Monday, 5 October 2015

In London, A Rare Grillo Painting Rescued from Fireguard

Titled Hausa Man, what has been described as a "rare and remarkable" work by Yusuf Grillo was discovered in a London flat where it was being used to block a fire place, Bonhams auction house claims.
Hausa Man by Yusuf Grillo

The auction house, in a press release states that the painting is to be sold at Bonhams African Now – Modern Africa sale in London, next year, for an estimated 15 million Naira (£50,000). 

The rescue: “I was carrying out a routine valuation in London when I spotted the painting.  It was standing in front of a disused fire place to make the space look more attractive,” Bonhams’ Director of African Art, Giles Peppiatt explains. “Most Londoners now use central heating or electric fires as these old grates can look unsightly.  I was astonished to see this painting being used for such a purpose, as were the owners when they were informed what it was and what it was worth!”
The oil painting “Hausa Man” dates from 1964, when the artist was working at the peak of his artistic powers and features the use of the colour blue which has been such a important aspect of his work.  Yusuf Grillo is the most prominent of the Zaria Art Society, a group of artists founded in the late 1950s who sought to explore new techniques and ideas. He was also the head of art at the Yaba College of Technology. 
These works from the mid 1960s are his most prized and it will be offered at the next  Bonhams “Africa Now – Modern Africa” sale in London where Nigerian collectors from around the world will all be eagerly competing to try and secure the work.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

For Isichei, Someday Is No Longer In The Future

By Tajudeen Sowole
 As much as digital race appears like a victory over information restrictions, artist Rom Isichei's visual prediction tracks how flood of technologies is forming a sea of addiction in which consumers of info-tech devices swim, sub-consciously. Also straying into Isichei's rampaging palette strokes is crisis of identity energised by ladies' search for the elusive perfect beauty.

  weChat as weDine, a collage painting by Rom isichei
Expressed in a mix of traditional or conventional painting rendition and contemporary medium, the body of work, which also exposes the artist's refreshed energy in appropriating themes, is currently showing as Someday Is Today, till October 16, 2015 at National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. 

As far as walls in Lagos art outlets would recollect, Isichei's elaborate consumption of space always takes no prisoners. Being the artist’s first solo art exhibition since a his MA Fine Art programme at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, U.K, two years ago, quite a lot of his followers can't wait to see the artist's new texture of canvas. In April, he had a two-artists show Recent Works of Rom Isichei and Kainebi Osahenye at Temple Muse, Victoria Island, Lagos. An insight into what his post-Chelsea experience would bring was seen in one of the works, Deification iv on display at Temple Muse. 

Ahead of the exhibition, his only guest of this mid-day asks: The central theme Someday Is Today sounds anti-procrastination, isn't it? After about three minutes walk from his residence to the studio, the answer to the question sprouts on the walls in paintings and metal collages, drawings and installations that call attention to what has become people's addiction to handsets and other digital gadgets. 

“Digital technology – as subsumed in the mass media is one of many compelling evidences of our conquest over subjugation and dictatorship,” Isichei states. But he also warns of eroding “reality” in the new face of ‘conquest.’ 
 Mounted on the walls of the ground and top floors of the studio, waiting to be moved for the exhibition space, the works radiate a new period in the career of Isichei. If a gallery space, expectedly enhances display of works - given an added curatorial contents - then a visit to Isichei's studio inside the quietness of Ilupeju, on the mainland axis of Lagos, pre-empts what to expect when the works are moved to National Museum gallery.
The concept of the exhibition, Isichei tells his guest, draws from the famous assertion of pop art legend, Andy Warhol that "in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." In whatever relativity context one looks at the "future", digital age has clearly fastened the prediction of the American artist and other thinkers of similar thoughts. This much, Isichei captures in works such as The Geek and the Technophobe, Youth Code, weChat as weDine and Someday is Today, Lets Save the Night, among others.

