On Friday, October 6th, Stephen Friedman Gallery's new London location on Cork Street, Mayfair, will unveil an exciting exhibition titled 'Free The Wind, The Spirit, and The Sun,' featuring new work by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA.
The exhibition also showcases a diverse group of African artists and talents from the African diaspora, curated by Shonibare himself. Among these individuals are upcoming residents and alumni who have participated in the G.A.S. residency programme over the past year. 'Free The Wind, The Spirit, and The Sun' is a testament to the diverse range of disciplines explored during these residencies, encompassing paintings, sculptures, mixed media pieces, and works on paper.
Left: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Hybrid Mask (Gurunsi), 2023 | Right: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Sun Dance Kids (Boy and Girl), 2023
Described as a "celebration of nature" by Shonibare, the first two exhibition rooms come alive with a vibrant array of sculptures, masks, and quilts. Drawing inspiration from the dada spirit that emerged in Zurich during the tumultuous years of the First World War at Cabaret Voltaire, founded by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, this exhibition boldly challenges the established norms of Western art, from the Renaissance to Naturalism and Impressionism. During this period, dada artists often staged performances in bewildering, trance-like states, evoking African and Oceanic cultures to express concepts of animalism, originality, and freedom.
Left: Okiki Akinfe, The Road to Damascus, 2023 | Right: Uzor Ugoala, Untitled (detail), 2022
In the third room, artists proudly exhibited in the showcase curated by Shonibare include upcoming G.A.S. resident Gareth Nyandoro, G.A.S. alumni Okiki Akinfe, Emma Prempeh, and Uzor Ugoala, alongside Bunmi Agusto, Victor Ehikhamenor, Masimba Hwati, Nengi Omuku, and Ozioma Onuzulike. Collectively, this exhibition serves as a resounding expression of freedom within the creative community. The show runs until 11th November 2023 at Stephen Friedman Gallery, 5-6 Cork Street, London, W1s 3LQ.
Left: Emma Prempeh, A Haunting Fragility, 2023 | Right: Gareth Nyandoro, Sofa Constructions, 2022
Banner image: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, African Bird Magic (Crested Lark) I, 2023