Collective Reflections: Contemporary African and Diasporic Expressions of a New Vanguard: Accra, Gallery I & II

18 Dec 2020 - 17 Jan 2021


Gallery 1957 is pleased to announce Collective Reflections: Contemporary African and Diasporic Expressions of a New Vanguard, a celebratory group exhibition responding to a year of unprecedented challenges. Curated by Danny Dunson, founder of Legacy Brothers Lab—a global arts incubator residency dedicated to the development of emerging contemporary artists—the exhibition runs across both the Gallery I and II spaces from 16 December 2020 to 17 January 2021.

Presenting over 60 works from 10 international artists, the show encompasses painting, mixed media on canvas, works on paper, collage, three dimensional sculpture and textiles.

Responding to a year of individual and collective critical evaluations of universal humanity, particularly with regards to race, the artists on show—each from disparate backgrounds—reflect on representations of ‘Blackness’. Transgressing perceived artistic boundaries, from traditional African abstraction and figuration, to spiritual expressionism, indigenous ritual, sacred practices, and cultural retention, they disrupt the Western arts canon, whilst celebrating Africa’s undeniable contribution to it – with particular reference to the movements of surrealism, mannerism and portraiture.

In Collective Reflections, the artists recreate their own hierarchies of interest, from allegorical themes delving into psychological introspection, to the self-affirming expressions of beauty, and adornment. Reframing traditional signifiers of class, gender, ethnicity and status, the artists collectively represent a new international vanguard redefining the global artistic landscape. Curator, and a mentor to the artists, Danny Dunson says “In the midst of devastating challenges of the global pandemic, political discord, and the ongoing fight against systemic racism and oppression, a reflective meditation and organic visual dialogue transpired between nine artists living and practicing in West Africa, and the Americas. While grappling within the stillness of quarantine, and the disquieting of global insurrection, these artists were compelled to examine their humanity, forming a collective journey between artists who, before this moment, had never met.”