Never has technology been so embraced across generations as the handset phone phenomenon is inflicting addiction on the human race currently, a trend that has been ongoing in the past one and half decades or more. Isichei captures people's constant clinging onto digital hand gadgets at non-formal and public places, even into privacy of homes at dinning table. And when it comes to aiding educational knowledge, over-application or abuse of digital technology threatens natural creativity, so Isichei argues.
A metal collage The Greek and the Technophobe, which the artist expresses in flattened soft cans on board recalls the early periods of info tech when a section of conservative people clung passionately onto the analogue ways; refused to accept the new age info tech. But the speed of the irresistible digital, as highlighted in the metal collage explains the reality of a new communication age.
 If you were in love with the artist's high textured impasto of which his work gained prominence among collectors, over the years, the new look of Isichei's canvas might generate curious interest as it seems to add a fresh painting technique to his oeuvre. In a sharp contrast from the familiar thickened canvas of the artist come paintings such as Youth Code, Put on A Happy Face, weChat as weDine, and Sunshine State of Mind among others. These works bring collages in coalescence with print cuttings to enhance bold application of colours. In fact, Isichei's technique of matting textile on canvas exhales a fresh breath, keeping distance from the similarities among many Nigerian artists’ trend of fabric on canvas. In fact, Isichei’s the blend of fabric with colours is as natural as coming directly from paint tubes onto the palette. A rich example of such work is Youth Code, painting of eight young adults, nearly each clinging to a digital device, a the artist’s painting tool on the wears of select figures enriches the natural extension of the toning.
One of the ‘Mutations and the Gilded Apostle’ panels by Isichei

Stressing the handset addiction as well as new look of Isichei's collage painting are weChart as weDine, a family at the dining; the title piece, Someday is Today, Let's Save Tonight, a couple in selfie; Put on Happy Face, ladies in facial checks and As Seen in ‘Vogue’ some fashionistas show-off.
 In appropriating the 'Now' context of the theme, Isichei also affords today's art lovers the benefit of what could have been the future of his canvas should any critic chose to see through a crystal ball. In fact, the gap in intensity of creativity between his impasto textured canvas of few years ago and the collage technique currently being used, could accommodate two periods in progression.  Indeed, time and life are too short - running on a fast lane - such that it could be shortsighted to wait for someday, so suggests the new texture of the artist's technique.
However, in a metal collage, The Past Is Still Present, he challenges the claim or perception that technologies in progressions - pre-digital and digital - have advanced the world in the real sense. "Despite the technological achievement we claim to have recorded in the worl, decay is still everywhere in our social and economic” spaces, Isichei argues. He stresses this much in a metal collage of rustic corrugated metal sheet and painting.  "The decay in the society is represented by the old metal sheet." 

 Given the increasing level of frantic search for perfection in ladies look, particularly among black and colour women, a set of portraits titled Mutations and the Gilded Apostle, speak volume about how not to lose natural identity. In 18 panels with each having a face in sculptured mask on a painting, the set of portraits panels expose ladies' identity crisis in the beauty parlance. The artist notes that averagely, most "ladies have a different look of make up for almost everyday of the week." Natural looks, he argues, " disappears" in ladies' efforts to keep searching for perfection of the facial beauty.  From Brazilian to Indian synthetic hairs, being regularly applied by increasing population of African ladies who patronize  the products, for example, a sense of self-esteem is being eroded.
 From a total of 30 pieces for the exhibition, paper works in drawings which take quite a chunk are not exactly far from the painting and metal collages in concept. But two installations, I Have Nothing To Declare, But My ARTitude and I Am My Choices are too distinct from the entire exhibits such that they (the installations) appear like some alien intrusions into the display of works. The installations, which appear more like drawings gain much of its incendiary contents adapting images of symbolic expressions to make some salient statements. In black and white, the installations would make great design piece for prints in textile.

 In 2011, Iisichei had his last solo art exhibition, Quiet Spaces at Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, a show that used women as a fulcrum in articulating the misplaced priority of the society. Some of his previous solo exhibitions include Traces of Being (2009), at Terra Kulture, Lagos; in
2007, Chronicles, National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, and
Eyes of the Beholder (2005), Goethe Institut, Lagos.

Too Large For Canvas, Alakija's Community Art Goes Prints

By Tajudeen Sowole
 Whoever is still unconvinced that prints from painting are integral part of art appreciation might need to take a look at the works of U.K-based Nigerian artist, Polly Alakija whose concepts of community-focus is too elaborate to fit into original canvas frames. It is a well-known fact that the Nigerian art collection space is averse to prints reproduced from original paintings. 

