Michael Armitage’s vibrant narrative paintings are displayed alongside works that helped shape East African figurative painting.
Bringing together 15 recent large-scale works by Michael Armitage and 35 works by East African artists hand-selected by Armitage, this exhibition explores contemporary East African art, European art history, current events and the artist’s own experiences in Kenya.
Michael Armitage is known for his multi-layered narrative paintings that question social norms, religious ideology, politics and cultural clichés. Dazzling landscapes and allegorical figures frequent his work and are on display in abundance here.
Looking primarily at the last seven years of the artist’s career, the exhibition is split into three sections: the first exploring paintings inspired by the contested 2017 Kenyan general elections; the second displaying six works done between the 1960s-90s that showcase the shaping of Kenyan figurative painting; the third a selection of Michael Armitage’s figure painting and East African landscapes including the mesmerising Paradise Edict (2016).
The exhibition will also explore Michael Armitage’s interesting use of painting materials including ‘lubugo’ bark cloth originating in Uganda.