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8 Projects Asserting Contemporary African Art’s Equal Standing to Unfold at The Armory Show

The Armory Show will highlight eight special projects as part of its invitational “Focus: African Perspectives” section this year, according to information provided to Artsy.

Curators Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba—the first women to helm the annual Focus—will spotlight a broad range of young artists from Africa and the African diaspora at the fair’s 2016 edition next month. The eight projects, which both individually and collectively challenge the often simplistic conventional conceptions that surround Africa’s artistic output, will be spread across the fair’s home at Manhattan’s Piers 94 and 92.

The Armory Show’s commissioned artist for 2016, Kapwani Kiwangaheadlines the group with The Secretary’s Suite, an immersive mixed-media piece drawing on archival material to blend fact and fiction into a work that recalls the office occupied by the Secretary General of the United Nations in 1961. (The emphasis on the UN is apt; with 205 galleries from 36 counties, the Armory Show’s 22nd year promises one of its most global editions yet.) Kiwanga’s commissioned piece, presented by Berlin’s Galerie Tanja Wagner, explores the “economy of gifts within the political context of the United Nations” while also “playing with the idea of the gift as a powerful tool in the context of an art fair,” Grosse and Mutumba told Artsy.

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