African Artists Reflect on the Diaspora through Art

Art Business News, January 2004 | Go to article overview

African Artists Reflect on the Diaspora through Art


In celebration of its 20th year, the Museum for African Art is featuring the artwork of 12 leading African artists now living in Western countries in its exhibit, "Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora."

The exhibition, which runs through March 1, displays new and recent works commissioned exclusively for the Museum for African Art, the nation's only independent museum dedicated to African art and culture. The pieces reflect the diverse cultural influences acting on the artists, touching on issues of identity, national and cultural affiliations, globalism, displacement and artistic freedom.

Using media that include video, sculpture, photography, painting, works on paper and even their own bodies, the artists portray subjects ranging from defining one's place through material culture to the assimilation into or exclusion from Western cultures. These themes are narrated by the artists in wall texts incorporating their statements, quotations from interviews, their life stories and the stories of their travels from Africa to Europe and North America. …

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