A print is produced from Remember 6 Feet by Polly Alakija, an artist in residence at Ibadan International School, Oyo State

A muralist, Alakija has been on tour of some states in Nigeria in the last two years as artist-in-residence, sharing her skills with rural and city dwellers. Reproduced in giclee prints, the paintings from the community project are currently on display as The Prints, showing till October 11, 2015, at Quintessence, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos Island.

A few months ago, Alakija extended her paintbrush to Lagos when she painted on a molue bus, which was driven to and fro the mainland. Earlier, she had visited Kangimi Dam in Kaduna and Mapo, Ibadan city centre, where water tanker and long lorry in that order got the artist's brush strokes. On each of the community projects, the basic aim "was to inspire children," she told select guests a few days after The Prints opened to the public.
 Printed in limited editions, the exhibits come with additional aesthetic value in creative framing, suggesting a shift from the regular presentation of prints on canvas in Lagos. Some of the works include Kangimi III (2014), a water tanker truck at Fifth Chukker/Kangimi Resorts, Kaduna. With figures of rural people painted around the tanker, the print affords viewer an opportunity to see the side and back views in two reproductions. The Kaduna artist-in-residence programme, she disclosed, "was in association with Access Bank and Unicef."

The core section of Nigerian art collectors hardly accept prints of painting as a window in art appreciation. In fact, artists have been subdued to always part with original of paintings. For such a conservative environment, artists have been responding adequately by avoiding to take 'risk' in making prints. Even prints from lithographic process, which has been made more popular by master printmaker, Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya are more acceptable when such works come from masters.
In 2008, a group exhibition of works reproduced in giclee prints, organized by Peter Madiebo of Hue Concepts was not exactly appreciated by the conservative Lagos art aficionados. Featuring paintings of notable artists, it was one of a few such shows in Lagos aimed at promoting affordable collection. But with Alakija's The Prints, there seems to be a shed of the conservative weight that the Lagos scene has arrogantly stuck to, over the decades. A few days after the opening of The Prints, Alakija shared her experience, noting that initially, people come with some resentment or reservation, but later, accept the print idea.
Coming from the west, the U.K, specifically, where print, as an integral part of art appreciation is taken for granted, Alakija would, perhaps, worry less about appreciation via print. Her main focus of the exhibition is about sharing her community project with the Lagos art environment. "Beyond watching me painting, the children get inspiration," Alakija said, adding that some of the kids never saw an artist at work before. Her passion for the community project keeps expanding such that she always like to plough back. "Fund from the sales of the prints are going back to the project."
Water Tanker, painted
In Ibadan, the eco system attracts Alakija's paintbrush focusing on deforestation. Major work here is painting on a wooden truck in Ibadan, with Mapo Hall in the background, which produced Remember 6 Feet. And did she focus deforestation in this part of the world? The deforestation challenge in Nigeria, Alakija argued, "is the worst in the world." Indeed, trucks for goods as well as lorry for passengers known as bolekaje (popular in western Nigeria and Lagos until the 1980s), built in woods are clear outlets for deforestation.
Alakija's artist-in-residence is gradually taking a life of its own beyond being an artist whose public art is on the mobile terrain. Currently, her work, a painting on Lagos water ferry, she disclosed "is to support Down-Syndrome children."

 From the Kangimi work in Kaduna; deforestation in Ibadan; Murals on Molue bus in Lagos; and the painting on ferry, wouldn't it be more cohesive to have her non-for profit art project come under a NGO? "Yes, I am working towards having a NG0," she assured.  

In 2013 Alakija had her first major art exhibition Here & There, at The Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Falomo, Lagos; and early in 2015, she exhibited some of her prints from other works along with the Molue bus as a canvas on which she painted dancers.  The print exhibition at Quintessence and the Molue project were in collaboration with We Love Lagos, a non-governmental organisation helping to raise funds for two social empowerment groups, Eruobodo House, a home for disabled children, based in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State and Parkhood Dancers, a community dance troupe established by Sina Ipaye at Freedom Park, Lagos Island, to develop the talents of young persons.

At 60, Bashorun is 'Evolving in 360'

By Tajudeen Sowole
Describing sculptor, Raqib Bashorun's new body of work as germination of assertiveness - the seeds of which have been sowed over the decades by the artist - opens a debate over appropriation of a long artistic journey. 

