Exhibitions

NOW SHOWING IN CROWN HEIGHTS AT CALABAR IMPORTS, 708 FRANKLIN AVENUE, BROOKLYN 718-638-4288

SONGS IN THE KEY OF ART: Black Musicians by Jimmy James Greene

SONGS IN THE KEY OF ART: Black Musicians by Jimmy James Greene

August 23 to September 24, 2018
Open daily, closed Tuesdays
Hours: 12-7pm

This exhibition speaks to the focal interest of Jimmy James Greene in capturing black musicians across the decades in America and across the world. From Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba, Miles Davis, and JayZ, Greene documents these prolific artists through sketch, drawing, paint, collage and more mediums to tell the story of black music through potraiture.

SMALL WORKS: CALABAR GALLERY EXTENSION at Calabar Imports, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
708 Franklin Avenue,

between Park and Prospect Place
Brooklyn, NY 12238
718-638-4288
mailto:Info@calabargallery.com

Since his childhood in Xenia, Ohio, Jimmy James Greene has shown exceptional artistic ability. After apprenticing with acclaimed afro-centric muralist Jon Onye Lockard in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Greene graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design. Since then he has gone on to become an accomplished collagist, painter draftsman and designer who also works with stained glass, print making and mosaic tile. For the past twenty five years his work has explored the communal expressions of the African diaspora in general, and those of the African-American experience in particular. “I see myself as a visual story teller,” says Greene. “The styles I use range from tight representation to abstracted forms, depending upon my intent, but the bottom line is communication. Ideally my work will act as a springboard for the viewer into their own imagination, their own experiences, memories and aspirations.”

As a fine artist Greene has executed over thirty one-person exhibitions and innumerable group showings. As a commercial artist he has theater posters, CD covers and many newspaper, magazine and book cover illustrations to his credit.

More recently Greene has been commissioned to do public works of art by The New York Transit Authority, New York’s City Parks Foundation, Met Life and St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. “Public commissions are like coming full circle,” says Greene. “I started out as a mural apprentice and now I’m doing similar large-scale works that have to be fabricated to last for centuries, to be seen by thousands of people yearly!”

“Art isn’t like sports – it’s not about the fastest run or the most points scored in a game. Art is about expressing a point of view, one’s self, and there are a whole lot of points of view,” Greene says. “There are many ways of seeing life’s experiences. There hasn’t been a culture on the face of the earth that didn’t express itself through art and, I believe there isn’t a person that doesn’t respond to art on one level or another. We’re just wired that way, thank God.”

My recent series of artworks are title “People of Color.” This term is often applied to people of non-European ancestry (i.e. African American, Latino, etc.) and I have taken this description literally. In creating these portraits I have rendered the figures with colors that are not realistic skin tones but abstracted and imaginary hues. Like the Expressions, this use of color is an emotional interpretation and gives the work an expressive impact. It also challenges the view to see the familiar human form in different and unique ways. Another reason for this series is to raise the often degraded people of color to a high level of adoration and respect, as people worthy of being shown in art as beautiful and inspirational.

NOW SHOWING IN HARLEM

(TRANSFORMATION): A SOLO EXHIBITION BY FAUSTIN ADENIRAN AT CALABAR GALLERY, HARLEM

Join us for Faustin Adeniran’s first New York solo exhibition.

Exhibition up until September 30

Faustin Adeniran is a contemporary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Through extensive historical research and his deep observation of cultural trends, Faustin reflects elements of society in his artwork by reimagining materials that would otherwise be considered trash or recyclable.Faustin is an artist from the African Artist Foundation and a Member of the Centre of Contemporary Art, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria. Faustin’s works have been featured in international exhibitions in Nigeria and France as well as exhibitions across the Northeast USA, including the Empire State Building, NY; Highline Loft Gallery in Chelsea, NY; the DaSilva Art Gallery in New Haven, CT; and the Reynolds Fine Art Gallery in New Haven, CT. His work has been showcased at the Annual Art and Culture Festival in Hamden, CT and most recently, Adeniran had work commissioned for Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. Outside of his craft, Faustin has given presentations and workshops on the social significance of his work to students at A&M Alabama University, James Madison University, and Quinnipiac University. Faustin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Western European Studies with a focus in French Studies from the University of Lagos. Faustin continues to pursue his passion and expand his body of work at the Adeniran Art Studio based in New Haven, CT, USA.

