|Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Pic: c/o Stephen Friedman Gallery
Nigerian-British artist, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, may have taken off his plan to promote artists of African descent with his forthcoming art exhibition of over 40 artists. Recall that during Shonibare's last visit to Nigeria when his touring Wind Sculpture VI
stop over in Lagos, he disclosed of his intention to dedicate resources in promoting art and artists of African origin.
From 5 June - 21 July 2018, at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, Shonibare will be curating Talisman In The Age Of Difference, a group art exhibition of 42 artists selected from Africa and the Diaspora.
The gallery describes Talisman in the Age of Difference as an expansive group exhibition that seeks to explore the power of magic and the subversive beauty in the works of emerging and established artists of African origin and its diaspora.
"Identity politics are explored by a number of artists in the exhibition, whilst others pursue an alternative path in their shared search for originality, material transformation, spirituality and the sublime", Stephen Friedman Gallery states on its website.
"Shonibare MBE has selected artists who produce provocative work that consciously belies a subversive and political message that does not necessarily conform to a Western vision of art."
Thematic focus of the show is clear in what the gallery quotes Shonibare as asking: Can art that is unconventionally beautiful be a form of resistance?
Other sources say the exhibition celebrates Africa’s contribution to abstraction, beauty and politics.
Some of the artists whose works are featuring in the show include Deborah Roberts, Faith Ringgold, David Hammons, Larry Achiampong, Ghada Amer, Jake and Dinos Chapman,
Betye Saar Marlene Dumas and Bill Traylor.
Shonibare's first visit to Nigeria in over a decade was in 2011. And when the artist returned two years ago for his Wind Sculpture VI installation tour show, he recalled how his previous visit played a great part in a resolve to contribute to the growing energetic art space of Lagos. Specifically, he pledged to build "Contemporary art museum," in Lagos. In fact, a land, he stated, has been acquired already in Lekki for the proposed-museum. Shonibare described Lagos as "culturally dynamic," but lamented that the potential of the city has not been fully implored. "There are powerful people in Nigeria who can build such museum".