Goodman Gallery returns to the Miami Design District for the third year, taking over a large space in the iconic Buick Building. Our seasonal pop-up gallery will showcase blue chip works with a focus on artists hailing from or with connections to the Global South.
ruby onyinyechi amanze | Ghada Amer | El Anatsui | Carlos Garaicoa | David Goldblatt | Nicholas Hlobo | Alfredo Jaar | Remy Jungerman | William Kentridge | Kapwani Kiwanga | Naama Tsabar
ruby onyinyechi amanze
you looked for a beginning but there was none, is a mixed-media drawing coalescing imaginary places, constructed spaces and a unique cast of characters that float, dance, stretch and interact with each other. Through this work, amanze establishes a contemplative dialogue in a quest to materialize her explorations of displacement, dislocation and belonging. By cutting, dicing, sampling, rearranging and mashing together, amanze composes images that articulate free play as an act of revolution. In this work, lines cut through space and multiple sheets of paper are transferred and layered to form complex spatial configurations.
With a career spanning five decades, El Anatsui is an internationally renowned contemporary artist; awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in 2017, as well as the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Venice Biennale’s highest honour, in 2015. Anatsui is best known for his ability to meticulously transform simple materials into complex assemblages that create distinctive visual impact.
In Drying Line strings protrude outward. These freeflowing lines are in contrast to the more structured lines found in other works, motioning a sense of relaxation. The work combines warm and cooler tones balancing vigour and noise against quietude. Through this work, Anatsui contemplates the tension of the energy he observes outside his studio in Tema, Ghana — filled with people during the day and completely dead in the night.
Portraits of the Women that I Know is an ongoing series of portraits that Ghada Amer started in 2013 and that includes a self-portrait. Each one consists of two superimposed elements: the painted portrait and a statement repeated on the canvas from top to bottom, embroidered with thread. On the Portrait of Ellen for instance, we read: “After all we are constantly being told how to look how to age how to eat how to act can’t we at least think what we want.” Words and painting vie for the audience’s attention. Anne Creissels problematizes the relationship between the two mediums in Amer’s work, reflecting on the difficulty of reading and looking at the same time. In the case of the portraits, do viewers search for resemblance with the person whose portrait it is or do they instead become readers as they attempt to decipher the statements?
In 2014, Amer expanded her repertoire to include ceramics. For the painterly, image-driven ceramics, such as The Girl in the Box, the artist uses clay as a flat surface to create a link with the imagery that populates her paintings. In so doing, Amer expands her mixed-media repertoire onto this medium, imbuing these works with the same loaded commentary as her canvases and works on pape
NOLAN OSWALD DENNIS
“prou(k)n is a false acronym for: Project For the Affirmation of the (K)new - a series of drawings echoing El LIssitzky’s Proun series of paintings.
The prou(k)n series is an effort to find a sketched language that registers the tension between the new, as a move toward the unknown, and the knew, as a move toward recovery of what was lost. In our ongoing project of post-colonial transformation and anti-colonial liberation we are looking for both the return of what we know was taken (dignity, memory, possibility) and simultaneously to transcend the boundaries of all that we know and all that is knowable. This is the double agency of decoloniality.
The prou(k)n series builds a soft language of ganglia and quantum entanglements for thinking with our collective nervous body. These drawings form a gestural vocabulary for an other-worldly protest drawn over analytic diagrams of the post-colonial condition. prou(k)n drawings are knotted signals in the noise of a collective dream (sometimes nightmare) of another world.” - Nolan Oswald Dennis
Garaicoa has developed a multidisciplinary approach to address issues of culture and politics, particularly Cuban, through the study of architecture, urbanism and history. He focuses on a dialogue between art and urban space, investigating the social structure of our cities through their architecture. Using a wide variety of materials and media, Garaicoa has found ways to criticise modernist Utopian architecture and the collapse of 20th century ideologies.
For various years, Garaicoa has been working on a series of black and white mural photographs of different buildings in Havana integrated with thread drawings. In a new turn of this series we find the work Untitled (Cayuelo) (2018) where he moves the eye to the relation of the trees and garden with the city, making an statement about the tension between urbanism and nature.
Kendell Geers’ series Les Fleurs du Mal are titled after a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. Charged with an intense longing and melancholia, these works on paper depict cut flowers whose petals simultaneously take the form of bullet holes or wounds. Severed from their roots and invoking a memento mori, the beauty of these blossoms lies in their fragility.
