Claflin Lecture Series: Smooth Nzewi

Apr. 18, 2024, 5:30 p.m.

Taylor Room 203

A painting depicting many colorful human bodies surrounding a single white dove.
Malangatana Valente Ngwenya (Mozambican, 1936–2011), Cry for Freedom, 1973. Oil on hardboard, gift of Glenn and Eva Dubin, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Art and Decolonization in Africa during the Independence Era, 1956–1982

Smooth Nzewi is the Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His talk foregrounds artists’ response to the advent of a new African reality characterized by the transition from colonial modernity to an aspirational decolonized subjectivity. Nzewi considers myriad approaches and frames of reference that infused the works produced by African artists during this period. Nzewi addresses the intersection of aesthetics and politics in the making of an “affirmative” modernism in Africa during the effervescent era of political and cultural emancipation in Africa.

Free and open to the public.