Two Artists. Two Continents. One Creative Conversation.
Photos courtesy Franko Khoury, Marcus and Marcel Greyling, John Nash, and Saskia de Melker
Artists in Dialogue 2, a new exhibition at the National Museum of African Art, unites the styles and techniques of two artists from different continents in a visual call and response.
Sandile Zulu of Johannesburg, South Africa uses fire to burn into canvas. Henrique Oliveira of Sao Paulo, Brazil manipulates wood to simulate paint brush strokes. Both use unconventional materials to extend the traditional genre of canvas painting into three-dimensional installations. Both are interested in representations of the human body.
Curator Karen Milbourne says she chose Zulu and Oliveira based not on geography or nationality, but on an intersection of creativity: “I approached these artists because I did see a synergy in the way that they work…it’s been a pleasure to see how that relationship has developed leading up to this exhibition”
Their dialogue took place over 12 months and across three continents. In January 2010, the two artists met for the first time in Washington D.C. to look at each other’s work. Over the past year, they have communicated via skype, email, and through visits made by Milbourne to their respective studios.
The eight works that are now on display are the result of those exchanges, reflecting the artists’ individual visions as well as their reactions to each other.
Artists in Dialogue 2 can be seen at the National Museum of African Art through December 4, 2011.