Wing Knot (2012, 5 panels) by Raqib Bashorun.

Just shown as Evolving in 360, a solo exhibition that marked the artist's 60th birthday, the works on display at Omenka Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, on this quiet afternoon - few days after the formal opening - expand Bashorun's scope in design. If anyone likes to fish in the complex waters of Nigerian contemporary visual space, Bashorun's walls and floor appears deep enough to immerse intellectual nets.  

Covertly, there seems to be a blurring line between the functionality and aesthetics of some of the floor sculptures. And also, given the imposing numerical strength of the wall sculptures over few of the floor pieces, Evolving in 360 could be viewed through the window of the artist's claim that "design is my consideration." 

In metal such as stainless steel, aluminium, brass and wood,  Bashorun's sculptural rendition of non-figural, perhaps abstract themes to a large extent, implores the natural texture of the materials to germinate colourful pieces. For example, as few as the floor sculptures are, they attract the attention of the visitor faster than a view goes across the walls. In combined design and functional values, the chairs and what appear like centre tables prepare one for the depth of energy ahead, touring the modest space of Omenka Gallery.

A reminder of common behavioural pattern among artists, about visually harassing viewers with large canvas, is Pale Ghost, a spread mounted on the left walls of the gallery. The more intimidating the work radiates in size, the more something hypnotises an attention.  Most times, large works on walls of galleries in Lagos lack contextual depth, but this afternoon, Bashorun's Pale Ghost of diverse hues of natural tones in pieces of woods generate a depth of aesthetics, making it a departure from the crowd of 'large is art' mentality.

The depth of Bashorun's design has no fear for any medium, including steel and metal, so suggest the works mounted on the walls of the inner room and the immediate entrance as well as pedestal-lifted ones in the gallery. From flowery or fan-blade shape pieces in stainless steel and brass, Quintessential Romance; similar fan-blades sprinkled on top of a megaphone-shape, Whisle Blower; to another oval-shaped in natural metal look and spots of yellow as Rubric of Time; and an oval-shaped, Wing Knot, loaded with designs in woods depicting a metallic instrument, Bashorun, again, asserts his artistic dexterity in a Lagos art space that is not exactly contemporary.

In his Artist Statement, Bashorun explains the central theme. He recalls how getting out of "decades of self consciously created comfort artistic zone," and being adventurous in originality has been a priority over staying in someone else's shadow.

Excerpts from his statement: My early childhood witnessed mountains of creative involvement in all the arts.
During that period, I painted in oil and water colors, drew in pencil and pastel, sculpted in clay, carved in coconut shell and cow horn, tie dyed and painted on fabrics, weaved with cane and raffia, played the drums and harmonica, and performed at a TV station. Since my childhood, I have always been an avid lover of making things with my hands. Connecting back to that period, this moment for me represents a renewal and emergence of new creative dream.

The currents of events in my life impose experiences of ups and downs which have direct bearings on my work. Despite the nature of the inspiration leading to the creation of these works, I continue to focus on the anticipated meaningful light at the end of the tunnel, at a time when my studio truly represent the very best space in my life. Needless to emphasis how personally satisfying, the opportunity to share my creative thoughts with people on the current full circle scale.Most of the works featuring at this exhibition began with a theme that I found compelling or a more concrete, obvious source of inspiration.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Iconic Collections For 70th Anniversary of National Museum In Nigeria

By Tajudeen Sowole

 When the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) rolls out the drums before the end of the year to mark seven decades of its existence, a landmark exhibition of 70 top cultural objects will be on display. It’s an event specifically designed to celebrate the culture agency in its preservation of Nigeria’s heritage. 
Director-General of NCMM, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman (right); Director of Admin and Supplies, Mr. Emeka Omiegbo and Artistic Director and Ag Director, Museum, Mr. Peter Odey… in Lagos.

While flagging off the event in Lagos, the Director-General of NCMM, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman stated that the celebration, which will hold in Abuja before the end of the year is to highlight the existence of the government agency in seven decades. Set up by decree 77 of 1979, NCMM replaced the Federal Antiquities Department and had the responsibility to manage the collection, documentation, conservation and presentation of national cultural properties to the public for the purposes of education, enlightenment and entertainment.

