One of the biggest artists to have come out of Ghana over the last few years is heading to the UK, as Ibrahim Mahama is set to embark upon his first UK solo exhibition at White Cube’s Auditorium, when he brings his ‘Fragments’ exhibition in March. Fragments has been exhibited at many high profile galleries around the world, including the Tel Aviv Art Museum and in ‘All the World’s Futures’ at the 56th Venice Biennale.
The exhibition takes its name from the book of the same title, which was published in 1970 and written by Ghanaian author Ayi Kwei Armah. The book looks into the time when Ghana gained independence, and addresses the relationship between individuals and society at a time fuelled with corruption and collapse, so what can we expect from Mahama’s take on it?
Mahama’s exhibition focuses on the theme of decay and collapse, which explores into the concept of capital and production in a similar way to the novel. The Non-Oriental Nkansa (2017) is a monumental sculpture created by the Ghanaian artist, and this consists of stained wooden fragments of shoemaker boxes, which can be viewed at the North Galleries.
This sculpture highlights Mahama’s focus on city life, with The Non-Oriental Nkansa using containers recognised as being those of the shoeshine boys, often seen in the nation’s cities. These city aspects are further explored by the artist within the floor-to-ceiling installation in 9x9x9, with items such as archived documents and municipal maps displaying imprints of civilian information.
It is clear for all to see the passion that Ibrahim Mahama has for his home nation of Ghana, and this clearly provides the majority of the inspiration for his work. White Cube’s auditorium in Bermondsey will be the host for Mahama’s UK exhibition, which will run from 1st March to 13th April with admission completely free, so get down to see what is on show!