22 Jul 2015 Interview Magazine: Finding a Seat at the Table
Upon walking into Richard Taittinger Gallery on the Lower East Side, more than 50 two-dimensional works, by 12 artists who have African lineages, greet visitors in an exhibition titled “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” The group show, curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, immediately evokes notions of Judy Chicago’s radical installation Dinner Party (1979), but with its feminist message subverted to address the expanse of African culture and the continent’s place within the global art scene.
“I want to think deeply about the force of change in contemporary art today, where the art market, the global art world, is forced to recognize the creative output of African artists,” says Smooth, who is also a curator at the Hood Museum of Art, Darthmouth College and curated the 11th Dak’Art Biennale. “Output is increasing, is being recognized, [but] there is a tendency to view that output through a very narrow lens. This exhibition allows us to question that lens.”