Goodman Gallery presents artists who explore the idea of relationality through the complex legacies of colonialism and the production of contemporary imaginaries of people and place. Their work considers the connection between people, place and history through their work, seeking to interrogate the social and geopolitical relationships and structures that make up our world.
Featured artists: Ghada Amer, ruby onyinyechi amanze, El Anatsui, Candice Breitz, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Leonardo Drew, Carlos Garaicoa, David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, Alfredo Jaar, Remy Jungerman, William Kentridge, Misheck Masamvu, Cassi Namoda, Shirin Neshat, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Naama Tsabar, Clive van den Berg and Sue Williamson
Ghada Amer (b. Cairo, 1963) has a wide-ranging practice spanning painting, cast sculpture, ceramics, works on paper, and garden and mixed-media installations.
Amer is celebrated this season with four concurrent gallery exhibitions in London, New York and Valencia, marking an unprecedented opportunity to experience new and historical works by the artist across continents. The artist’s retrospective A Woman’s Voice Is Revolution was organised by Mucem in 2022/3 across three venues in Marseille.
Group shows and biennials include: the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and the Venice Biennales of 1999 (where she won the UNESCO Prize), 2005 and 2007—she was given a mid career retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York in 2008.
Collections include: The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; the Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and the Samsung Museum, Seoul
In its entirety, Digest Archive is a multi-channel video installation consisting of 1,001 videotapes that are permanently sealed in polypropylene video sleeves. The analogue contents carried on each buried videotape remain unrevealed. The series of painted tapes is arranged on shallow wooden racks that evoke the display aesthetics of video rental stores, commemorating a mode of image consumption that has since slipped into obsolescence.
Each painted tape in the Digest Archive features a single verb drawn from the title of a film that was in circulation during the era of home video. Collectively, the verbs describe an embodied subjectivity that has come under increasing threat in the digital era. First debuted on the Sharjah Biennial 14 (in early 2019), the Digest Archive was completed in late 2020 and shown in full scale for the first time at the Akademie Der Künste in Berlin during 2021. Parallel to the production of the Digest Archive, a limited number of smaller unique works was conceived. Each of the smaller works draws on verbs catalogued in the archive, to propose an open-ended narrative via the selection and juxtaposition of particular verbs: In this instance, the five chosen verbs evoke the violence that has been visited upon those who have been subject to colonialism, invasion, occupation, political domination and various forms of expropriation across history: To capture, to divide, to conquer, to control, to possess...
For Breitz, the verbs are collectively descriptive of “the things that white people have done and continue to do.”
With a career spanning five decades, El Anatsui b. 1944, Ghana) is one of the most important contemporary artists — awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale alongside Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat in 2017, as well as the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Venice Biennale’s highest honour, in 2015. He was also included in TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2023. In October this year Anatsui unveiled the Hyundai Commission at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall which will be on view until April 2024.
Anatsui, well-known for his large-scale sculptures composed of discarded materials, transforms these simple materials into complex assemblages that create distinctive visual impact. Anatsui’s use of these materials reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent while transcending the limitations of place. His work interrogates the history of colonialism and draws connections between consumption, waste and the environment.
His retrospective Gravity and Grace: Monumental Work by El Anatsui was organized by the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio in 2012 and travelled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (2013); then to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Florida (2014); and concluded at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California (2015). In 2019, El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, a major career survey curated by Okwui Enwezor, opened at Haus der Kunst and travelled to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Kunstmuseum Bern and Guggenheim Bilbao in 2020.
Leonardo Drew (b. 1961, USA) is known for his significant installations and sculptures which explore the tension between order and chaos. His work has been seen in major museums worldwide and is currently the subject of a major new commission at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK on view through 2023.
Number 344 and Number 366 demonstrate Drew’s approach to manipulating organic material to create richly detailed works which resemble densely populated cities, urban wastelands or organic forms and evoke the mutability of the natural world. Both works were shown in the artist’s first solo exhibition on the continent at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg earlier this year.
Leonardo Drew is a New York-based artist and his work is held in public collections around the world, including Tate, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD.
Nicholas Hlobo’s (b. 1975, South Africa) signature techniques include creating hybrid objects by intricately weaving ribbon and leather into crisply primed canvas alongside wood and rubber detritus. He began his career around the end of apartheid in 1994, when there was a new sense of freedom and national pride in South Africa. Hlobo’s subtle commentary on the democratic realities of his home country and concerns with the changing international discourse of art remain at the core of his work.