Sisters, Mothers and Queens by Jimmy James Greene, A Solo Exhibition

Since his childhood in Xenia, Ohio, Jimmy James Greene has shown exceptional artistic ability. After apprenticing with acclaimed afro-centric muralist Jon Onye Lockard in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Greene graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design. Since then he has gone on to become an accomplished collagist, painter draftsman and designer who also works with stained glass, print making and mosaic tile. For the past twenty five years his work has explored the communal expressions of the African diaspora in general, and those of the African-American experience in particular. “I see myself as a visual story teller,” says Greene. “The styles I use range from tight representation to abstracted forms, depending upon my intent, but the bottom line is communication. Ideally my work will act as a springboard for the viewer into their own imagination, their own experiences, memories and aspirations.”

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Complexities, Portraiture and Abstract Dialogues in Contemporary Nigerian Emerging and Established Artists, curated by Atim Annette Oton and Burns Effiom

The work of some Nigerian artists bridge a complex dialogue between abstract composition in drawing, pencils, oil paint and mixed media and realism in portraiture. It situates its core in story telling, form, abstract and textual composition.

With diverse culutral and ethnic groups in Nigeria, there is a strong belief in the HEAD as a potent image that plays a central role in how a person is seen by others as the essence of LIFE. It is regarded as a seat of power and determinant of personal destiny. Among the KALABARIS, the head is revered, especially the Forehead which is taken as the locus of the spirit, TEME which is believed to be in control of BEHAVIOR and indirectly DESTINY. Apart from the physical head, the INNER head (Ori-Inu) among the Yorubas is a focus of many important rituals and altars are dedicated to inner heads of the past. The importance of the head is not only represented through art works but also in elaborate hairstyle and headwear. Art just like energy is not linked to any particular place but rather is part of the invisible fabric of globalization.

This exhibition gathers the work of 15 emerging and established Nigerian artists from the secondary market and explores portraiture, the head and mind through drawing, paint, mixed media and compositions that illustrate rawness, abstraction, culture and ideas of some of the diverse ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Joseph Eze paints an intimate scene of hair dressing, Stanley Dudu present a series of portraits of women in charcoals, pastels, oils and acrylics, Afi Ekong has a study of Nigerian sculptural forms, Nelson Okoh depicts a female face, Babalola Lawson and Emmanuel abstracts highlight the themes of the exhibition. Other artists include Joel Otuedor, Nyemike Onwuka, Larry Isimah, Yinka Fabayo, Tayo Adenike Unwana Noah, Emmanuel Awa, Burns Effiom, Sotoyne Jumbo and Oshogbo Informal Artists.

REGISTER TO ATTEND HERE.

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MECCA ALIM

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ROBERT DANIELS: SELECT WORKS AT CALABAR GALLERY, HARLEM

JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 28, 2018

A SOLO SHOW AT CALABAR GALLERY, HARLEM

“My latest work incorporates both, the techniques of printmaking and drawing. I utilize the linear planes and curved lines to create dimensions that narrate my journey. My life has many stories, the struggles, the joys, in short, my art tells of the contrasting emotions within me.” Robert likes to use recycled materials, old canvases, wood found in the street, old paper or used clothing. His choices of mediums are crayon, pens, ink, paint and etching tools. “I like the work ethics of Basquiat and Picasso. Their attitudes towards life, the lack of fear and strong use of color fuels my ideologies”.

