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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga

Goodman Gallery New York 
26 April - 25 May

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Goodman Gallery presents In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga, a presentation of select bodies of work by the artist. The presentation opens alongside Kiwanga’s solo exhibition, Trinket, currently on view at the Canada Pavilion in Venice. 

Kapwani Kiwanga’s practice centers around a keen sense for the inherent properties of materials and in turn their ability to communicate multiple layers of meaning.

 

This presentation hones in on some of these materials namely sisal, silica sand, Atlantic ocean saltwater and historical books, opening up histories of triangular trade, social segregation, colonialism and environmental degradation to her viewers.

In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Kapwani Kiwanga

Untitled (Dune Lenses III), 2021

Two Handblown Glass Lenses, Mounted on Steel, Silica Sand, Plinth
Variable dimensions

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Taking up a central part of the presentation is Dune, featuring two glass lenses. Here Kiwanga ponders the multiple forms that sand can take. A plinth filled with Silica sand asks the audience to consider the impact that these small grains have had on the environment in another collective form: as a medium for hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, a method of oil and natural gas extraction that began in the US commercially in the 1950s. Two lenses made from Silica sand are positioned in specific orientations in the sand encouraging visitors to consider the way such simple and often-overlooked materials can be employed to various ends.

In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Kapwani Kiwanga

Sisal #12, 2021

 

Sisal fibre and painted steel

Work: 45 x 55.4 x 8.5 cm (17.7 x 21.8 x 3.3 in.)
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Kiwanga’s interest in the historical and symbolic affect of materials is demonstrated through an arrangement of steelworks covered in sisal fiber. The golden spun fibre, harvested from the botanical plant agave sisalana, is typically used for rope and twine. Kiwanga first encountered sisal whilst traveling through rural Tanzania where this flowering plant is a primary export commodity. Fascinated by the fiber’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 presentation also includes work from Triangulations, Sisal and The Greenbook 1961, all series that offer anthropological considerations and symbolic uses of materials to explore trade, power and the production of value. 

In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

In a sequence of quilt works created out of cotton treated with pigment and saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean, Kiwanga extends the intangible components of her narrative compositions, continuing her investigation into the transatlantic slave trade. For the artist, the sea is an archive and witness of violent pasts. The cloth works combine and materialize her analysis of forced movement and liberatory strategies. Kiwanga’s use of symbols on the textiles allude to the safe houses along the Underground Railroad, often indicated by a quilt hanging from a clothesline or windowsill as a mode of communication. The geometric shapes function as conceptual coordinates of flight, escape and safety by reading the motifs sewn into the design, a person fleeing slavery could assess immediate dangers.

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Crockery, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Crockery, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

North, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

North, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Tools, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Tools, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Crockery, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

Crockery, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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Kapwani Kiwanga

North, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

Enquire

Kapwani Kiwanga

North, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

Enquire

Kapwani Kiwanga

Tools, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

Enquire

Kapwani Kiwanga

Tools, 2023

Embroidered fabric

Work: 122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Unique

 

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The Greenbook 1961 is a suite of 52 framed works. The source material comes from the 1961 issue of The Traveler’s Green Book; an annual state-by-state listing printed from 1936-1966. The publication served as a resource for African-American motorists traveling across the USA providing safe houses at which to stop whether they be lodgings, restaurants, or service stations. Kiwanga focuses on 1961, the year in which the Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists, rode public interstate buses from Washington D.C. into the south to challenge the unconstitutional standard of keeping public buses segregated. Kiwanga erases information from archival scans with the exception of the state name and address. The resulting prints generate a minimal topography of a particular space and time. 

In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms
In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Kapwani Kiwanga

Greenbook, Delaware (1961), 2019

Framed archival pigment print on paper
Framed: 26.7 x 21.7 x 3 cm (10.5 x 8.5 x 1.2 in.)

Edition of 5

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Kapwani Kiwanga

Greenbook, Florida (1961), 2019

Framed archival pigment print on paper
Framed: 26.7 x 49 x 3 cm (10.5 x 19.3 x 1.2 in.)

Edition of 5

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Kapwani Kiwanga

Greenbook, North Carolina (1961), 2019

Framed archival pigment print on paper
Framed: 26.8 x 116.3 x 3 cm (10.6 x 45.8 x 1.2 in.)

Edition of 5

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Work by French and Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga (b. Hamilton, Canada) traces the pervasive impact of power asymmetries. Her work is research-driven, instigated by marginalised or forgotten histories, and articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance. 

Kiwanga’s Biennale Arte 2024 solo presentation for the Canada Pavilion commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada titled Trinket is now on view until 24 November. It is a site-responsive sculptural installation made of conterie, also known as seed beads and continues the artist’s concerns with how diverse forms of power are manifested, how the histories they suppress are often overlooked, and the effect they have on everyday life.

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presented Kapwani Kiwanga’s first comprehensive mid-career retrospective, The Length of the Horizon in 2023. This show includes her memorable 2022 Venice Biennale installation ‘Terrarium’.  

Solo exhibitions include Copenhagen Contemporary, Haus der Kunst, Munich (DE); Kunstinstituut Melly – Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (NLD); Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel/Bienne (CHE); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (USA); Albertinum museum, Dresden (DE); Artpace, San Antonio (USA); Esker Foundation, Calgary (CA); Tramway, Glasgow International (UK); Power Plant, Toronto (CA); Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago (USA); South London Gallery, London (UK); and Jeu de Paume, Paris (FR). 

Selected group exhibitions include Whitechapel Gallery, London (UK); Serpentine Galleries, London (UK); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (CHN); MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (JPN); Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (DE); Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden – MACAAL, Marrakech (MAR); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (CA); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (USA); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA); Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal (CA); ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus (DK) and MACBA, Barcelona (ESP).

Spring Viewing Room

In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

El Anatsui

Untitled III, 2023

Painted wood
Work: 193 x 420 x 10 cm (76 x 165.4 x 3.9 in.)

Unique

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

William Kentridge

Meeting the Page Halfway, 2013

Watercolor and colored pencil on Oxford Shorter Dictionary pages
Framed: 129.5 x 160 cm (51 x 63 in.)

Unique

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

William Kentridge

Highveld landscape with figure in pool, 1987

Charcoal and pastel on paper
Framed: 70 x 83.5 x 4.5 cm (27.6 x 32.9 x 1.8 in.)

Unique

 

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In Focus: Kapwani Kiwanga - Goodman Gallery New York - Viewing Room - Goodman Gallery Viewing Rooms

Clive van den Berg

Landscape Event XI, 2023

 

Oil on canvas
Work: 100 x 70 cm (39.4 x 27.6 in.)

Unique

 

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