Rome

Tendai Mupita, SaNdawatya, 2020, ink, acrylic, and gold leaf on paper, 68 1⁄2 × 60 1⁄2". 

Tendai Mupita, SaNdawatya, 2020, ink, acrylic, and gold leaf on paper, 68 1⁄2 × 60 1⁄2".
 

Tendai Mupita

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I can obsess over obsessive artists. And in Tendai Mupita’s exhibition “Kuedza Mudzimu nesengere” (whose title means something like “those who are willing to take dangerous risks”), I let myself wander among the labyrinthine lines of his large-scale drawings, inspecting his curvilinear ink webs as closely as I would Agnes Martin’s geometric pencil marks—though the work of the two artists could hardly be more different.

Mupita, born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1990, studied fine art some seventy miles away from his hometown at Chinhoyi University of Technology, where he did research on fractals, examining their relationship to patterns in traditional African designs, from basket weaving to architecture and town planning. He inherited from his father and his grandfather a profound respect for the spirituality, archetypes, and rituals of his native Shona culture, which he translates into works

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