Geers draws inspiration from the contradictions inherent in his identity as an African artist. In the series, the artist explores the notion of cultural transmission and the process whereby Dutch colonial influences flow into Afrikaans cultural identity. The same seventeenth century morals that permitted, encouraged and profited from colonialism also presided over the culture that gave rise to the Dutch still life tradition. The repetition of an emblem in these works is also inspired by Dutch wax batik fabrics, whose brightly colored patterns are a symbol of African identity yet are designed in Indonesia and produced in the Netherlands.
In the late 1990s Goldblatt began exploring the use of colour in his personal photography. Prompted by a new political dispensation in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as technical advances in digital reproduction, Goldblatt felt that colour best captured his feelings about the time. This work included explorations of land and landscape, people, towns and monuments - all held together by Goldblatt’s fundamental interest in our values as a society, and how we express those values in the marks we make and leave behind.
Goldblatt spent years taking photographs of Johannesburg – of the white areas of the city centre, the comfortable suburbs and the townships on the outskirts of the city. “With a camera, I was for the first time able to expand my experience of other people’s lives. Making portraits of people in Soweto in 1972 was a significant moment for me fundamentally,” said Goldblatt of his 1972 photographic essay.
Goldblatt was engaged in the conditions of society and the values by which people lived, rather than the climactic outcomes of those conditions. He intended to discover and probe these values through the medium of photography.
Dor Guez’s new series of prints, titled Amid Imperial Grids (2022), presents manipulated negative images of the first modern maps of Palestine dating back to 1885. Based on these maps, two geographical grids were established at the beginning of the 20th century: “The British Palestine Grid” and “The French Levant Grid”, divided on the map by a thick pink line. Guez removes any human markers from the maps that categorise the landscape, including names of roads, towns, borders, villages, cities, mountains, and valleys.
In Umphanga Wesilokazi Sasentlango, Hlobo uses ribbons and leather on Belgian linen to create organic forms. The work indicates what the artist considers a “slipperiness” to the artmaking process — referencing the aspect of his practice that is formulated on the unconscious. The gestural and free-flowing arrangement of ribbon draws attention to Hlobo’s interest and fascination with water as a source that allows energy to flow. He explains; “Water is central to our existence and everything we are. We are constantly flowing through it.”
Within his practice, Hlobo seeks to capture a feeling (or a thought) which is then illustrated through abstracted forms. Specifically, his work is imbued with meaning through the specific choices of material that have resonance to him — such as leather, copper, bronze and ribbons.
The work takes its name from the best known novel by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. The story explores the inevitable repetition of history, something Jaar says he has witnessed too frequently around the world. The Nixon administration’s financing of the Chilean coup is one example of how the United States dominates world politics and continuously interferes in Latin American affairs. The work's main title is ironically completed by No realmente (“Not really”).
Serra Pelada is an opencast mine, a prodigious pit dug by human hands, the result of a massive influx of self-employed miners to a remote part of northeastern Brazil. The promise of gold lured more than 80 000 garimpeiros from their homes and families, to a life of arduous labour in hazardous conditions. In 1985 Alfredo Jaar traveled to Serra Pelada, and over the course of weeks, he documented these miners and their backbreaking work in the mammoth crater. It was on these bare, muddy, terraced slopes that Jaar photographed and filmed what was to become Gold in the Morning.
The resulting images are a stark portrayal of Promethean repetition; the treacherous, daily descent of the men down the slippery walls and the clambering back up, laden with sacks of sodden earth. Beyond the graphic representation of their toils, the works reveal the humanity of the miners and their suffering. Jaar provides a portal into a hidden and unfamiliar place, dramatic in its scale and topography. In giving ‘visibility to those our world denies it to’, Jaar invites us to examine the social, cultural and political motivations for their labour. This illuminated installation counterbalances the great, faceless demand of the industrialised world with a profusion of faces: the faces of those, in the developing world, who supply.
Remy Jungerman is part of a generation of Afro-Dutch artists whose practice challenges and destabilises Western art historical narratives. By initiating a dialogue between abstract geometric patterns drawn from a multiplicity of visual traditions, the artist presents a peripheral vision that can inform and enrich perspectives on art history.
