their exhibition, The Global Africa Project. An amazing collection of work, it features artists exploring what it means to be African around the world. Some of the works are funny, some are quite somber, some are innovative, some are functional, and some just left me standing with my mouth open, staring at the concept and craftsmanship. The statement for the exhibition on the website states that it "actively challenges conventional notions of a singular African aesthetic or identity..." The website features selected works from the exhibition, but if you are in New York, or get the chance to go before May 15th, 2011, go see this.

One of the ones I found most intriguing was Kim Schmahmann's Apart-Hate: A People Divider. Through a variety of media, the artist interprets the growth of apartheid in South Africa and the laws and their years are represented in the boxes falling in the left corner. The back of the work (not pictured) is also an example of the brilliant technical work this artist is capable of with woods, veneers, and metals. I stared at this work for a long time, absorbing its message as well as its beauty.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures, and I had trouble taking pictures from the museum's website, so please, go look for yourself and find your favorite piece.

1 comment:

  1. The Kim Schmahmann piece looks amazing. I've always loved his Bureau of Bureaucracy at the Renwick Gallery (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2010/08/step-into-the-bureau-of-bureaucracy-at-the-renwick-gallery/)