ED CROSS FINE ART at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

September 27, 2015

Ed Cross Fine Art are exhibiting for the first time at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Somerset House from October 15th-18th, 2015.

The gallery will present three very different African and Diaspora artists – the Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau, the painter and sculptor, Eric Pina from Senegal and British painter Kimathi Donkor (fresh from his solo show in Johannesburg).

Mario Macilau, who is a painter as well as a photographer, started his journey in to photography in around 2003 from the streets of Maputo. His career began in earnest when he traded his mother's cell phone for his first camera in 2007. He specializes in long term projects often focusing on socially and economically marginalized groups.

Macilau’s Growing on Darkness series is part of the Vatican Museum’s exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale and works from his Moments in Transition series celebrating the style of young Mozambicans features prominently in Vitra Museum’s acclaimed Making Africa show. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, and was a finalist in the Unicef Photo of the Year in 2009. His work has featured regularly in numerous solo and group exhibitions, both in his home country and abroad, including The Saatchi Gallery’s Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, 2014.

Eric Pina studied L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dakar before completing his training in France where he received a Degree from Ecole Supérieure d'Art de Mulhouse et de Haute-Alsace. He now lives and works in Hanover, Germany. 

Pina’s work focuses on people and their momentary interactions stripped bare of architecture and their immediate environment. Figures are either on their own isolated journeys or movement or frozen in brief and always ambiguous encounters and reunions. The artist seeks to capture these snapshots of everyday life in the city. He is fascinated by the instant glimpse – the moment of the encounter. Pina creates a parallel universe which is often elegant but not idyllic. 

Pina’s work spans the media of painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. He was selected for and exhibited at Senegal’s Dak’Art Biennale 2014 and has had solo shows in Germany, Switzerland, Canada and France.
Kimathi Donkor is a master painter in a digital age. His work steeped in historical, contemporary and art history references that inform, entertain and challenge. His paintings are both aesthetically pleasing works of art and complex political/historical conundrums.

Donkor’s compositions draw on antique traditions of portraiture and history painting. Yet works address dramatic modern subjects – ranging from urban conflict in contemporary London to the adventures of Ghana’s anti-colonial heroine, Yaa Asantewaa.

His solo exhibitions include “Some Clarity of vision” Gallery Momo, (Johannesburg, 2015) 'Daddy, I want to be a black artist' at Peckham Platform (London, 2013), 'Queens of the Undead' at Iniva (London, 2012) and 'Fall/Uprising' (London, 2005). Group exhibitions include, 'What's Going On' at the Usher Gallery (Lincoln, 2013-2015) and the 29th São Paulo Biennial at the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion (Brazil, 2010).

He is currently completing a doctorate in painting at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Ed Cross Fine Art (established in 2009) is a non traditional visual arts dealership specializing in visual arts from the African continent and its diaspora as well as artists who have a significant and enduring connection with the continent. Artists include Nathalie Bikoro, Kimathi Donkor, Eric Pina, Mario Macilau, Lovemore Kambudzi and Charles Sekano.
Ed Cross Fine Art has presented shows in Los Angeles (Cyrus Kabiru’s C-Stunners, 2012) and St Louis, Senegal (Nathalie Bikoro: The Yellow Crossing 2011), Johannesburg Art Fair (Lovemore Kambudzi: I have walked through the crowds, 2011) South Africa as well as London. Its most recent show was Mario Macilau: The Road not Taken in March 2015, in conjunction with The Auction Room.
Founder, Ed Cross, has been heavily involved with the promotion of art from Africa and its Diaspora over the last ten years. He established Ed Cross Fine Art in 2009 on his return from Kenya where he lived and worked for over 20 years.