From Federal Antiquity Department in 1945 to NCMM, the agency has been preserving Nigeria’s cultural objects and monuments. At its 70th celebration, NCMM, according to Usman, has the objectives to articulate impact of 70 years’ existence on Nigerians, increase awareness on the value of museum as well as "seek greater cooperation with our international partners," among other objectives.

The landmark exhibition, according to Usman features "70 iconic objects drawn from various Nigerian art traditions such as Dufuna, Nok, Ejaghan, Calabar, Igbo Ukwu, Ife, Benin, Esie, Owo, Tada," among others. He added that the exhibition would highlight "similarities in our differences thereby promoting national unity."

Included in the events are publications on museums, monuments and other heritage sites of Nigeria as well as a research journal on museum in Nigeria: Sustainability and challenges; art competition involving school children at National Museum to promote art appreciation among youths; a gala night to honour and appreciate friends, mentors, benefactors and staff of the museum in Abuja.

Since Kenneth C Murray, the British founder of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos Island started museum administration in Nigeria seven decades ago, the achievement of the agency till date "is the fact that we are still existing," Usman responded to a question about the issue of landmark achievement. "Many government institutions have come and gone. But the NCMM is still existing and building more museums across Nigeria." He boasted that "today, we have 48 national museums from one 70 years ago and from 12 national monuments to 167 currently."

  Most crucial in any achievement of museum administration is preservation and conservation. Currently, the state of conservation laboratory of the national museum is a work in progress, Usman assured.

In 2009, Ford Foundation in partnership with NCMM unveiled a plan to assist in the rehabilitation of the conservation laboratory of the Onikan Museum. Giving an update on the laboratory, Usman said, "The partnership with Ford Foundation is still ongoing." He added that the "Federal Government on its own has given money for the construction of conservation lab in Ogbomoso, which is about 45 percent completion." When completed, the labs, Usman stated, will be available to service museums within Nigeria and others from countries in West Africa."  

 Given the spread of digital accessibility, the NCMM is also in compliance. The collections of the museums, he disclosed, are already going through the process of digitalization, noting, "We are digitalising our collection and documentation for easier research." He added that the agency is currently "constructing a digital archival" outlet in Enugu.

 Some of NCMM-managed museums are in Abeokuta, Aba, Akure, Asaba, Benin, Calabar, Enugu, Esie, Ibadan, Igbo-Ukwu, Ile-Ife, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lafia, Lagos, Lokoja, Maiduguri, Markudi, Minna, Nok, Osogbo, Oyo, Oron, Owerri, Owo, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Umuahia, Uyo, Yola and the Institute of Archaeology and Museum Studies in Jos. Among the monuments are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Sukur Cultural Landscape and Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove.

On its website, NCMM has as its vision “a stable museum system, which ensures the preservation and integration of the Nigerian cultural and natural heritage within the local and national developmental process and the world heritage network.” And the Mission Statement explains what it describes as ensuring “systematic collection, preservation, study and interpretation of the material evidence (tangible and intangible) of the development of the peoples of Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora.”

Highlife music legend, Tunde Osofisan dies at 77

One of the last highlife musicians standing, Tunde Osofisan (1938-2015) died yesterday, aged 77.
Tunde Osofisan

He has been wheel chair ridden for eighth years He last performed at the 50th Independence anniversary in 2010 as one of the the highlife maestros that performed at the Festival 50 Concert held at City Hall, Lagos Island.

Among the music legends that performed during the event include Chris Ajilo, Orlando Julius, Ebenezer Obey, now late Fatai Rolling Dollar and K Mann from Ghana, Victor Olaiya and Prince Bull.
Osofisan was a member of the famous Roy Chicago Band from 1950s.

Friday, 25 September 2015

With 15 artists, new gallery in London expands space for African art

A new entrant, Tyburn Gallery, London, U.K adds to the expanding space of African art in Europe as its maiden exhibition, Broken English, currently showing till October 28, 2015 features work of Nigerian photographer, Lakin Ogunbanwo and 14 other artists. The gallery formally opened for business two weeks ago.
A section of newly opened Tyburn Gallery, London, U.K.

