Nsenga Knight featured in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition

Make Safe, Make Space featured in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition

at NC A&T University

Jan. 10th – Jan. 28th.

MSMS_Smith082314 (date)_2
Make Safe, Make Space, 2014 lithograph print series with sewn muslin and fabric bricks , Photo courtesy of Justin Perry and Smith Gallery

Make Safe, Make Space is featured at NC A&T University in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition— a multi-media show highlighting the work of the Southern Constellations (SoCo) Fellowship program and curatorial initiative to extend experimental arts practices, networks, and dialogues in the South. Curated by Elsewhere in collaboration with past SoCo Fellow Jessica Gaynelle Moss, the show at A&T profiles selected works from the curatorial initiative.

Artists include Fellows Nikita Gale, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Maria Molteni, Charisse Weston, Cosmo WhyteAntoine WilliamsRachel DebuqueJana HarperMictlan Studios – izelvargas.com, Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand, Martha WhittingtonNsenga KnightNick Szuberla, Melissa Vanderburg, John Q, Andrew Raffo Dewar

The SoCo Exhibition opens on Jan. 10th and runs through Jan. 28th.

Nsenga Knight’s Make Safe, Make Space featured in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition at NC A&T University Jan. 10th – Jan. 28th.

Make Safe, Make Space featured in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition

at NC A&T University

Jan. 10th – Jan. 28th.

MSMS_Smith082314 (date)_2
Make Safe, Make Space, 2014 lithograph print series with sewn muslin and fabric bricks , Photo courtesy of Justin Perry and Smith Gallery

Make Safe, Make Space is featured at NC A&T University in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition— a multi-media show highlighting the work of the Southern Constellations (SoCo) Fellowship program and curatorial initiative to extend experimental arts practices, networks, and dialogues in the South. Curated by Elsewhere in collaboration with past SoCo Fellow Jessica Gaynelle Moss, the show at A&T profiles selected works from the curatorial initiative.

Artists include Fellows Nikita Gale, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Maria Molteni, Charisse Weston, Cosmo WhyteAntoine WilliamsRachel DebuqueJana HarperMictlan Studios – izelvargas.com, Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand, Martha WhittingtonNsenga KnightNick Szuberla, Melissa Vanderburg, John Q, Andrew Raffo Dewar

The SoCo Exhibition opens on Jan. 10th and runs through Jan. 28th.

NSENGA KNIGHT: OTHER STARS, SOLO EXHIBITION | AUG. 17 – OCT 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NSENGA KNIGHT: OTHER STARS, SOLO EXHIBITION

KWAN FONG GALLERY OF ART AND CULTURE

AUG. 17 – OCT 11, 2018

and

EXHIBITION TALK WITH HALIMA TAHA

OCT. 9, 2018 6 pm

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Nsenga Knight, Other Stars Don’t Behave So, 2013  ink and wax drawing, 20 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.

 

THOUSAND OAKS, CA, September 25, 2018Nsenga Knight: Other Stars, an exhibition of geometric drawings, text paintings, photographs and oral history recordings by Nsenga Knight will be on view at the Kwan Fong Gallery at California Lutheran University from August 17 – October 11, 2018. In conjunction with the Other Stars exhibition, art historian Halima Taha will present on the work of Knight in the context of the canon of African American artwork, with a focus on the overlapping influences of Western and Islamic abstraction in her work Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Ullman Conference Center 100/101 at CLU.

The exhibition includes a survey of Knight’s works from as early as 2007 such as As the Veil Turns her photography, video and oral history project on Black women in her hometown Brooklyn Muslim community who converted to Islam prior to 1975 and pioneered some of New York’s earliest still-existing mosques; and more recent works that place Malcolm X and Ali Shariati’s pilgrimage memoirs in sociological and formal conversation with Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī’s 10th-century astronomical renderings.

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Nsenga Knight As the Veil Turns (Shameelah), 2007 Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Each of my artistic projects is responding to my self-reflexive question: Who am I and what is my place in this world? My artworks exist as invitations to examine new possibilities that broaden our collective imaginations and challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood and religion. —Nsenga Knight

On October 9, 2018  Taha will present a discussion about Knight as a contemporary artist working in film, photography, paint,   and printmaking, exploring her place as an interdisciplinary artist whose visual statements are universal, yet part of the visual culture of the African Diaspora. Given the meteoric growth of art by artists of African descent in the worldwide market, Taha will discuss Knight’s presence within it and will highlight the market interest in work that provides insight into the global experience while ultimately provoking self-reflection.

Knight (b. 1981, Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited work at the Drawing Center, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, the New Museum for Contemporary Art and MoMA PS1. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and BA in Film from Howard University. She lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York.

Taha is a best-selling author, curator, appraiser and independent scholar. Taha is most well-known for her groundbreaking bestseller, Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas (Crown), the first book to validate African American art as a viable asset and commodity within the international marketplace; which created a new market for publications and exhibitions on African American art. Her work advocates the importance and value of collecting art made by American artists of African descent. She has degrees in Liberal Arts, Arts Management & Cultural Policy from Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. Currently, Taha is the President of TahaThinks,LLC, a company that provides art advisory, appraisal, collection management, and speaker services.

The Kwan Fong Gallery is located in Soiland Humanities Center at the California Lutheran University. Admission is free. The gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Street parking is by permit 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking lots are located on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road.

