Refik Anadol wants to demystify AI through art. I speak with the artist and designer at his latest exhibition at Serpentine

Refik Anadol, Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine North. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy Refik Anadol Studio and Serpentine

Refik Anadol is an artist and a designer who fluidly moves between visual art, science and technology, with computational data performing the role of pigments for his artwork. Through data visualisation, he imagines sensory, immersive, otherworldly artworks in which AI invites us to open our human eyes to new ways of seeing, enhance our understandings and expand our creativity. Anadol believes through human guidance, AI could ultimately advance our lives, improve wellbeing, assist education, help create better built environments, and perhaps even find solutions for restoring nature.

With his latest exhibition ‘Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive’ currently on show at the Serpentine North in London, I met with Anadol at the gallery to delve deeper into his mind.

Take a look here

Esther Mahlangu’s first retrospective and her animated BMW art car collaboration

South African artist Esther Mahlangu is a national treasure, her work widely recognised and in private collections worldwide. She works within the centuries-old Ndebele art tradition, practiced by the Ndebele people of South Africa and Zimbabwe. These hand paintings are typically created using delicate feathers and natural pigments. Ndebele artists paint on various surfaces, on walls, houses, clothing, pottery, textiles, and the shapes and colours can carry cultural readings, reflecting social status and spiritual beliefs within the community.

Mahlangu’s work stands out among her contemporaries for its unique, imaginative abstract designs and vivid colour combinations. She works straight from imagination, drafting these precise geometric shapes without the aid of rulers or masking tape, and the thick black lines that are a defining feature in her work echo traditional Ndebele beadwork. Early on in her career, Mahlangu adopted acrylic paint for a more expansive colour palette, and she has worked with wall-size canvas to evolve her designs further.

The artist’s first retrospective, Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting: Esther Mahlangu, opened earlier this month at the Iziko Museums of South Africa in Cape Town with plans to travel to other destinations including the US. It coincides with a colour-shifting art car the artist has created with BMW as part of Frieze LA. Mahlangu famously painted the 1991 BMW 525i Art Car becoming the first female artist and first African artist to take part in the programme. The 2024 i5 Flow Nostokana is an art car for a new era, a moving canvas which simultaneously performs BMW’s latest tech and exhibits the Mahlangus distinctive artwork.

See the art car project here.
And a look at the retrospective here.

‘Tasting Menu’ presents intricate collages and playful textiles by artist and poet Eliza Kentridge

Eliza Kentridge. All photography © Eliot Gelberg-Wilson 

Artist and poet Eliza Kentridge works with collage, using paper and textiles, drawing, embroidery and stitching to create delicate artworks that look to the everyday, to the domestic life, to motherhood. Kentridge investigates old and found materials and symbols, mixing ideas from the real world and the imagination. “This is how I work: I draw, sew on paper and fabric, collage stolen bits and pieces, make sculpture and write poems,” she says.

Tasting Menu brings Kentridge’s latest works to London, exhibited alongside a selection of earlier pieces in the intimate setting of her older brother the artist William Kentridge’s London pad. The centerpiece is a collage of teabags that takes up an entire wall. It’s a quirky artwork that is playful but also rich with storytelling.

Read the full review here

Ghada Amer’s artwork invites viewers to explore other narratives through abstract appliqués

Ghada Amer ’35 words or love’  ©Ghada Amer

I came across Ghada Amer’s powerful work a while ago and was honoured to meet her in person a few weeks ago at Goodman Gallery in London where her solo ‘QR Code Revisited’ is on show until 22 December, 2023.

In her very unique way Amer abstracts language and unpacks definitions. She lingers on words, translations and mistranslations and their wider impact on how we view others. The maze-like quality of ‘QR Code Revisited’ invites us to adventure into places unseen, explore other narratives. Ultimately the artist finds in words the force to capture shared identities, commonalities across cultures, humanity without borders.

Read the full review here

Ghada Amer ‘One is not born’ 2023 ©Ghada Amer

Artist Sara Sadik explores loneliness, anxiety and marginalised youth through gaming and visual storytelling

A still from “La Potion (EH)” © Sara Sadik

Occasionally you meet an artist who surprises you. Marseille based Sara Sadik is one. Informed by video games, anime, science fiction and French rap, her artwork and visual storytelling examines loneliness and anxiety among young men, specifically marginalised French youth.

Read more here