The mission statement of Tyburn Gallery is though global, but has African art as its focus. “Founded in London by Emma Menell, Tyburn Gallery is a new gallery dedicated to international contemporary art, representing, exhibiting and supporting emerging and established artists from a global range of evolving art scenes, with Africa as a point of departure.”

Curated by Kim Stern, Broken English features works of other artists such as Stephen Allwright, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Bridget Baker, Eduardo Berliner, Edson Chagas, Dan Halter, Mouna Karray, Yashua Klos, Ibrahim Mahama, Michele Mathison, Mohau Modisakeng, Athi-Patra Ruga, Rowan Smith and Moffat Takadiwa.
Excerpts from the curatorial note of the gallery states: The exhibition investigates the categorisation of cultural identities in an increasingly globalised world. Most of the artists exhibited live between multiple cities as wide ranging as Antananarivo, Cape Town, Harare, Johannesburg, Lisbon, London, New York, Paris, São Paulo and Tamale; their cross-cultural experiences call into question the relevance of traditional ideas of nationality within the contemporary climate. The exploration into constructions of identity, misinterpretation, alter-egos, myth and story-telling characterises several of the works on view.

Highlights include a significant presentation of artists working across performance, video and photography, often placing themselves centre-stage. Bridget Baker’s meticulously constructed photographs are poised between fiction and fact. In The Assemblers #1, the first in a series of works, the artist re-stages the discovery of a coelacanth: a fish once thought to be extinct but rediscovered in 1938 near Baker’s hometown, off the coast of South Africa. By bringing together seemingly disparate fragments, Baker investigates myth and creates new narratives. Photographs from Edson Chagas’ Oikonomos series show the artist with a mass-produced shopping bag over his head, a performative act exemplifying the erosion of personal identity by global consumerism. Photographer Mouna Karray’s black and white self-portrait series Noir deals with issues of confinement. Inspired by a live rooster in a plastic bag being carried by a man in Tunisia, the artist wrapped herself in a white sheet with only her hand visible to release the shutter. The resulting series exists as a metaphor for imprisonment, whilst the photographer’s act demonstrates the power one still has to act under duress – be it physically or creatively.

Photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo creates enigmatic portraits where subjects are often masked by shadow, drapery and foliage. In Mohau Modisakeng’s large scale photographic portraits, he physically embodies colonial and postcolonial identities, exploring the complexities of violence and justice through symbolic and often sequential descriptions of ritual. These confronting works simultaneously record history and predict the future, inviting the viewer to think about concepts of transition. Athi-Patra Ruga’s hand-embroidered tapestries construct fictionalised worlds that become complex realities, often reappearing in story lines within his performance practice.

Sculptural works in the exhibition explore social, political and economic concerns in the post-colonial era. Zimbabwe born, Dan Halter’s work explores ideas of a homeland and the myths and according to him, ‘fabrications’ that exist in search of it. He employs the language of craft using materials ubiquitous to South Africa and Zimbabwe, such as hand woven fabric to investigate issues of dislocated national identities. Commissioned to make a new work especially for the exhibition, Ibrahim Mahama considers the impact social structures exert upon the working man. Michele Mathison, an artist working between Zimbabwe and South Africa, studies the value of common objects and their conversion into icons and symbols of tumultuous times; in Revolution, he sculpts interlocking machine guns into charred wood. Rowan Smith examines the complexities of South Africa, through the acts of appropriation, defacement and reparation. Untitled (Tyre) is a hand carved wooden tyre depicted slowly burning in a series of photographs named Untitled (Burn), a reference to ‘necklacing’ – a practice associated with apartheid era protest. Found objects characterise Moffat Takadiwa’s work which speaks of the cultural dominance exercised by the consumption of foreign products in Zimbabwe and across Africa.

Also on view are multi-layered watercolours and drawings by Stephen Allwright that focus on the human figure, using a sensual and gestural technique of painting. Eduardo Berliner’s evocative use of pictorial space in his paintings questions the authenticity of memory and direct experience. Yashua Klos’ work details the construction of personal identity and the influence of surroundings on this process, using collage as a metaphor for the fragmentation of African American identity.

Through the exploration of recorded and distorted histories, Broken English examines collective relationships to contemporary citizenship and engages a new discourse in an increasingly global world.