Khulukazi (2022) and the artist’s new work Umsitho weengwenya (2023) are part of a recent shift in the artist’s practice from a minimal use of acrylic paint to a less inhibited approach, incorporating the medium with signature materials, particularly ribbon stitched into the canvas lending a sculptural feel. Each material in the work holds charged associations with cultural, gendered, sexual and national identity, creating a complex visual narrative that references ideas around post-apartheid nationhood, the self and bodily healing.
Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956, Chile) is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who considers social injustices and human suffering through thought-provoking installations. His humanitarian work has been recognised by the prestigious Hiroshima Art Prize in 2023 celebrating his work that have raised awareness of social injustice. In 2020 Jaar was awarded the Hasselblad Prize - the most significant prize for photography and lens based practices.
Jaar’s work has developed as a means of intervention - isolating specific adverts, articles or magazine covers and displaying them anew within a museum or gallery context. At times, the artist alters the image to change the intended message.
Jaar currently has a solo exhibition at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago with work that focuses on the impact of the 1973 coup d'état in his country of birth.
I Ask this Chair, I Ask this Table, Why? comes from the libretto in Kentridge's new theatre production in the making, titled The Great Yes, the Great No, in which the artist uses the journey of a ship from Marseille to Martinique as a prompt for unpacking power, colonialism and migration. The text for the libretto is depicted to the left of the drawing. The presence of the flowers also has a political resonance, with Kentridge cutting flowers from his garden, previously his father Sydney Kentridge’s garden; a space that had key African figures pass through it. The work is also influenced by the artist’s interest in Manet’s later paintings of flowers in water.
Apron (2022) is part of an accumulation of elemental symbols within Kentridge’s broader practice. This series of bronze sculptures functions as a form of visual dictionary, giving thought to form. The sculptures are symbols and ‘glyphs’, a repertoire of everyday objects or suggested words and icons, many of which have been used repeatedly across previous projects. The glyphs can be arranged to construct sculptural sentences and rearranged to deny meaning.
Painter Misheck Masamvu (b. 1980, Zimbabwe) is widely regarded as one of the leading figures of the Harare painting school. Trained in Germany, Masamvu continues to live and work in Zimbabwe which provides rich inspiration for his gestural painting.
Entangled and Euphoric form part of a new body of work that combines striking colour with a distinct expressionist style to establish a grammar of chaotic compositions, gestural brushwork and perpetually altered or mutated figures often depicted in states of flux or transformation.
Masamvu’s works are held in collections across the globe including the Khouri Art Foundation, Dubai; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Pigozzi Collection, Geneva; Taguchi Art Collection, Tokyo; X Museum, Beijing; and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town.
Notable solo and group exhibitions include Inside Out, Fondation Grandpour l’Art, Geneva (2022); Talk to me while I’m eating, Goodman Gallery, London (2021); Witness: Afro Perspectives, El Espacio 23, Miami (2020); Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami (2020); and Two Together, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2020).
Over the past four decades, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (b. 1962, UK) has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work examines race, class, and the construction of cultural identity through a sharp political commentary on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories.
Shonibare’s exhibition of new work African Bird Magic was on display in the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management lounges at Frieze London and Frieze Masters as well as in the Frieze viewing room. Earlier this year he was selected as part of the official Nigerian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia from April 2024. In 2024, a solo exhibition of his work will be presented at the Serpentine Galleries, London.
Modern Magic IV and Modern Magic (Centaur) form part of the artist’s series of vibrantly coloured, hand stitched quilts that depict the African artefacts held in the private collections of influential modernist artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Derain. These works, the artist considers how African aesthetics have shaped Western Modernist expression. The Modern Magic series responds to the widely acknowledged influence that African imagery had on major twentieth century artists and on entire Western art movements, such as Cubism, Dada and Surrealism.
The artist’s work is held in notable museum collections including Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town; Norval Foundation, Cape Town; Tate, London; the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi; Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Recent survey exhibitions and retrospectives include Yinka Shonibare CBE: Planets in My Head; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Michigan (2022) and Yinka Shonibare CBE: End of Empire; Museum der Moderne; Salzburg (2021).
Clive van den Berg (b. 1956, Zambia) is a Johannesburg-based artist, curator and designer. Working across various mediums throughout the course of his prolific forty-year career, which has focused on pioneering the insertion of queer perspectives into the larger rewrite of South African history, Van den Berg has produced a range of works unified by his enduring focus on five interrelated themes: memory, light, landscape, desire and body.
Landscape Event XIII formed part of Van den Berg’s solo in Cape Town this year, and continues his engagement with the idea of the land as a porous receptacle for lived experience. In these works the artist continues to reflect on his own complex relationship to landscape with this body of work communicating a more visceral articulation of this engagement. This is embedded in the quality of the paint as much as the construction of the paintings and the abstract imagery that emerges on the canvas.