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Oklahoma State University

Wákàtí: Time Shapes African Art

The relationship between time and space in African art is the focus of this exhibition. Wákàtí, a West African concept among the Yoruba, refers to time as it unfolds and marks its passage with signs of change. The works assembled for this exhibition tackle the question: how does time shape African art? With works including painting, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, performance and installation arts, the exhibition presents the relationship between time and space in the making of the art objects, and the shaping of styles from different eras and various areas of Africa.

This exhibition, featuring works from the OSU Museum of Art collection, eliminates the artificial wall often erected between “traditional” and “contemporary” art in Africa by highlighting the seamless transition of time as a natural flow uniting images from ancient to current practices. The works in the exhibition demonstrate the notion of Pabambari, an African esthetic idea for appraising and enjoying the highest form of artistic excellence. In the gallery spaces, the works of living artists including Christopher Adejumo, Orisagbemi Arigbabuwo, and Tinuomi Afilaka, interact with ancestral images from Dogon, Ashanti, Yaka and other indigenous African traditions.  

The exhibition is on view Sept. 21, 2015 - Jan. 16, 2016. All related programming below is free and open to the public.

Monday, Sept. 21, 5:30 pm
Guest lecture by Olaniyi R. Akindiya (AKIRASH), Visiting Artist       

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Performance by Olaniyi R. Akindiya (AKIRASH), Visiting Artist

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Opening reception featuring a gallery talk with Curator Moyo Okediji at 5:30 pm. A live painting performance by D. Denenge Akpem, Visiting Artist, will follow.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6:00 pm
Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness, a lecture by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson

Saturday,  Nov. 14, 2:00 pm
Wákàtí: A Fashion Show will present work by OSU apparel design students, inspired by Wákàtí: Time Shapes African Art

Image: Tola Wewe, Waiting, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 53" x 60"

September 21, 2015 to January 16, 2016