On view in Houston, Texas from September 23rd, 2023, is a group exhibition at Mitochondria Gallery titled “UNFETTERED”. This show features seven visual artists from Africa and the Diaspora that employ elements of abstraction and surrealism in their paintings to deconstruct and create forms that reflect their lived and communal experiences. This exhibition features works from Ferguson Amo (Brooklyn, New York), Askia Bilal (Colombia, Missouri), Kwaku Owusu Achim (Accra, Ghana), and Qhamanande Maswana (Johannesburg, South Africa), who are exhibiting in Houston for the first time. Returning artists include Daniel Pengrapher (Belgrade, Serbia), Chijioke Anyacho (Lagos Nigeria), and Adeniyi Damilola (Lagos, Nigeria).
The artists in this exhibition explore ideas around identity, vulnerability, folklore, and other sociocultural perspectives. The techniques of deconstruction used by the artists in this exhibition are an ode to the dynamism of their artistic process, and storytelling. Ferguson Amo (Brooklyn, New York) and Askia Bilal (Colombia, Missouri) present expressive portraits that explore identity using varying levels of minimalism, abstraction, and texture to convey the form of their subjects.
Kwaku Owusu Achim (Accra, Ghana) and Adeniyi Damilola (Lagos, Nigeria) employ surrealism mainly on the head of their subjects to create scenes that depict folklore, traditions, and current affairs in their respective regions of west Africa, from an ultra-contemporary perspective. Daniel Pengrapher (Belgrade, Serbia) and Chijioke Anyacho (Lagos Nigeria) lean into expressive figuration fused with elements of abstraction to reiterate their digested views on euphoria, nostalgia, and sociocultural dysfunction. Qhamanande Maswana presents new paintings that explore the sentimental and perceived value of essential and nonessential objects in living spaces.
UNFETTERED is on view from September 23rd to October 14th, 2023.