Sat 2 Sep 2023 to Tue 26 Sep 2023
Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm
Special event: Brunch and Talk led by Professor Tamar Garb, Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art, UCL, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Tuesday 12 September, 10am
Goodman Gallery presents Mapping another Route - South African artists in a modern era, an exhibition featuring South African artists whose work reflects connections between art, politics and society in the latter half of the 20th century.
Ink on paper
70 × 50 cm
Silver gelatin hand print
12.8 × 18.9 cm
Added to list
The exhibition marks the first of its kind at Goodman Gallery London, expanding on the 2006 exhibition Mapping the Route from the 60’s, held at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, which included works by Sydney Kumalo, Dumile Feni, Mmapula Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, David Koloane and Sam Nhlengethwa.
Mapping another Route seeks to hold space for conversations around the highly contested concept of the “modern era” while highlighting contributions of historically overlooked artists whose works manifest as hybrid evolutions of modern elements and urgent sociopolitical prompts.
The exhibition also expands on discussions sparked by influential exhibitions on African Art in the US and the UK from Art from Africa of Our Time (1961) staged by the Harmon Foundation in New York, and three decades later in the UK at The Whitechapel Gallery’s Seven Stories About Modern Art In Africa (1994) exhibition, co-curated by Koloane.
From the 1940s through to the early 1990s, South African artists of colour explored what it meant to carve out a black voice in relation to the apartheid context only to be met with racial prejudice and relegated to the periphery by the Western art canon.
Each work operates as a time stamp on a temporal map, intertwined with the political turbulence and violence experienced in South Africa from pre to post apartheid years, including pieces by artists Ernest Mancoba, Dumile Feni and Louis Maqhubela who lived outside of the country for many years to escape oppressive circumstances.
Many featured works make their UK debut however the exhibition comes at a moment in which we have started to see an increase in museum shows and collections recognising the contributions of these artists to the cultural landscape. The role of Koloane in particular, alongside Kagiso Patrick Mautloa and Sam Nhlengethwa and British philanthropist Robert Loder, in the founding of The Bag Factory artist studios in 1991 has been key not only for South African Art History but for establishing long-standing global connections via the Triangle Network which continue to foster artistic exchange today.