Writing Art History Since 2002

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Richard Mudariki to host a pop-up studio exhibition presenting an immersive experience of paintings by the artist. Viewing is by booking a time slot to the artist’s studio in Fairfield Estate, Cape Town.

Courtesy of the artist and Barnard.

As Sean O Toole observes, time is integral to an appreciation of Gore ra2020. It, time, is both the subject of Mudariki’s ambitious cycle of paintings, as well as the basis of its grid architecture. Working in the manner of European trompe-l’œil painters who naturalistically portrayed things like calendars, letters and books, Mudariki uses the settled graphic format of a Gregorian calendar to structure his graphically formulated statements on the fitful progress of the 2020 global health pandemic and the social inequalities it exposed.

Although informed by personal experiences, Gore ra2020 is not an intimate visual diary of a plague year in the manner of, say, Edvard Munch’s 1919 self-portrait of the artist recovering from Spanish flu. Rather, the work operates as a retrospective construction of collective experience. It is a narrative told in the past tense. Retrospection suits Mudariki’s sardonic mode as a narrative painter working in a caustic observational manner similar to New Objectivity painters like Otto Dix. It is also a method substantially informed by his early academic training as an archaeologist. History, Mudariki knows, is a story pieced together from fragments.

The pop-up exhibition will be on view from the 13th until the 23rd of February 2023. To book a time slot, please click here.

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