Kimathi Donkor's first show in South Africa, SOME CLARITY OF VISION, with Gallery Momo

September 10, 2015

We are delighted to announce news of Kimathi Donkor's first solo show in South Africa, with Gallery Momo - September 8 - October 12th. Donkor and his work will at the JoBurg Art Fair 11- 13th September, 2015

BBC Profile Mario Macilau

September 9, 2015

The BBC have published a major piece on Mario Macilau in their online magazine. Titled Mario Macilau: The street child who became a top photographer, the feature focusses on his Maputo Steet children series and includes some great quotes from Mario

"Mario Macilau was 14 and living on the streets of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, when he got his hands on a camera. He taught himself to use it - and 12 years later he was holding a solo exhibition in Lisbon. Here he explains how he snapped his way out of poverty.
As a boy, I dreamed of becoming a journalist. But then I got caught up with day-to-day troubles. When your life is full of worry it is like the future does not exist...."

The full article can be accessed via this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34090145

Mario Macilau at the 2015 Venice Biennale and at the Vitra Design Museum, Basel

July 31, 2015

Mario Macilau's powerful photographs of street children in Maputo form a major part of the Vatican Museum's show at this year's Venice Biennale entitled “In the Beginning ... the Word was made flesh .”

Macilau's "Moments of transition" series also feature prominently in the Vitra Design Museum's Making Africa show which will later move to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Kimathi Donkor shows at JoBurg Art Fair 2014 with Gallery Momo

August 19, 2014

Ed Cross Fine Art today announced that the British painter, Kimathi Donkor, will be exhibiting his work at this year’s JoBurg ArtFair with Gallery MOMO, who now represent the artist in South Africa.
Kimathi will be exhibiting three of his recent, large-scale oil paintings, including ‘Harriet Tubman en route to Canada’, which was completed in 2012. This ravishing piece of bravura painting, with its synthesis of romantic grandeur, painterly lyricism and postmodern acuity was first exhibited at the artist’s solo show for InIVA at Rivington Place in London. It was then that Donkor’s work began to achieve wider acclaim, attracting approving reviews in Frieze Magazine, ArtInfo, Studio International and Art Forum amongst others.

‘Harriet Tubman en route to Canada’ takes as its theme the daunting adventures of Harriet Tubman, the heroic African-American who, after escaping from bondage in Maryland, repeatedly returned to escort at least 70 people to freedom, often crossing the wintry wastes of the north as far as Canada. It was only there, under the protection of British anti-slavery laws that she and her companions could find asylum in the years prior to the American Civil War. Donkor’s captivating work brings into vision a terrifying moment, which Tubman recalled to her biographers, when the only way she could persuade one of her charges to continue on their arduous trek was by threatening his very life. The painting juxtaposes startling references to Caravaggio’s ‘The Martyrdom of St Matthew’ with ‘The Doubt: ‘Can these Dry Bones Live?” by the pre-Raphaelite Henry Bowler, Donkor not only demonstrates his deft familiarity with the history of European painting, but also brings to the fore questions about martyrdom, sacrifice and sainthood which still resonate in modern black America.

Ed Cross, the Director of ECFA, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we now have an agreement with Gallery MOMO to show Kimathi’s astonishing paintings in South Africa. In recent years the work of this exciting African-British artist has been exhibited as far afield as Sãu Paulo in Brazil, where he took part in the 29th Biennial and Rome in Italy: but this is the first time he has had the opportunity to share his vision with a gallery audience on the continent of Africa itself.”

Kimathi Donkor, the artist said: “As a young art student at Goldsmiths in the 1980s, I was mentored by two amazing anti-apartheid South African exiles – the poet and sculptor, Pitika Ntuli, and the writer and curator, Sarat Maharaj – so, to now see my paintings go on display in JoBurg, and, especially, with the world renowned Gallery Momo, is the achievement of a lifelong ambition.”

Monna Mokenna, the Director of Gallery MOMO said: “We are thrilled to introduce the work of Kimathi Donkor to the JoBurg ArtFair audience. His paintings possess a unique blend of beauty, wit and integrity, which will add to our exceptionally strong display this year: with Mary Sibande, Blessing Ngobeni, Ransome Stanley, Joel Mpah Dooh and Ayana V Jackson all showing fantastic work!”