BIO:

Robert “Bob“Daniels was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He attended public school in New York City and was an avid reader in his youth. This early love for books fueled his daydreams. One of seven children, he turned these daydreams into his earliest art. His love of the Saturday Evening Post inspired him to drawing and color on the brown paper bags that his mom compiled from grocery shopping. Bob continued to draw and win prizes at every educational level. His self- portrait won first prize in a county high school art contest. Bob is a passionate mixed medium artist who uses all types of mediums and surfaces to express both his feelings and visions. Robert uses the colorful stories of his Caribbean heritage and his ancestral history to weave his stories. Daniels is a graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College. He has a BA in Studio Art. His area of specialization is Printmaking and Graphic Art. He has won many prizes and awards for art in Westchester County, New York and was proclaimed a nationally recognized artist by the state proclamation in 2000. Robert is currently living in Barzano, Italia. His latest work is mostly figurative black and white pen work.

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JULY 8 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2017

Conversations in Patterns, Textiles, Figures and Portraits: JAMILLA OKUBO AND IFY CHIEJINA is an exhibition that speaks to the process of art by Kenyan American artist Jamilla Okubo and Nigerian American artist Ify Chiejina. It opens Saturday, July 8 from 4:00-7PM at CALABAR GALLERY, located at 2504 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at the corner of 135th Street in New York City.

SEE Conversations in Patterns- Textiles, Figures, and portraits

JANUARY 26, 2017 – April 28, 2017

CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY

view online here

Contemporary African Spirituality envisions what cultural practices have been mixed, juxtaposed and collided with ideas, themes, materiality and techniques that are African and Modern. View a power point presentation.

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ARTISTS IN THE SHOW:

Fally Sène Sow, Serge Diakota Mabilama , Nancy Mteki, Sikhumbuzo Makandula, Henri Abraham Guirma, Tania L. Balan-Gaubert, Elvira Clayton, Ahmed Tijay Mohammed, Ida Owens, Rhonda Gray, Rehema Chachage, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, Mukhtara Yusuf, Joyce Morrow Jones, Sokari Ekine, Tyrone McCants and Nico Phooko. – PRESS RELEASE HERE: press-release-contemporary-african-spirituality

Work in the show includes paintings, mixed media, photography, film, sculpture and installation. Additionally, the work of the show will be shown digitally at ART AFRICA FAIR in Capetown.

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NEXT EXHIBITIONS:

MAY 11- JUNE 30, 2017

ENGAGING PORTRAITURE DIALOGUES BY IFY CHIEJINA
I am a process based visual artist that thinks conceptually. I create portraits and figurative pieces by referencing photographs. I aim to recreate and use the person/s depicted in a photograph to make work that signifies empowerment, and shows the importance of developing a healthy sense of self. Losing my mother to cancer has made it clearer to me that we as human beings have very little control over the outcome of many circumstances. Art-making allows me to cope with that fact. I use a number of different mediums to make my art pieces, and despite the fact that I follow certain steps, the end product changes. I do design a space for myself to see the things which I do possess control over, such as the subject matter I wish to portray in my art. Fertility and Mental health are topics that I am currently exploring in my work.

Ify Chiejina (Ifeatuanya Chiejina) is a visual artist born and raised in NYC, a black Igbo female visual artist with ideas, thoughts, and truths that are reflective of Nigerian customs and traditions. She primarily works in acrylic paint on canvas and or paper, and also in wet and dry based mediums such as charcoal and distorts the human figure. Her portraits and figurative pieces express emotions, personalities and character. As a visual artist, she is concerned with identifying the significance of self with feelings and thoughts, than depicting the head and body due to her upbringing, influences of German Abstract Expressionists, Expressionists, and Graphic artists.

Black Lives in Words and Images: tba

Black Lives in Words and Images speaks to the world of blackness in these times and since the election of Barack Obama. Exploring the positive and negative impacts of black lives, this exhibition seeks to capture a slice of Black Lives.

