Friday, September 25, 2009

"Life Objects" at the Princeton University Art Museum

Areogun, 1885-1954, Yorùbá, Osi-Ilorin, Ekiti state, Nigeria, Maternity figure, early 20th century. Wood and pigment h. 66 cm., w. 30.5 cm., d. 39.4 cm. (26 x 12 x 15 1/2 in.) Collection of J. Thomas Lewis, Class of 1959, and Mrs. Lewis (photo: Charles Davis)

So yesterday, my exhibition called Life Objects: Art and the Lifecycle in Africa opened at the Princeton University Art Museum. Co-organized with Holly Ross, an independent scholar, and fabulously designed by Alan Knezevich, this is one very beautiful exhibition of which I am so proud. All the works on show, which includes many really fine examples of African sculpture, and early 20th-century postcards showing objects similar to the ones on show in their cultural contexts, are available online. Several came from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art (including the glorious Nkanu Initiation panel the never leaves the NMAfA!) and others from important private collections, and a couple from Princeton's collection. If you can't come to Princeton, the only thing you will miss, which is crucial though, is the tropical morning-haze, ambient color of the gallery space, and Alan's design! The exhibition runs till January 10, 2010.

Check out the online show at:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Contemporary African Art Roundtable

I am convening a roundtable of art historians--many of the heavyweights in the field--to discuss the state of the scholarship in Contemporary African Art. This is part of a series for the journal I co-edit, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. But it is also to mark an important milestone for our journal. From spring 2010, it will become a member of the Duke University Press family of journals; hasn't Nka come a long way, since 1994 inaugural issue?!

What is even more exciting is you don't have to wait for the print version of Nka to read about the roundtable, because it will be--is being--published on the Duke University Press blog. So you all are invited to visit the blog. We welcome comments or questions some of which could be presented to the panel for response.

Here is the list of panelists:
Okwui Enwezor (San Francisco Art Institute), Elizabeth Harney (University of Toronto), Salah Hassan (Cornell University), dele jegede (Miami University, Ohio), Sidney Kasfir (Emory University), Dominique Malaquais (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris), Steven Nelson (UCLA), Ikem Stanley Okoye (University of Delaware), John Peffer (Ramapo College), John Picton (Emeritus, SOAS), Peter Probst (Tufts University), Colin Richards (University of Witwatersrand), Frank Ugiomoh (University of Port Harcourt), Susan Vogel (Columbia University), Jessica Winegar (Northwestern University).