African Culture

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Fall Arts Preview
Bernadette Mayer Memory 01

Upcoming shows, retrospectives, and museum openings highlighted by Maika Pollack, Ratik Asokan, Alex Zafiris, Gideon Jacobs, Michael Barron, Wendy Vogel, Zack Hatfield, and Legacy Russell

Peter Bradley by Steve Cannon, Quincy Troupe & Cannon Hersey
Pbradley Bomb 1

“I don’t want to mention names, but there are several black artists that would like to shoot me today because they weren’t in that show. Some of them are dead, but the ones that aren’t dead still give me a lot of bullshit every time I see them.”

Njideka Akunyili Crosby by Erica Ando
Njideka Akunyili Crosby 01 Bomb 137

From Lagos to LA, a young painter’s images resonate with meaning, both personal and political.

Field Recording by Che Chen
Che Chen Bomb 1

Of all the weddings I went to in Mauritania, this one had the most intense music. Here, I know, the audio quality is sort of insane and blown-out sounding, but that’s actually what it sounded like in person. 

Portia Zvavahera by Netsayi
Zvavahera Portia 01 Bomb 134

“I’m a Zimbabwean and I should show in my paintings where I’m from. In our culture, when you have a dream about dogs, cows, or whatnot, it means an evil spirit is coming to attack.”

Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman by Pamela Cohn
Ousmane Sembene 1

A new documentary celebrates the great filmmaker Ousmane Sembène.

75 Dollar Bill by Cal Lyall
75 Dollar Bill

Stepping into 75 Dollar Bill’s practice space in Greenpoint is a bit forbidding at first. The building has a hermetic, industrial flavor compounded by the taste of wet paint.

Melvin Edwards by Michael Brenson
Edwards 1

“I just wanted to be sure I didn’t get caught not expressing what I thought was important to me. That can easily happen, because you can easily get discouraged by not being allowed to participate, or just being ignored, when you know your work is beyond ignoring.”

Sidi Touré by Ethan Harfenist
Sidi By Johnathan Crawford

The Malian songwriter on the origins of his hypnotic desert blues.

Miguel Gomes by Giovanni Marchini Camia
​Miguel Gomes

“Cinema has lost its youth.”

Nick Cave by Krystian von Speidel
​Nick Cave

Krystian von Speidel sits down with artist Nick Cave to talk about his incredible Soundsuits and his concurrent exhibits at Jack Shainman and Mary Boone Galleries. Cave shares his thoughts on pipe cleaners and fashion week, and invites everyone to come to his playground.

Binyavanga Wainaina by Rob Spillman
Binyavanga Wainaina

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina is inexhaustible, a public intellectual very much engaged with the literary and political worlds. His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, published this July by Graywolf Press, chronicles the multiplicity of his middle-class African childhood: home squared, we call it, your clan, your home, the nation of your origin.

Inner Views, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Studio Museum in Harlem by Patricia Spears Jones
Zwelethu Mthethwa 01

An exhibition of photographs from three series, exploring absence, decomposition and dislocation. Shot in Cape Town and New Orleans, subjects vary from migrants in their intimate spaces, empty beds, and ruined houses.

El Anatsui: Zebra Crossing by Patricia Spears Jones
El Anatsui 01

The growing importance of African artists involved in contemporary artistic practices is exemplified by the career and work of El Anatsui, a Ghanaian sculptor who teaches in Nigeria.

World Psychedelic Classics 3—Love’s A Real Thing: The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa by Peter Margasak
Various Artists Body

The superb, carefully calibrated compilations released on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label have effectively introduced vital international traditions to hungry new audiences; many artists from Brazil, Peru, Cuba, and Lusophone Africa have experienced mini-booms after getting the Luaka Bop treatment. 

Nuruddin Farah by Kwame Anthony Appiah

I can’t remember where I first met Nuruddin Farah, but it was at some sort of conference. 

Olu Oguibe by Saul Ostrow
Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, New Museum of Contemporary Art by Snigdha Koirala
Article 5518  New  Museum

Fela Kuti, composer, musician, dissident, candidate for Nigerian presidency, and the father of Afro-beat, has been compared to Bob Marley and Bob Dylan for his musical innovation and political voice.

The Story of the Cannibal Woman by Maryse Conde

Even before Stephen died Rosélie was living a certain life of solitude. In fact even when she was small she never had any friends, having been cosseted by her jealous and possessive mother and mixing with the family only because she had to. 

William Tester’s ‘Head’ by David Ryan

William Tester’s new story collection Head reads like a loose thread you keep pulling from your shirt with the sinking sense you’ll never be able to fix what you’re undoing—all the while keenly aware that you cannot, for your life, stop unraveling.

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