Monday, 4 October 2010

Matter of Record: Peterson Kamwathi’s First Solo Show in London

Gallery: Ed Cross Fine Art, The Hive Projects, 20 Buckle Street, London E1 8EH
Dates & Times: October 20th – November 20th 2010
Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Open until 9pm for First Thursdays on November

Peterson Kamwathi (b.1980) is one of Kenya's leading visual artists. His powerful works are created in response to specific national and global socio‐economic and political phenomena.

Sitting Allowance Series by Peterson Kamwathi | Charcoal on Paper | 2009

Sitting Allowance Series by Peterson Kamwathi | Charcoal on Paper | 2009

Events such as the botched 2007 Kenyan General Elections that brought the country to the brink of civil war and the long and tortuous process of establishing a new post‐colonial constitution.
In his new "queue" works, the artist explores the meaning of queues in varying local and international contexts from Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Kenyans waiting patiently in line to cast their votes.

The works are devoid of narcissism. Kamwathi's motivation flows from a sense of belonging and duty to his society and wider humanity and the world. Artist in the tradition of story teller, as recorder, questioner and harbinger.

Matter of Record, Peterson Kamwathi's first solo show in London, will bring together works from the last four years ‐ woodcut prints and plates, and charcoal drawings.
The exhibition will be opened by renowned Ethiopian curator Meskerem Assugued.

Biography of the artist

Peterson Kamwathi, born in Nairobi in 1980, is one of Kenya’s best regarded young artists and is now establishing himself as a major name in contemporary African art. His work combines clear conceptual elements and rich content with technical mastery. 
His main body of work has been in printmaking where he is an acknowledged master of the woodcut process, though more recently he has broadened his oeuvre to create several series of charcoal and mixed media works, culminating in his “Sitting Allowance” installation which is almost epic in its scale documenting the grim realities of the bungled Kenyan 2007/8 elections. 
A substantial portion of his work has been concerned with the iconography and process of the first Kenyan constitutional referendum 2005 which he explored through the medium of woodcut. In a series of works, he uses the bull as the main symbol representing his country Kenya and the issues taking centre stage during this important period of her history.

Sitting Allowance Series By Peterson Kamwathi

Sitting Allowance Series by Peterson Kamwathi | Charcoal on Paper | 2009

 “I view myself as a part of my society and as such I’m accountable to the society. Being an artist in this society extends beyond my immediate environment to include the world. In my work I strive to address and document issues that affect and impact my country, my continent and now the planet.”

Solo Exhibitions
2009 Sitting Allowance, The Goethe Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Constitutional Bulls Series, World Museum, Liverpool, UK
2007 Le Rustique, Nairobi, Kenya
The GoDown Art Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
2005 Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, University of Kentucky, USA
2002 Ngong Racecourse Restaurant

Group Exhibitions
2010 Dakar Biennale, Official Programme
Space, Johannesburg
St Louis Cultural Festival, Ed Cross Fine Art, S Louis, Senegal
Witness: The Spectre of Memory in Contemporary African Art, Ed Cross Fine Art at
Edinburgh Art Festival
2009 Probe – Group Show, Curated by Simon Njami, GoDown Arts Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Stereotypes – Group Show, Kuona trust, Nairobi, Kenya
2008 Africa Now, Washington DC, USA
2006 East African Printmaker's Exhibition, The GoDown Arts Centre
Printmaking Exhibition, Ramoma Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
2005 Exhibition of Kenyan Prints, part of Africa 05, Bankside gallery, London, UK
2004 Off the Main, New York, USA
Edition One (printmakers exhibition), National museum of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Art, Selena Gallery, University of Long Island, New York, USA
Two Faces of Love (two‐man exhibition), Le Rustique, Nairobi, Kenya
2003 Festival Mundial, Tilburg, Holland
Insights into Kenya, Le Rustique, Nairobi, Kenya
BBC Antiques Road Show, Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, Kenya
2001 Constitutional Review Exhibition, National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Art Affair, The Village Market
2000 Best of Kuona, E.A. Contemporary Art Gallery
Art Affair, Ramoma Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
1999 Hanging Around, E.A. Contemporary Art Gallery

2009 Art Omi International Artists Residency, Columbia, New York
Reijkademy Residency, Amsterdam
2006 Printmaking residency, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
London print studio, London, UK
Thupelo international artist’s workshop, Rorkes Drift, South Africa
2005 University of Kentucky Kenya artists in residence program, Lexington, Kentucky. USA

For further information:
Ed Cross
Mobile: 07507 067567

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