Curated by Brice Arsène YONKEU
The 193 Gallery opened its second space in Venice last April and continues its cycle of shows under “Colore e Materia” concept with its second exhibition “Traits to remember: the aesthetics and politics of black portraits”.
Across the portrait practice, the artists Sesse Enlangwe, Idris Habib and Bara Sketchbook carry out a work of memory by celebrating the black body.
Portraits of black people are rare and often marginalized in the history of art. Yet very present in society, this interculturality is not faithfully reflected in the visual arts prior to the 1950s. As a matter of fact, the portrait genre has evolved a lot in painting with the remarkable and valuable contributions of European masters in particular, but its development took place in detriment of black bodies.
All three from West Africa and working between Africa and the United States, Sesse Enlangwe, Idris Habib and Bara Sketchbook really capture humanity in a contemporary way, with emotion, truth and meaning. With this set of works, the exhibition creates a new iconography of African community and its diaspora.