“This is definitely the most striking booth at the fair” – Guillaume Piens, Director, Art Paris Fair and Marie Ange Moulonguet, selection committee Art Paris Fair.
Internationally acclaimed visual activist and photographer Sir. Zanele Muholi takes over Art Paris Fair 2022 with a solo exhibition. Muholi – known for their long running Faces and Phases series of black and white portraits commemorating black lesbians and Somnyama Ngonyama, a self-portraiture series – has taken over Paris during Art Paris Fair 2022 and they are being praised both collectors and the director of the Art Paris Fair.
Selected artworks in the form of paintings, photographs and sculptures were a hit with collectors and sold out pre show. The director of Art Paris, Guilaume Piens had high praise for both Muholi and their Paris gallerist Caraloe Kvasnevski. He commended Kvasnevski for showcasing diverse works by Muholi. While extending his gratitude to the visual activist whom he has witnessed working tirelessly over the years, he stated “I’ve witnessed Zanele Muholi since Paris Photo and seeing how incredible they keep growing is amazing, they have become the ultimate focus and favorite at this year’s Paris Art Fair, especially with the sculpture and paintings”. He concluded by urging Muholi to continue the work as there was so much interest in their work – essentially more work has to be done.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Muholi settled in the peaceful rural setting of Umbumbulu in KwaZulu – Natal and started telling stories through paintings, giving their usual medium – the camera – a break, choosing to become the focal subject of their work because they wanted to process their pain. They had for others for many years. Meanwhile, they continued showing Somnyama Ngonyama. There was an exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennial entitled May You Live in Interesting Times. A retrospective was also held at the Tate Modern (2020-2021) in London. Muholi has been widely known for documenting the lives and struggles of LGBTIQ+ communities, felt it was important for them to also focus on themselves. “Having documented painful experiences of other people without dealing with my own pain, I needed to remember me” they said.
This is Muholi’s first solo show at Art Paris Fair, France and they are represented by Galerie Carole Kvasnevski.
Art Paris Fair 2022 is taking place at Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris from the 7th-10th of April 2022