Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Forty African artists to explore 14th century Christian views at the Smithsonian today

ALPHA OMEGA ARTS
By Ernest Disney-Britton
From "The 99 Series" (2014) Ethiopian artist Aida Muluneh.
WASHINGTON, DC---The exhibition "The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists," opens this week at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.  Inspired by Dante Alighieri's 14th century poem,  40 African artists will explore the themes of paradise, purgatory, and hell with video, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and mixed media installation. In so doing, they probe diverse issues of politics, heritage, history, identity, faith, and the continued power of art to express the unspoken and intangible. Including original commissions, the exhibition features work by celebrated African artists such as Aida Muluneh, Kader Attia, Wangechi Mutu, and Yinka Shonibare.


National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institution: "The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists" (April 8-August 2, 2015);  950 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC; africa.si.edu; (202) 633-4600