‘I’m Incredibly Excited to See Kapwani Kiwanga’s Commission’

Hallie Ringle of the Studio Museum looks forward to the debut Frieze Artist Award at Frieze New York 2018

BY Hallie Ringle in Frieze New York | 24 APR 18

I’m incredibly excited to see Kapwani Kiwanga’s commission, curated by Adrienne Edwards for the Frieze Artist Award. I’ve been following Kiwanga’s work for a couple of years now, and I’ve been fascinated by the ways in which she draws on her training in anthropology. People tend to think of anthropology as being a very distinct practice from art or art history, but they are extraordinarily close: artists, curators, and anthropologists are all looking at cultural phenomena and particularly at objects and their use, and what that says about society at large.

Kapwani Kiwanga, Flowers for Africa: Tunisia, 2015, protocol of assembly and display to guide the reconstruction of a floral arrangement consisting of cut flowers, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris. Collection of the Nomas Foundation, Italy. Photo: © Aurélien Mole  

I’m particularly drawn to Kiwanga’s use in this installation of shade cloth as a material – especially since textiles are so often associated with the body and, in an African context, cultural appropriation. I’m interested in seeing how Kiwanga will use an agricultural textile to build on this history while exploring economic and environmental issues as well.

Kapwani Kiwanga, pink-blue, 2017. Baker-Miller pink paint, white fluorescent lights, blue florescent lights, dimensions variable. Installation view at Power Plant, Toronto. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Jérôme Poggi, and Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Frieze New York 2018 runs May 3-6.

Hallie Ringle is Assistant Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem.