Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Jelle Bouwhuis

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Alex Mawimbi


I should say something about the style of Mawimbi’s drawings. These are often described as minimal, but that is a confusing term especially in an art-critical context. These drawings are pregnant of signs and symbols. I would call them classical, in the sense of ancient Greek classicism, like red or black figure vase painting in which contour is also used as the restrained mode of expressive figuration. Such a style was of course familiar from (sculptural) images in pharaonic – that is African – antiquity. Mawimbi’s drawing has a strong affinity with the contemporary application of this style, namely playful comic.

Jelle Bouwhuis on the drawings of the Kenyan artist Alex Mawimbi
Untitled, 2016

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