New York Armory Show Announces 2016 Focus on African Art

Artists and galleries from Africa take center stage.

Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba. Photo: Georgia Kuhn.

After highlighting the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean (known collectively as the MENAM region) last year, the Armory Show’s 2016 Focus section will take an in-depth look at both African Diasporic art and art from international African perspectives.

The invitational section, on Pier 94, will be titled “Focus: African Perspectives – Spotlighting Artistic Practices of Global Contemporaries” and will be curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, founders of Contemporary And, an online platform for international art, from “an African perspective”.

The curators hope to utilize the popular New York fair to move beyond conventional, reductive notions of Africa as a “counterpart” to Europe and North America by emphasizing geographic fluidity and global connections.

“We feel that by approaching us in particular, The Armory Show shows a deep sensitivity and understanding toward the complexities of contemporary artistic productions from Africa and the Diaspora,” said Mutumba. “We are excited and proud to be given the possibility of providing a further platform for positions of global contemporaries from African perspectives.”

Grosse and Mutumba will be the first women to curate an edition of Armory Focus. The pair founded Contemporary And in 2013 after observing a gap in the digital landscape for a platform that provided emerging and established artists, curators, art critics, and other cultural producers from Africa and the Diaspora an opportunity to connect with an international audience.


The Armory Show will take place on Piers 92 and 94 from March 3–6, 2016. 

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