Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

February 13, 2013 - April 22, 2013

Earth Matters is the first major exhibition to examine the conceptually complex and visually rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, walk, and frame their days. Approximately 100 artworks are on view in five thematic sections—the Material Earth, Power of the Earth, Imagining the Underground, Strategies of the Surface, and Art as Environmental Action. These categories provide vantage points from which to examine the most poignant relationships that Africans have with the land, whether it be to earth as a sacred or medicinal material or to earth as something exploited by mining or claimed by burial.

Even in the Long Descent I – V

Etching and mezzotint on paper, Each panel 1 165 x 695


The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

The University of Stellenbosch Gallery

The Jack Ginsberg Collection

Further Reading:

Milbourne, K. 2013. Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa. New York: Monacelli Press. (Extract)

Bunn, D. 2007  A Sidelong Glance: Christine Dixie’s Thresholds. Corporeal Prospects catalogue. Johannesburg, Standard Bank Gallery Exhibition