NATURE: Environment: Earth: TBA

NATURE: Environment: Earth engages in dialogues that speak to artists whose work is based on nature, the environment and earth. It explores the movements, the issues and the solutions.

Harlem and Brooklyn Dialogues: TBA

Harlem and Brooklyn Dialogues explores narratives of Harlem, the place, and Brooklyn, the place, in the lives and work of artists. It seeks to understand the similarities and differences of these two vital New York neighborhoods.

ART Politics: What Cause?: TBA

ART Politics: What Cause? dares to dive into what political issues artists are contemplating and the politics of art making in these times.

Brooklyn is the World: TBA

Brooklyn is the World, the exhibition explores the notion of being at the center of the universe and what it takes to be in the world’s eye. It explores the intrinsic diversity of this city, its people and culture at crossroads.


PAST EXHIBITIONS


NOVEMBER 4 – JANUARY 20, 2017

ELEMENTIKS: A Symbolic Interpretation of the Four Elements – Water, Air, Fire and Earth by Mboolomi

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Beatrice Lebreton and Ibou Ndoye are the two artists of Mboolomi.

Mboolomi (together in Wolof) is a team of two New York based artists with a common heritage and love for African culture collaborating on projects. Elementiks is a series of 104 small paintings and 12 medium size paintings exploring the symbolism of the four elements by each of these two artists.

SEPTEMBER 16 – OCTOBER 28, 2016

RED FORBIDDEN SPACE: New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Tetuan, Morocco by TAEESHA MUHAMMAD

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There is an unspoken language in being a woman. No matter the origin, there are customs and societal norms that dictate the movement women make. The beat of a woman’s life, in traditional settings has always started in the home. It is there where she is allowed to thrive in a certain space; where she moves freely and has a bit of control in a limited area. The fire in her can rage in this allotted space, and she can become the She that she will always be. Women have to find their groove and create a life within the limitations. In Red Forbidden Silence: The Secret Life of Women, we construct woman’s spaces, through tips and valleys of emotions, and assemble the ebb and flow of everyday life. There is complexity in the secret lives of women. The “piled on” things that all have to deal with as women… the expectations, experiences, responsibilities, the joy, pain, work, play, wins, losses, relationships, heartache, the hard, the soft, surroundings, future and past. There is a necessary facade to how feelings are interpreted and responded to. The sameness in hue and shape allow for the mold of emotions to hold in the crevice.

Taeesha Muhammad, a Brooklyn bred, Harlem based artist has been creating assemblages about women and traveling the globe to discover and observe how women live in space and time.

JULY 28 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

DRIPPING INK: THE NIGERIAN CHAPTER BY MARCIA WILSON, PHOTOGRAPHER

Dripping Ink is a series of images that started in 2003. The series is a collection of authors of the African diaspora. The Nigerian Chapter is a segment of the series.

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JUNE 23 – JULY 25, 2016

BISA WENDY WASHINGTON and WILHELMINA OBATOLA GRANT: Narrating the Feminine with Assemblages and Found Objects

NARRATING THE FEMININE

APRIL 15 – JUNE 16, 2016: DOBA AFOLABI

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STATEMENT:

“My critical observation and keen interest in Cubism as a style and the ingenuity of Picasso, actually drove my mind to the genesis of this transfiguration which to me was inevitable, taking account of revelation of African aesthetics to the 1800s anthropologists causing their influx into Africa, most especially North East and the ancient Egyptian records. This activity consequently lured several other interests and inquisition which eventually created and inspired several artists including Picasso. My investigation on Picasso cubism and adaptation of African works and motifs, grew more with the portrait of Madame Gertrude, not to talk of Guernica and earlyillustrations of African sculptures. I always think that this development has been suppressed and made unpopular over the years probably because it is considered “irrelevant” or seemingly a “derogatory association”. Whichever way the art Utopians decide, I refer to it as Picasso audacity of ingenuity, which has provoked this very pomposity of exposition I definitely tag as “AfroGentrification of Picasso”.