Sunday, December 11, 2011

Artists in Dialogue 2: Sandile Zulu and Henrique Oliveira

Where: National Museum of African Art

When:  through January 8, 2012

This is the second in a series of exhibits in which two artists (one of whom is African) are invited to exchange ideas with one another.  Zulu is from South Africa and Oliveira is from Brazil.

Zulu uses fire to create his works, patterns on canvas, and they are very interesting.  Most of his pieces are similar to the one displayed here, and they are quite large.

Oliveira's works are abstracts - paintings of color that are psychedelic.  I liked his work; you could look at it for hours and not see every element contained in it.

I also liked the videos that were playing, showing the artists creating their work.  It's something you usually don't see in an exhibit.  You have the sense of being "behind the scenes."

Zulu's influence on Oliveira was to encourage him to use fire in his work.  He created two enormous wood sculptures: one, which is slightly charred, appears to be bulging out of the wall, and the other is a gigantic sculpture of wood entangled and attached to the walls.  I could not help but wonder: how did they get this in and how will they uninstall it?

Verdict: Go see this exhibit.  It's not terribly large, in terms of number of pieces, so it's manageable in a lunch hour.  It does, however, feature some wild, large art.

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