We are delighted to announce the opening of Goodman Gallery's seasonal Gallery in East Hampton opening May 15th and running throughout the summer. Joining our esteemed colleagues with summer seasonal galleries in East Hampton this year; PACE, Lisson and Kurimanzutto. Goodman Gallery is thrilled to present an exceptional programme of changing exhibitions, from leading artists on the African continent and its diaspora.
The inaugural show Highveld Cursive debuts William Kentridge's multi-part bronze sculpture and works by Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Alfredo Jaar and ruby onyinyechi amanze.
Goodman Gallery East Hampton
Opening Saturday 15 May, 12 - 6 PM
Hours of operation: Wednesday - Sunday, 12- 6 PM
55 Main Street
East Hampton, NY 11937
(Located beside Ralph Lauren)
Cursive is the third in a series of William Kentridge’s Lexicon bronzes — an accumulation of elemental symbols within his 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, Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture (2019), Norval Foundation
William Kentridge’s large and medium scale bronzes, from the Lexicon project, are an accumulation of elemental symbols within the artist’s larger practice. This sculptural vocabulary is comprised of icons, ubiquitous in Kentridge’s creations, which are dispersed throughout all of the media in which he works. As a series of bronze sculptures, each work functions as part of the artist’s visual dictionary and broader language.
RUBY ONYINYECHI AMANZE
a Motorcycle + a Pool forms part of a series of works on paper made by the artist in 2020. Through this body of work, amanze revisits a host of characters and elements found in her practice, refining and distilling them to their essence. Through a newly edited cohort of characters —ada, audre (formerly ada the Alien and audre the Leopard), Bird and the inanimate characters; Swimming Pool, Moped, Window and Other Architectural References—amanze considers non-narrative configurations animated through play, dance, magic and design.
“i wanted to introduce all of the parts. In clean and direct ways. as in, here is a dancer. here is a pool. here is a swimmer. here are some bikes. there’s no story. there never really was. now the importance of the space - the geometry, the poetry - can really be seen. my drawings have been about space for a long time now, but it feels like now they can breathe and not be fogged up by suggestions of narrative. my process is about moving things around. sampling, building, chopping, inventing, mashing together...”
— ruby onyinyechi amanze, 2020
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.
One million points of light by Alfredo Jaar was shot off the coast of Angola, in Luanda. It was taken while standing, facing the ocean directly towards Brazil, in memory of the 14 million slaves sent from Angola to Brazil. Jaar’s photograph is inviting in its beauty and physicality; the way in which the image has been photographed and Jaar’s decision to use a lightbox to display the photograph means that the surface of the image becomes almost tangible. It appears as if the light hitting the water becomes a layer that could be peeled back like skin, revealing the deep suffering to which the artist alludes.
In Misheck Masamvu’s painting Missing Parts in a Dream the artist uses painting and mark making as a way in which to track his thoughts and emotions. Using abstraction, Masamvu creates an imagined landscape which acts as a physical manifestation of his state of mind and his subconscious. For Masamvu, the painting allows him to “occupy a space without defining what it is”. As the title suggests, the painting is by no means a comprehensive and organised mapping, rather it exists as a struggle to remember the ephemeral realm of dreams and memories.
Misheck Masamvu uses painting as a way to explore structures of power and how history comes to bear on the contemporary moment. Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, Masamvu’s works allow him to address the past while searching for a way of being in the world. His layered painted surfaces and brush strokes, which are almost visceral, exist as remnants of the physical act of painting and give the sense that multiple temporalities have been included in one picture plane. Beneath the surface of one painted image, an infinity of others exist. Masamvu’s work often depicts figures in nature. Through abstraction, Masamvu’s figures appear in the midst of metamorphosis, absorbed by teeming landscapes which become metaphors for how we might throw off the shackles of history and adapt to a new way of interacting with the world.
Widely considered as South Africa’s first Black front line photographer, Ernest Cole chronicled the brutal realities of apartheid South Africa in candid photographs by obscuring his camera in a lunch pail or item of clothing.
Escaping South Africa, Cole arrived in New York and published the critically acclaimed “House of Bondage”, 1967 which was a sensation internationally exposing the criminality of the apartheid regime.
Cole’s archive was rediscovered after 40 years hav- ing died in obscurity. Amongst his effects, were his American vintage prints unseen since their time of production. Commissioned by the Ford Foundation, Cole undertook research documenting the American North and South, from the perspective of a man who endured Apartheid. These extremely rare, vintage prints unveil the life of ordinary African Americans in Harlem or Alabama.
The title of these paintings quotes a book by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a landmark writer of postcolonial African literature. Thiong’o’s writing calls into question the ability to decolonise our minds if we are speaking (and thinking) with the tongue of the coloniser. For Geers, art should be rooted in personal experience that gives the language an accent that liberates the work from the imposition of power relations that are not in favour of the subject. The paintings in the “Petals of Blood’’ series are coupled with another series called “Les Fleurs du Mal” which quotes the banned book of poems by Baudelaire that launched the Modernist era in Paris. The still life paintings are inspired by the photographic series “Garden of Earthly Delights.” The blossoms look like scars, wounds, bullet holes or the Corona virus and appear to be bleeding, reflecting humanity’s tenuous connection to nature and our ecology, replacing historic respect given to our environment with violence.
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.