Sarah M. Estrela

  • Malangatana Ngwenya, O prisioneiro, (The Prisoner), 1969, pen and black ink on paper, 17 x 12 4/5".
    picks October 26, 2020

    Malangatana Ngwenya

    Across the forty-six expertly selected works in this survey on the artist Malangatana Ngwenya (1936­–2011) are hundreds of eyes—eyes “so big,” as the writer Luís Bernardo Honwana would say, that they appear to be “yearning for something without wanting to say what.” Indeed, the show is a spectacular yet gruesome chronicle of a nearly decade-long war that dissolved Portugal’s colonial stranglehold on Malangatana’s home country, Mozambique, in 1975. His early paintings, poems, and drawings erupt the myth recapitulated in Lisbon by the British imperialist Lord William Malcolm Hailey in 1957: that

  • Kaveri Raina, Somber Partings, Swaying to the Moon, 2019, acrylic, oil pastel, burlap, 40 x 70".
    picks May 18, 2020

    Kaveri Raina

    Kaveri Raina’s quiet triumph of six paintings and three drawings shows what it means to persist, hover, and remain responsive to a process. Pushing paint through burlap and swirling graphite into portals, Raina asks: What might emerge on the other side of this “thing”? What are the consequences of collective movement?

    A life-size burgundy silhouette emerges from white burlap in the magnificent opening work, Wish It Was Otherwise; Lack Of, 2020. Disintegration or enmeshment of the self is clearly the theme here, but the painting’s titular it and what exactly it lacks remain a mystery. A green

  • Aline Motta, (Other) Foundations #2, 2017–19, inkjet print, 49 1/4 x 27 1/2".
    picks March 24, 2020

    “The discovery of what it means to be Brazilian”

    In Paris, in 1959, James Baldwin wrote, “The very word ‘America’ remains a new, almost completely undefined and extremely controversial proper noun.” São Paulo–based curator Hélio Menezes argues that one could say the same of Brazil in “The discovery of what it means to be Brazilian,” where eighteen works address myths of discovery, imagined parameters of national identity, and the peculiar experience of blackness in Brazil.

    No Martins’s massive painting of an unidentified young Black male opens the show. The canvas has been attached to another length of fabric and then smothered in paint. The