A selection of Kimathi Donkor’s paintings are on display until April 2015 at the Usher Gallery in the northern English city of Lincoln, and his work features in two art history books published this year: ‘Black artists in British art: a history since the 1950s’ by Prof. Eddied Chambers (I.B. Tauris) and ‘The Haitian revolution in the literary imagination’ by Prof. Philip Kaisary (University of Virginia Press).

The JoBurg ArtFair will be held from 23-25 August, 2014 at the Sandton Convention Centre, 161 Maude St, Sandton 2196, Johannesburg South Africa

Gallery MOMO will be exhibiting at Booth 1. Opening times: Friday: 11am – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 7pm; Sunday: 10am – 5pm.

For further information contact Ed Cross, Director of ECFA on +44 (0) 7507067567 or email ed@edcrossfineart.com or visit www.edcrossfineart.com

Monna Mokoena, Director of GalleryMOMO on +27 11 327 3247 or email info@gallerymomo.com or visit www.gallerymomo.com

Image caption: Harriet Tubman en route to Canada | Oil on canvas | 210 x 165 cm | 2012

The Sindika Dokolo collection acquires two major works by Kimathi Donkor

November 14, 2013

We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of two major paintings by Kimathi Donkor by one of the world's leading collectins of contemporary African art - Sindika Dokolo.

The works are Kombi Continua (Scenes from the Life of Njinga Mbandi) and Yaa Asantewaa inspecting the dispositions at Ejisu both part of his Queens of the Undead series shown at INIVA's ascclaimed exhibition in 2012.

Mário Macilau

June 5, 2013

We are proud and excited to be representing the exciting and highly acclaimed Mozambican photographer Mário Macilau.

Mario has just been featured extensively by Al Jazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/artscape/2013/04/2013422111558769256.html in a remarkable film by Francois Verster who has this to say about the man and his work:

The South African photography scene has been a vibrant one for many decades already, and there are a number of young photographers who have recently had significant international success.

But as with South Africa’s growth and development generally, the interest in these photographers tends to overshadow the work of new artists from other countries in the region. So for a South African like me, it has been both a good adventure and a pleasure to work with an inspiring upcoming photographer from a neighbouring country.

Much documentary photography in Southern Africa seems to be about moving away from engaging with social problems toward a stylised and self-referential debate about representation itself. This is often done using the beautiful and glossy large format film that suits coffee table books and interior designers willing to pay big money for prints.

By contrast, Mario Macilau’s photographs of real issues and real problems exude an unusual freshness and emotional connection. His eye is primarily an artistic one, but with his attention to detail and astounding framing, he captures the intense social reality of contemporary Mozambique, and Africa. Ultimately, what gives his photographs their power is their sense of both mystery and intense disturbance.

Economically, Mozambique is following the same pattern as South Africa and the wider region. The globalisation favoured by the rich emphasises economic over human development. This has radically increased the cost of living and therefore widened the gap between the rich and poor. As Mario puts it: “There is no longer a middle class in our country”. His pictures aim to confront this gap; the people who appear in them announce themselves unapologetically, with dignity, with rage.

Growing up as a poor and, for the most part, fatherless kid, Mario spent long periods sleeping on the street with homeless children - and I sense his own experience staring back at us through the eyes of his subjects. This is an “African gaze” which resists stereotypes and inhabits the world of its subjects; a gaze balancing direct social action with the mysterious possibilities offered by art.

Unlike many other aspiring African artists, Mario is not interested in living in Europe. His family and country are core elements in both his life and work. While funding will often come from foreign sources, the audience that he wants to connect with are local ones.

We filmed over two weeks in Maputo, Bilene and Chokwe with a very small crew. The idea was to observe how Mario negotiates the different worlds of a Mozambican artist. We saw how he moved smoothly between the modest barrio of Polana Ganico - where he lives with his mother - and Maputo’s often ostentatious art scene, and made it a core part of the film. Both he and his family were astonishingly open in granting access to our film crew. In his words, he has “nothing to hide”.

My hope is that this film will give exposure to the work of an important young artist, to the social issues he explores, and also to the person behind the work - someone who is likeable, warm and always thought-provoking.