Pimba AGIDA KAA III is inspired by the essence of the Agida, a long single-headed cylindrical drum from Suriname. The drum produces low toned sounds and is played to honour the earth. While “pimba” refers to the kaolin clay mineral, used in Winti religious tradition as a purification mineral. While the works are suggestive of paintings, they are assemblages on which pimba is layered onto the surface, resulting in intricately textured compositions of straight and curved lines — travelling lines, as if to measure something...distance, place, dislocation, relocation.
Drawing for Self-Portrait as a Coffee Pot (Waterfall) can be considered the most recent addition to Kentridge’s series of Colonial Landscapes from 1995 - 1996. The Colonial Landscape drawings were created for the rear projection of Kentridge and The Handspring Puppet Company’s version of Goethe’s play ‘Faustas in Africa!’ Their source was the nineteenth-century publication Africa and Its Exploration as Told by Its Explorers, which was a two-volume account of the explorations of the continent via Livingstone, Burton and other prominent colonial figures. Explorers typically brought along artists to illustrate their journeys through the continent, which are depicted as empty, uninhabited landscapes. Kentridge redrew these images, incorporating the red and pink marks of a land surveyor, referencing the occupation of colonial explorers and settlers that horribly abused both landscape and people.
Oak Leaf forms part of an accumulation of elemental symbols within Kentridge’s broader practice. This series of bronze sculptures functions as a form of visual dictionary. 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.
“The glyphs started as a collection of ink drawings and paper cut-outs, each on a single page from a dictionary. Previously I had taken a drawing or silhouette and given it just enough body to stand on its own feet - paper, added to cardboard and put on a stand. With the glyphs, I wanted a silhouette with the weight that the shape suggested. A shape not just balancing in space, but filling space. Something to hold in your hand, with both shape and heft.” - William Kentridge
Kiwanga’s interest in the historical and symbolic affect of materials is demonstrated through an arrangement of steelworks covered in sisal fibre. The golden spun fibre, harvested from the botanical plant agave sisalana, is typically used for rope and twine. Kiwanga first encountered sisal whilst travelling through rural Tanzania where this flowering plant is a primary export commodity. Fascinated by the fibre’s colour (yellow and gold) as well as the rhythmic rows of the crop, Kiwanga came to learn more about the plant in relation to Tanzania’s political, economic and social history.
“The agave cactus was first brought illegally to Tanzania by German plantation owners who began to develop the crop on a large scale,” Kiwanga explains in an interview from her new book published by Kunsthaus Pasquart. “At the time of Tanzanian independence, plantations that had once been privately owned were nationalised in an attempt to assure Tanzania would be economically self-sufficient. Sisal was meant to play an economic role in the country becoming an independent socialist state. Ujamaa socialism failed, for many different reasons, but when the price of sisal plummeted on the world market it contributed to this as it adversely affected prospects of financial resilience.”
Koloane is held as an authority figure for African artists. This reverence stems from his dedication to his artistic practice as well as his other cultural endeavors including writing, curating and establishing spaces for artists of colour to be mentored and grow. Beyond these actions, his temperament empowered friendly engagements within the framework of his resoluteness.
Mateo López’ practice is guided by an interest in art as a means of engaging with questions of repair, defined by his ongoing search to build and shape a different future - a process which unfolds into diverse references from Latin American art, architecture, design and education.
In the collage series The waste of my time López repurposes unused materials in his studio. The latest works in this series were made in the artist’s New York studio just before lockdown in 2020, using cardboard, acrylic paint and grommet.
López draws inspiration from an anecdote on Josef Albers at Bauhaus Preliminary Class in 1923, which encapsulates his playful and paired down approach. As told by López: “Albers entered the classroom with a bundle of newspaper under his arm. ‘Ladies and gentleman’, he said, ‘we are poor and not rich. We cannot afford to waste materials or time. Every piece of work has a starting material, and therefore we must examine the nature of this material. I would like you to take these newspapers in hand and make something more out of them than what they are at present. If you can do so without any accessories, such as cutters, scissors or glue, all the better.”
Over the course of his career, Sam Nhlengethwa’s ongoing Interiors series has become an important space for the artist to pay various tributes, bringing cultural icons into conversation with his practice and each other. The painting-collage works comprise an eclectic constellation of references and are presented together as their own contained interior space.
