Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius” at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

 
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THE FIRST SOLO MUSEUM EXHIBITION of Conrad Egyir presents a series of individual and group portraits whose subjects hail from Detroit, New York City, or Aburi, Ghana. On view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the nine works in “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius” explore migration, citizenship, and political and religious revolutions.

Born in Accra, Ghana, Egyir earned an MFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., in 2018. He lives and works in Detroit.

Vividly colored, the portraits are framed in white, a signature of his practice. Many of the borders are scalloped creating mixed-media paintings that resemble postage stamps, giving a nod to the various cultures and geographies represented in the form of national homage. Other works have attributes that reference a postcard, spiral notebook pages, and early computer print-out paper with perforated edges and holes on either side.

The title of the exhibition is Latin for “no man’s land.” According to the introduction of the show, at its core, the presentation is about “finding similarities among the three psycho-social terrains and synthesizing them into a new space ‘Terra Nullius.’ Within this new place, devoid of political and legal constructs, its residents behave as stewards of time, resources, and space.” CT

 

“Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius” is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. The exhibition is coordinated by Ford Curatorial Fellow Tizziana Baldenebro, with guest curator Larry Ossei-Mensah. View the museum’s visitor guidelines

FIND MORE about the exhibition

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “Iptisam,” 2020, and “The Assembly,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “Sydney,” 2020, and “Ato,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “Ato,” 2020, and “How beautiful, the feet that brings the sound of good news,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “How beautiful, the feet that brings the sound of good news,” 2020, and “Entreat Me Not to Leave,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, “The Gathering,” 2020, and “Sydney,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


CONRAD EGYIR, Installation view of “Post Facsimile,” 2020 (oil, acrylic, mixed media on canvas, 46 x 46 inches / 121.9 x 121.9 cm). | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 


Installation view of “Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), July 2, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “A Psalm of Sufficiency,” 2020, and “Post Facsimile,” 2020. | Courtesy MOCAD, the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tim Johnson

 

LEARN MORE about Conrad Egyir on his website

 

Editor’s Note: On July 3, calling themselves MOCAD Resistance, more than 70 former staff MOCAD members, including the coordinator of this exhibition, issued an open letter accusing the museum’s director and chief curator Elysia Borowy-Reeder of racism, mismanagement, and creating a toxic workplace. MOCAD investigated the claims (Borowy-Reeder told the Detroit Free Press she disagreed with the investigation and was not included in the process) and the board voted to terminate Borowy-Reeder, describing the July 29 action as a course correction at the museum.

 

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