One of Kenya’s most exciting young artists, Michael Armitage, recently opened his first-ever Australian exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Michael Armitage: The Promised Land is a collection of new works from the artist, who lives between Nairobi and London, reflecting on the recent Kenyan elections and the political rallies and dissidence that followed.
Drawing on history, politics, current affairs, folklore, mythology, and personal experience, Michael combines traditional elements of European Modernism with the subject and materials of East Africa. He paints his rich, large-scale works on stretched Lubugo bark cloth, a culturally-significant material. The result is elegant and intriguing, looking forward and out, as well as back and inward.
‘Sumptuous and explicit in their representation of the human body, Armitage’s paintings reconsider cultural traditions and stereotypes, spinning the exoticising gaze of Western art history into a different direction’, describes exhibition curator Natasha Bullock in her exhibition essay.
Michael Armitage: The Promised Land
June 28th – September 22nd
Galleries: Level 1 North
140 George Street
The Rocks, New South Wales