In Boris Nzebo’s multi-layered works, human heads merge with urban cityscapes. These boldly coloured and patterned works evoke the visual dynamism of a West African city. Born in 1979 in Gabon, Nzebo now lives and works in Cameroon. He draws his subject matter from his hometown of Douala, where he is particularly inspired by the elaborate hairstyles of locals, which often feature as hand-painted advertising illustrations in West African beauty parlours. To continue reading about Boris Nzebo and see more images of his work, read the July/August issue of The Kurios. Photo: © Boris Nzebo. Photo courtesy of Saatchi Gallery, London.
You could be forgiven for thinking that some of the work by Chinese artist Zhu Da, better known as Bada Shanren, is by a contemporary artist. Born in 1626, Bada Shanren is remembered as reclusive and somewhat eccentric. He produced highly individualist works which were daring for their time, some of which have been brought together for the exhibition Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren, at Washington’s Freer Gallery of Art. The artist,who was born a prince of the Ming imperial house, later retired to live a secluded life as a Buddhist monk. It is said that he suffered from epilepsy and became dumb. The direct, expressive style of his ink paintings of birds and flowers does not jar with contemporary viewers. His work has been very influential in China but also in Japan, where his bold style is particularly appreciated for its similarity to Zen painting. To continue reading about Bada Shanren, check out the July/August 2015 issue of The Kurios. Photo: Lotus, Bada Shanren (Zhu Da) (1626-1705). China, Qing dynasty, ca. 1665. Bequest from the collection of Wang Fangyu …
Brazilian artist Leda Catunda’s new exhibition at São Paolo’s Galpão Fortes Vilaça brings together paintings, prints, watercolours, collages and sculptures. Leda Catunda and the Taste of Others also features printed wallpaper made especially for the show. All of the works being exhibited were made following the same structure as the drawings on the wallpaper, as the artist tries to convey a sense of unity within her diverse practice. In Catunda’s work, patterns normally originate in watercolours, to then be replicated and multiplied in prints. She normally gives these same patterns body in her paintings and sculptures. The show also features a number of pop references, used by the artist as a way of questioning the concepts of beauty and exoticism. Please read more about Catunda and see more images of her work in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Leda Catunda, MG – Mulheres Gostosas, 2014. Courtesy of Galpão Fortes Vilaça. Photo: Eduardo Ortega.
The Indian artist NS Harsha draws on a broad range of influences including Indian artistic and figurative painting traditions and popular arts, as well as western art. His quietly philosophical practice mixes personal experience with shared narratives and broader socio-political themes. The artist has described the process of producing these works as ‘chanting’ with forms, as though the process of making them were a musical composition. He has also said that the intensity of life in India, which has one of the largest populations in the world, constantly forces him to think about human form. To read more about NS Harsha and see more images of his work, subscribe to the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo: NS Harsha, Mooing here and now (detail), 2014. Courtesy NS Harsha and Victoria Miro, London. © NS Harsha.
Eugenio Cuttica: The inward gaze at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires brings together the paintings of the Argentine artist Eugenio Cuttica from the 1970s to the current day. The first part of the exhibition presents Cuttica’s early works, in which he grappled with new forms of expression. Cuttica was part of an expressionist revival that took place in Argentina in the 1980s. This room also includes a painting by Argentina’s most celebrated impressionist painter, Fernando Fader, which Cuttica selected from the museum collection himself. The second room showcases a series of Cuttica’s paintings from the 1980s and 1990s which present large-scale mythical themes. Finally we are presented with a series of the artist’s latest works, centred on the representation of a little girl known as Luna (Moon). In these semi-fantastical paintings, the figure of the girl dissolves mysteriously into a landscape, suggesting a ghostly presence. Eugenio Cuttica is featured in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Get your copy here. Photo courtesy of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
The first solo show of the Ivorian artist Yéanzi is taking place at Cécile Fakhoury Gallery in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In Yéanzi’s mixed media paintings, he blends together successive layers of press cuttings onto canvas. He then melts plastic on top to form human images. The result is ambiguous and powerful imagery. Yéanzi is featured in the May/June issue of The Kurios, out now. Get your copy here. Photo courtesy of Cécile Fakhoury Gallery
An exhibition at the Museo de la Memoria in Santiago,Chile, is showing 58 photographs from the Flowers in the Desert series by New York-based photographer Paula Allen. These photographs tell the story of a group of Chileans, known as the women of Calama,who spent 17 years searching for their relatives who disappeared after the 1973 military coup of General Augusto Pinochet. In the first few months after their disappearance, the women of Calama met in secret but in time, frustrated by the lack of state information about their loved ones fates, they took to the desert themselves with shovels to try to find the bodies. The husbands, fathers and brothers of these women went missing during the infamous Caravan of Death, a term used to describe the journey taken by five soldiers to four northern cities. They murdered a total of 72 people on their way, including 26 men in the city of Calama. Their bodies were buried in a secret grave in the desert. Continue reading about Flowers in the Desert in the May/June issue of The Kurios, out …