CURRENTLY ON VIEW in London, galleries are presenting solo exhibitions of American artists Deborah Roberts and Kara Walker; emerging Nigerian artist Nengi Omuku; and British Nigerian sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp. In addition, a two-artist show is presenting works by Gareth Nyandoro and Mostaff Muchawaya, who are both based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The exhibitions dedicated to Roberts and Douglas Camp close this weekend:


DEBORAH ROBERTS, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky,” 2022 (mixed-media and collage on canvas, 213.4 x 213.4 cm / 84 1/8 x 84 1/8 inches). | © Deborah Roberts, Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

Deborah Roberts: I have something to tell you @ Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street | June 6-July 23, 2022

Deborah Roberts makes powerful images that give visibility to and acknowledge the vulnerability of Black children. For her second solo show at Stephen Friedman, the Austin, Texas-based artist is presenting large-scale paintings on black backgrounds, with some works referencing high-profile incidents of racism in the UK.

The exhibition is on view in conjunction with a group show at the gallery, which is co-curated by Roberts and Katy Hessel, founder of The Great Women Artists podcast. “From Near and Far: Collage and Figuration in the Contemporary Age” features works made primarily between 2004 and 2022 by 16 women artists: Roberts, Sarah Ball, Jordan Casteel, Kenturah Davis, M. Florine Démosthène, Genevieve Gaignard, Lubaina Himid, Kudzanai-Violet Hawami, Chantal Joffe, Aubrey Levinthal, Martha Rosler, Anne Rothenstein, Amy Sherald, Mickalene Thomas, Caroline Walker, and Betye Saar (who contributed a 1960 collage), among others.

The gallery shows coincide with “Deborah Roberts: I’m” at Art + Practice in Los Angeles through Aug. 20. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the California African American Museum, where a mural installation by Roberts is on view.


Installation view of “Nengi Omuku: Parables of Joy,” Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 2022. | Courtesy the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Nengi Omuku: Parables of Joy @ Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 6 Heddon Street | June 10-July 30, 2022

In March, Pippy Houldsworth announced its representation of Nigerian artist Nengi Omuku, who makes paintings on a Nigerian fabric called sanyan. For her first solo exhibition with the gallery, Omuki is presenting a series of new paintings. Under the tutelage of her mother, she trained as a florist and horticulturalist, an experience that informs her hybrid abstract and figurative images.


SOKARI DOUGLAS CAMP, “Lips Oil Cans,” 2018 (steel, tin, acrylic paint and oil cans, 65 x 46 x 24 cm). | © Sokari Douglas Camp, Courtesy the artist and October Gallery

Sokari Douglas Camp: Jonkonnu Masquerade @ October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street | June 16-July 23, 2022

A British artist of Nigerian descent, Sokari Douglas Camp has made a name for herself producing striking figurative steel sculptures. This exhibition of new works spanning 2012-2022 was inspired by a series of lithographs by Isaac Mendes Belisario (a Jamaican artist of Jewish heritage) that captivated Douglas Camp. The images explored Jonkonnu, the annual Jamaican festival that originated in the 1830s, “during the period of slavery, when plantation workers celebrated the few days holiday allowed each year with exuberant musical masquerades that recalled their African heritage.”

The gallery exhibition coincides with the display of Douglas Camp’s large-scale sculpture “Europe Supported by Africa and America” (2015) at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London on the occasion of the exhibition “African Fashion,” which is on view through May 14, 2023..


Installation view of “Forever Etched On My Mind: Gareth Nyandoro and Mostaff Muchawaya,” Tiwani Contemporary, London, 2022. Shown from left, works by Gareth Nyandoro and Mostaff Muchawaya (2). | Courtesy the artist and Tiwani Contemporary

Forever Etched On My Mind: Gareth Nyandoro and Mostaff Muchawaya @ Tiwani Contemporary, 4 Cromwell Place | July 19-Aug. 13, 2022

In this two-artist exhibition, Gareth Nyandoro and Mostaff Muchawaya take Ruwa, in Harare Province, Zimbabwe, as their subject. Both artists live and work in the town. Nyandoro is presenting ink on paper works mounted on wood panel that focus on urban development. Muchawaya’s mixed-media paintings are conceptual figurative portraits.


KARA WALKER, “The Colonists Day of Judgement,” 2020 (walnut ink, shell white, pen, ink and watercolor on paper, 66 × 101.6 cm / 26 × 40 inches). | © Kara Walker, Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers

Kara Walker: Ring Around the Rosy @ Sprüth Magers, 7A Grafton Street | June 10-July 30, 2022

Best known for her cut-paper silhouettes, New York artist Kara Walker works in a variety of mediums, with drawing serving as a foundation of her practice. This survey of recent drawings, including many made this year, showcase her career-long endeavor, the “examination of history, power, race, desire, illuminating representations of violence and the ongoing process of American racial formation.”

The exhibition coincides with a touring exhibition, “A Black Hole is Everything a Star Longs to Be,” currently on view at the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, The Netherlands, through July 24. CT


Stephen Friedman published booklets to accompany the exhibitions “Deborah Roberts: I have something to tell you” and “From Near and Far: Collage and Figuration in the Contemporary Age.” The volume “Deborah Roberts: I’m” documents her museum exhibition. “Kara Walker: A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be” accompanies the artist’s current traveling exhibition. Meanwhile, “Kara Walker – Book of Hours” was published earlier this year and “Kara Walker: White Shadows in Blackface” is forthcoming in October. Also consider, “Play and Display: Steel Masquerades from Top to Toe: Sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp,” an early exhibition catalog that documents the artist’s masquerade works.


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