Cyrus Kabiru: The C-Stunners March 1st - 9th 2013 Los Angeles

February 3, 2013

We are delighted to announce the first U.S.A. exhibition of the Kenyan artist and TED Fellow Cyrus Kabiru at Frank Pictures Gallery in association with Ed Cross Fine Art,
Bergamot Station, A-5 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 from March 1st - 9th 2013 with a Private View on Saturday 2nd March 5.30 - 8.30pm.

Kabiru will be in Los Angeles for the show - where he is receiving his TED 2013 Fellowship and speaking at the TED The Young, the Wise, the Undiscovered Conference at Long Beach.

C-Stunners are wearable eyewear sculpture created from found materials from Nairobi each piece has its own story forming an on-going social commentary about our relationships with urban spaces and perceptions of Africa.

Peter Clarke: Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats

January 8, 2013

The Institute of International Visual Arts (INIVA) in East London opens a major retrospective and the first substantial exhibition in the UK of the internationally acclaimed South African artist Peter Clarke on 16th January - 9th March 2013.

Introduction to the Exhibition

One of the most accomplished and versatile visual South African artists, Peter Clarke was born in 1929. In his early twenties he declared that he would make his living as an artist, which was a highly unusual ambition for a young black South African at the time. Over the last sixty years, Clarke has reflected on his country\'s social and political history and is often referred to as the ‘quiet chronicler\'. His work constitutes a subtle critique of apartheid and its social consequences as well as more recently, aspects of the ‘new\' South Africa.

About the artist

Peter Clarke\'s art is about people, and in his reflection of humanity and in the contribution he has made to his country\'s cultural development, he has become an inspiration to many other artists. Although largely self-taught, Clarke was encouraged by taking informal art classes and studying European masters that he saw reproduced in books - including Picasso, and the South African modernist Gerard Sekoto (the first black artist to be represented in a South African public collection). Witty, sharp, poignant, aesthetically memorable, Clarke\'s work provides an extraordinary context for discussion of his country as it prepares to celebrate 20 years since the momentous elections that brought Nelson Mandela to President.

About Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats

Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats honours Clarke\'s life, work and contribution to art over sixty years and tells the story of an artist who is part of a lost generation, a voice that has been largely unheard in Europe. The exhibition is presented by Iniva in partnership with the South African National Gallery (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Talks and Events programme

A series of events exploring art\'s relationship to history and contemporary politics accompanies the exhibition - details to follow soon.

Information in this news item is from http://www.iniva.org/exhibitions_projects/2013/peter_clarke/peter_clarke_exhibition<br>
Selected works from this show are available through Ed Cross Fine Art please contact us for more details Ed@edcrossfineart.com

C-STUNNERS modelled by Bobby Womack in Clash Magazine

December 27, 2012

The latest issue of Clash Magazine features the soul legend Bobby Womack wearing C-STUNNER art work by Cyrus Kabiru. Womack wears four pairs of Kabiru's fantastical eyewear sculpture and is shown on the front cover in C-STUNNERs.

Magazine available to purchase online or in newsagents.


Under the Influence Magazine: The Africa Issue

November 26, 2012

Under the Influence Magazine launched their 11th issue this month, The Africa Issue. The magazine features articles and interviews by some of the most influential designers, curators, photographers and writers including a piece on Nathalie Mba Bikoro and Cyrus Kabiru by Emma Cavendish of Ed Cross Fine Art.

The magazine is a beautiful collection of words and images which has been well considered and researched by the authors and editor, Susan Connie Marsh.

Opening with the statement by Okwui Enwezor: "Africa is a location that is unbounded by the cartographic specificity of this placed called a continent" the magazine is a must have at this important turning point in global perception towards Africa.


