MoMA's Groundbreaking "New Pictures" Exhibition Shines Highlight on Lagos

The “New Pictures” sequence on the Museum of Trendy Artwork (MoMA) has acquired criticism in current editions for being too conceptual and missing cohesiveness. Nonetheless, the most recent installment brings a refreshing change, placing an finish to the dropping streak. For the primary time within the sequence’ historical past, “New Pictures” focuses on photographers with ties to Lagos, Nigeria, also called Èkó within the Yoruba language. This shift in geographic perspective is a major milestone, as African artwork, particularly African images, has hardly ever been given prominence at MoMA.

Curated by Oluremi C. Onabanjo, the exhibition challenges standard notions of documenting a metropolis and its folks via images. As an alternative of that includes a big group of artists as in earlier editions, Onabanjo selects solely seven artists, permitting for a extra in-depth exploration of their practices. Every artist finds modern methods to pay homage to the residents and historical past of Lagos, mixing conceptual approaches with extra conventional methods. The frequent thread amongst all of the artists is a fascination with the medium of images itself—its function, viewers, and revelatory potential.

Among the many featured artists, Brand Oluwamuyiwa stands out along with his fascinating black-and-white images of Lagos. He employs indirect angles and distorted views to supply a recent view of town. In his work “Oil Wonders II” (2018), an upside-down shot reveals two standing figures with solely their sandaled ft seen on the backside. Above them, a reflective puddle exposes their higher our bodies. Oluwamuyiwa’s prints, vinyl wallpapers, and movies redefine our notion of Lagos, difficult us to see it from unconventional angles.

Karl Ohiri‘s undertaking, Lagos Studios Archives, collects broken studio portraits that mirror the passage of time. The scanned and re-photographed pictures show bruises and discoloration, showcasing their very own haunting magnificence. Kelani Abass additionally incorporates household images from the previous, repurposing them in her personal work via letterpress methods.

On this groundbreaking “New Pictures” present, MoMA lastly breaks free from its earlier shortcomings, providing a fascinating and cohesive exploration of Lagos’s vibrant inventive expertise. By shining a highlight on these photographers, the exhibition not solely celebrates their particular person contributions but additionally creates a platform for African images to thrive throughout the artwork world.

Head to the MoMA’s web site for extra data.

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