Over the course of his career, Nhlengethwa – dubbed by critics “one of the country’s most celebrated living artists” – has developed a distinctive collage and painting practice while exploring themes common to everyday life in South Africa, the street life, domestic interiors to the influence of mining. Intrinsic to this practice is Nhlengethwa’s love of jazz.
From the age of 15, Nhlengethwa was exposed to the genre through his two older brothers who listened to everything from the classic standards of artists such as Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck to the more experimental sounds of Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus, to name a few.
YINKA SHONIBARE CBE RA
The Hybrid Sculpture series sees classical European sculptures of goddesses drawn from Greek and Roman mythology hand-painted with Shonibare’s signature Dutch wax batik patterns, their heads replaced with replicas of African masks complimentary to the figure’s associated myths. Each mask has been drawn from a prominent twentieth century artist’s collection.
The African Library Collection by Yinka Shonibare consists of multiple books covered in the ‘Dutch wax print’ typical of the artist’s practice. The spines of many of these books are printed with the names of notable figures from the continent, from various categories including political figures, designers and filmmakers. The work is arranged on rows of shelving and accompanied by a bespoke card catalogue box. The collection commemorates the fight for independence in the European colonies across the African continent.
The use of ‘Dutch wax fabric’ in all iterations of this series speaks to the hybrid nature of national and cultural origins and the interdependence of the economic and political histories of Africa and Europe. The artist states “the fabrics are a signifier of the identity of people from Africa and the African diaspora, but more importantly, how they encounter with Europe. The textiles I use were actually produced by the Dutch and then sold to West Africans, yet they’re now known as markers of African identity. I’m very interested in the colonial relationship between Africa and Europe, and the fabrics have become a metaphor for that.”
Take California (or A New and Correct Map of America) is based on a 1752 map of the Americas from the Stanford Library collection in which California is drawn as an island. This error was repeated for over a hundred years as mapmakers copied one another — the thirst for tokens of “discovery” in bourgeois 18th-century Europe quickly outgrowing the resources to accurately render the conquered lands.
As with previous map works, Subotzky starts by turning the source “upside-down” and erasing the colonial names, a futile attempt to defamiliarize synthetic hierarchies of cartographic relations. He then alternates between scrubbing away ink and adding paint, the disorder of his hand fighting against the control exerted by the map’s epistemological assertion that it represents the world in two dimensions. Subotzky paints his way into the dimensional gap between the flattened.
HANK WILLIS THOMAS
Employing the visual language and terminology of mass media, and appropriating symbols and images from popular culture, Hank Willis Thomas’ work seeks to question and subvert established definitions and positions with regards to personal identity and the narrative of race. It is concerned with history and identity, with the way race and ‘blackness’ has not only been informed but deliberately shaped and constructed by various forces – first through colonialism and slavery, and more recently through mass media and advertising – and reminds us of the financial and economic stakes that have always been involved in representations of race. His work combines history, new media and photo theory as a form of investigation.
Tsabar’s Works On Felt series appear as coloured geometric objects, these works see the artist employ felt, carbon fiber, piano strings and guitar tuning pegs to create tactile sculptures that visually draw on the minimalist tradition whilst simultaneously inviting viewer interaction. Works On Felt can be activated by viewers, the sounds amplified into the exhibition space through a guitar amplifier next to the felt form. When plucked or touched the sound waves travel through a hybrid material of felt embedded with carbon fiber. The material looks like felt, however, added carbon holds the tension of the string and allows sound to travel through the work. The shape of the work corresponds to the pitch of the string. The works are formed when the string is inserted; a larger curve presents a higher pitch, giving each work both an individual form and note.
Truth Games highlights the most important cases investigated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Each piece pictures an accuser, a defender, and an image of the event in question. Evidence taken from press reports summarises the accusations and defence. These texts are printed on slats obscuring sections of the work. In order to see hidden parts of the images, viewers must slide the slats across the work to uncover what is beneath. Is the truth finally coming out or is it still hidden?
Frederick Jansen was the victim of mob violence in 1980 in the squatter camp of Crossroads, Cape Town, when his small truck was stoned, overturned and set alight. He died the following day. Afrika Hlapo was jailed for his part in the killing. Seeking reconciliation. Hlapo, said his intention had been to seek a better world for South Africa. He received amnesty from the TRC in 1999, and expressed his desire to meet with the Jansen family, a request refused by Jansen’s widow, Pearl.