'The Middle Passage, Alice in Wonderland' exhibition of work by Nathalie Mba Bikoro

November 6, 2012

9th November – 15th December 2012

Private View: Thursday 8th November 2012, 6:30-8:30pm

Tiwani Contemporary in association with Ed Cross Fine Art is delighted to present The Middle Passage: Alice in Wonderland, the first solo exhibition in London by the interdisciplinary artist Nathalie Mba Bikoro. Bikoro’s series of photo etchings depicting a new Alice travelling through Wonderland is an evolving body of work which explores concepts of identity in relation to gender, matriarchal and patriarchal relationships, anthropology and the mythologizing of the African continent through time using a visual narrative of appropriation. The exhibition will feature live performance by the artist at the private view as well as showing video of Bikoro’s performance art both of which are part of the series.

In this work Bikoro appropriates images from the archives, from popular culture and from her own photography to construct an altered reality which gives the audience signs which they recognise but denies and resists the desire to categorise as Bikoro’s narrative plays with time and location. Bikoro’s work is very much related to the artist’s own encounters and experiences and in the first in a series of larger scale photo etchings figures and experiences from the artist’s recent visits to Gabon, Senegal and South Africa are represented in the Wonderland.

For this exhibition Bikoro will install elements from the photo etchings into the gallery space, this will include the suspension of a carousel horse (seen repeated in Bikoro's large scale triptych 'Carousel/Blanc ou Noir Toutes Les Larmes sont Salées) from the ceiling as well as the display of a series of flags created by the artist using African fabrics. The inclusion of such elements not only mirrors objects within the photo etchings but also speaks directly to the artist's performance which is an inextricable part of this series of works. A flag can also be seen in the work, Les Statues Meurent aussi/we are martians, which shows Alice's encounter with astronauts in the wonderland. Alice is seen to interact with these seemingly alien figures from in front and above simultaneously as Bikoro represents an historical encounter between man and the unknown to the backdrop images of her village in Gabon.

Nathalie Mba Bikoro is a French-Gabonese interdisciplinary artist working with visual arts and live performance art. Bikoro uses her work and her writing to explore and make comment on identity, inspired by her personal experience as part of an African diaspora community. Creating site specific live performance art, Bikoro’s most recent performances speak directly to and are part of her first major series of photo etchings.

With an education in Politics, Philosophy and Media Arts (University of Greenwich), Art History and Fine Arts (Kingston University) and Curation (St. Martin’s School of Art) Bikoro is very much the intellectual artist her work drawing heavily on literature and academic debate.

Bikoro examines questions of identity and community through her work in relation to the relationship between Europe and Africa, specifically Gabon. Bikoro’s ten year battle with Leukaemia was fought out across Gabon, the Netherlands and France and has influenced the narrative and methods in which Bikoro chooses to create her work often using her own body as a site of performance. Bikoro’s personal struggle for recovery played out across geographical boundaries has helped Bikoro to forge a visual language which challenges the conceptual boundaries in the representation and appropriation of African bodies in literature, narrative and visual arts.

She has worked on many educational interdisciplinary arts projects and collaborations and has taught across Europe and Africa. Her exhibitions have travelled across Africa, South Latin America, South Korea & Europe including African Heritage London UK 2010; New Currencies Museum Johannesburg SA 2010; Contemporary African Art Art|Basel Switzerland 2010-11; DMZ Festival South Korea 2010; Perpendicular Casa i Rua Belo Horizonte Brazil 2011; Arts Biennale Sachnin Israel 2012; Dak'art Biennale Senegal 2012. Bikoro was most recently awarded a residency at the Fondation Blanchère and the Soleil D’Afrique Prize Mali.

Cyrus Kabiru at the Istanbul Design Biennale 2012

November 6, 2012

The talent multi-disciplinary artist Cyrus Kabiru recently travelled from his home in Nairobi to show his work at the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennale. Kabiru showcased his series of wearable eye-wear sculpture 'C-STUNNERS' which have started to capture the world's attention.

Kabiru's involvement in the biennale was picked up by the New York Times journalist Alice Rawthron who writes about the impact of new technologies on product and design in the article below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/arts/design/in-the-shifting-world-of-product-design-the-user-now-has-a-voice.html?pagewanted=all />