'Beyond Borders: Global Africa' to open at UMMA on Saturday

U-M exhibition challenges traditional understanding of African arts and cultures

One of the pieces of art, "Power Figure," on dispaly at UMMA's "Beyond Borders" exhibit. (Credit: Levi Stroud)
One of the pieces of art, "Power Figure," on dispaly at UMMA's "Beyond Borders" exhibit. (Credit: Levi Stroud)

ANN ARBOR – Bringing together paintings, photographs, sculpture and installations created in Africa, Europe and the United States from the 19th to the 21st centuries, "Beyond Borders: Global Africa," is a new exhibition that will open at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) on Saturday. 

The exhibition features approximately 40 works of art drawn from UMMA's African art collection and from private and public holdings around the world, including the eminent Contemporary African Art Collection assembled by Jean Pigozzi of Geneva, Switzerland.

It also explores issues such as slavery, colonization, migration, racism and identity through works by Kudzanai Chiurai, Omar Victor Diop, Seydou Keïta, Houston Maludi, Nandipha Mntambo, Fabrice Monteiro, Wangechi Mutu, Sam Nhlengethwa, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Alison Saar, Chéri Samba, Kehinde Wiley and a host of unrecorded artists.

(Credit: Nandipha Mntambo | Courtesy: University of Michigan)
(Credit: Nandipha Mntambo | Courtesy: University of Michigan)


"'Beyond Borders' presents UMMA's distinguished collection of historical and contemporary African art, along with outstanding international loans, to ask questions about what it means to be an 'African' artist and make 'African' art," said UMMA director Christina Olsen.

"The works in the exhibition demonstrate how conceptual and geographic borders continue to inform -- and limit -- the way we collect, research and display the arts of Africa," Laura De Becker, UMMA's Helmut and Candis Stern associate curator of African Art, said.

"Beyond Borders: Global Africa" will be on view at the U-M Museum of Art from Saturday through Nov. 25 and is accompanied by a fully illustrated book published by UMMA, with an essay by De Becker, and a range of related public programs.

To learn more, visit umma.umich.edu

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