National Museum of African Art announces Earth Matters. Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

. March 16, 2013 . 0 Comments

National Museum of African Art announces Earth Matters. Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa an exhibition on view April 22 through to Jan. 5, 2014.

Earth MattersEarth Matters: George Osodi 2009

Curated by Karen E. Milbourne, “Earth Matters” is the first major exhibition exploring the ways in which African artists and communities mediate their relationship with the land upon which they live, work and frame their days.

The exhibition investigates the intersection between art and knowledge and brings together approximately 100 exceptional works of art from the turn of the 19th to 21st centuries. It is divided into five thematic sections: The Material Earth, Power of the Earth, Imagining the Underground, Strategies of the Surface and Art as Environmental Action. A sixth section, Earth Works, is the first installation of land art by three artists to be assembled outside in the Smithsonian Gardens and on the National Mall. A separate sculpture by Ledelle Moe (part of section two of the exhibition) will also be on display outside of the museum. These categories provide vantage points from which to examine the most poignant relationships that Africans have with the land, whether it be to earth as a sacred or medicinal material, as something uncovered by mining or claimed by burial, as a surface to be interpreted and turned to for inspiration, or as an environment to be protected.

The exhibition includes works by internationally recognized and emerging contemporary artists from the continent and diaspora who draw on the land for inspiration, including El Anatsui, Ghada Amer, Sammy Baloji, Wangechi Mutu, Allan deSouza, Ingrid Mwangi and William Kentridge. Exhibition highlights include:

First installation of land art by African artists in the Smithsonian Enid A. Haupt Garden

One-of-a-kind Punu reliquary from Gabon

Zigua/Pare healing figure from Tanzania

First time the National Museum of African Art is reuniting its rare Yoruba Onile figure with its mate from the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal, Netherlands

Three legendary Bocio figures by French artist Jacque Kerchache will be displayed alongside a painting by the Benin artist, Tchif

More than 40 artists from 24 African nations

More information: africa.si.edu

Category: Museum News

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