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Larry Ossei-Mensah’s ‘The Speed ​​of Grace’ Exhibition Takes Center Stage in Brazil

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Curator Larry Ossei-Mensah has organized a transformative exhibition titled “The Speed ​​of Grace” at Simões de Assis, Sao Paolo, Brazil. This exhibition stands as a powerful testament to the ability of art to challenge norms, reshape narratives, and bridge cultural divides.

The Speed ​​of Grace‘ is a collective endeavor that showcases the work of visual artists from the African diaspora. Ossei-Mensah has curated diverse artists who utilize their creative practice to delve into critical structures that shape modern culture.

Larry Ossei-Mensah, Simoes de Assis.
Image courtesy of Estudio em obra

The artists exhibiting include Amoako BoafoAnthony AkimbolaSerge Attukwei Clottey, and Zandile Tshabalala. Through their artworks, these artists tap into myth, folklore, history, imagination, and personal experiences. These artists continue to create impacting artworks that resonate deeply with African identity. They infuse their pieces with the rich tapestry of the diaspora’s collective consciousness.

Amoako BoafoRed Stripes, 2019
Oil and pencil on museum board
40 4/5 × 39 1/5 in | 103.6 × 99.5 cm

Larry Ossei, an artist himself, continues to defy conventional definitions of art, encouraging inventive avenues of expression. For this reason, the showcased artworks employ unconventional materials like palm fibers and durags. By transcending traditional boundaries, these artists challenge stereotypes that have historically marginalized black and brown artists.

The Speed ​​of Grace‘ is also a tribute to the complexity of cultural production, which the curator will examine. Ossei-Mensah’s curation thoughtfully weaves together voices from Brazil, the rest of the diaspora, and beyond. These complexities emanate from the African diaspora to confront attempts to erase its contributions from the art-historical narrative.

Sergei Attukwei, Halfway through 2021. Melted plastic 71.1 × 71.1 cm.Image courtesy of Artsy

The exhibition creates a platform that resonates with a global audience. The exhibition’s foundation rests upon a Pan-Africanist ethos, aiming to strengthen solidarity among diverse communities of African descent. Through this immersive encounter with African artistic diasporas, the exhibition expands the roots that sustain the diaspora’s fabric. In addition, it connects stories of Black, Brown, and Indigenous experiences.

At the heart of ‘The Speed ​​of Grace’ is to counter historical distortions that paint black individuals as unproductive or threatening. The exhibition underscores the urgent need to recognize the invaluable contributions of Afro-Brazilians, Africans, Blacks, and Caribbeans to the global social fabric. The artworks actively challenge efforts to erase these narratives from history. It then invites viewers to engage with marginalized voices and the issues they raise.

‘The Speed ​​of Grace’ is not just an exhibition; it’s a testament to the transformative power of art. Larry Ossei-Mensah’s curation crafts a transformative journey through heritage, symbolism, and sociopolitical commentary. This collection of works transcends borders, dispels stereotypes, and unites viewers in exploring the multifaceted narratives of the African diaspora. Through shared creativity and resilience, these artists ignite conversations that challenge norms, inspire change, and reshape cultural dialogues.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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