For more information, visit https://blogs.callutheran.edu/kwanfong/ and https://nsengaknight.com/

CONTACT:

Nsenga Knight  

+201097090984      

nsengak@gmail.com

 

Rachel T. Schmid

805-493-3697

rtschmid@callutheran.edu

Website  SHARE TWEET

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Early A.M/ Late P.M., BAR, Curators, Solo Exhibition

It’s really early in the AM or, super late at night right now. I usually wake up this time, around 2 or 3 am and stay up for a few hours to zhikr, meditate, pray, read, just be really quiet. Sometimes I get some really great ideas for project at this time. Those ideas come with such clarity, just roaring. I love this time of the day/ night. It’s such a liminal time. All peace.

I was at the Black Artist Retreat last month and I had a really great conversation with another artist who really loves to work at this time, her  aunties also apparently love to get up at this time to pray. They are really well balanced people she says.

I wanted to write a little bit about the Black Artist Retreat, it was so intense and so wonderful in too many ways to describe. It’s just really awesome that Theaster Gates has been putting on this retreat for three years now. This was my first year. For the first two days it was just us Black Artist retreating from all over the country, and two from other countries. Lots of deep conversations about Fred Moten’s book, The Undercommons. Fred Moten was there too. Lots of socializing. It was really great to see and meet so many Black Artists in one place. I thought, if I can just do this every year, I’ll be good. Well, I’m good anyway, but my thought really is that the retreat was so different from my every day life in that I don’t see other Black artists anything close to that number on a regular basis. I live in Durham, and it can be really quiet over here. Compared to where I grew up, in Brooklyn and my first art communities throughout New York, this can feel like living in a cave, or making art in a cave. I love it. I’m usually a bit surprised when arts administrators get in touch with me about doing an exhibition. I still have that, ‘how do you even know about me?!’ reaction. That happened to me earlier this year when a curator got in touch with me about participating in their museum’s auction. I had to double check that it wasn’t a fraud email. Then later with the Under Color of Law exhibition I was really floored to be showing with Terry and Carrie Mae Weems especially. But, then it kept happening throughout this year, curators asking me to participate in really awesome projects and shows. I’m grateful. I’ll try to be a little less in shock or suspicious.

Talking about curators, I just read that this curator Omar Kholeif from Egypt by way of many places, most recently the UK is Coming to America! I read a recent interview of his and I was like, OMG, I think we may be kindred art spirits. He said this: “I want to look at the histories of Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and how we draw parallels between those regions and Western knowledge.” Stop playin…! Yes!!! I hope he gets to know my work really well and vis versa. This has been such a big interest of mine since forever. Especially in grad school I was just like, I’mma talk about Malievitch’s Black Square and the Black Cube (Kaaba) at the same time. And I really hated the way art historians seemed to want to separate everything. Like, how can you talk about Klein without talking about Japanese or Chinese calligraphy. That’s just irresponsible.  Or talk about Frank Stella without talking about Islamic Geometrical art. Well, I actually saw a talk of his at the Toledo Museum where he says he was influenced by a trip he took to Iran back in the 60’s. I was disappointed that the Art Historian didn’t ask more about that.

Well, talking about Frank Stella… I actually came on here thinking I would also finally blog about my current solo exhibition, White Circle, Black Square, Silver Pentagon. The exhibition is up right in my area in Durham at Room 100 at Goldenbelt Studios. It really looks amazing. I put a lot of work and thought into it, and even reinstalled a wall drawing that I first created back in 2012. That was no small feat. I had to do the math all over again.

Wall Drawing, 2015 install
Wall Drawing, 2015 install

I love it. I’m glad the gallery was open to me installing it because I know no one has ever done a wall drawing in that space before and deinstalling it (i.e.. painting it over) will be more work than they usually put in to deinstall. But, I love to do a wall drawing whenever I have a solo exhibition. For me, it marks the space as a specific site that needs to be addressed in a unique way with brand new considerations even if all that work in it has been shown elsewhere before. It’s new again. It does make the job of installing a bit more demanding. And for me so far, the wall drawing is the most minimal and abstract piece in the show. For this show it  is the white circle, black square, and silver pentagon all in conversation and its the formal inquiry that I’ve been obsessed with for a few years. Those three shapes need to talk. And they do… in my solo exhibition. The work will be up until September 29th, 2015. Goldenbelt is located at 807 East Main St. in Downtown Durham, NC  27701. Room 100 is in the Arts Building #3.

White Circle, Black Square, Silver Pentagon (panorama of exhibition)
White Circle, Black Square, Silver Pentagon (panorama of exhibition)
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Exhibitions and Updates

Please mark your calendar for three of my upcoming exhibitions this fall at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (November 21, 2015 – February 14, 2016, opening Friday, November 20th), at Project Rowhouses (Oct 24, 2015 – Feb 28, 2016, opening Oct 24, 2015 ) and my solo exhibition, White Circle, Black Square, Silver Pentagon at Room 100 in Durham, NC which opens September 1st. For the Project Rowhouses exhibition, I’ll be in Houston from October 10th-24th to create a site-specific installation in one of the rowhouses.

Two of my works, All and Absolute from my Ritual and Revolution project are currently on view at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. The WERD exhibition runs until July 31st, 2015.

I’ve just finished updating my site with documentation from my two recent projects: Make Safe Make Space (2014) and X Speaks: Nsenga Knight and X Collaborators (2015). The Make Safe Make Space page now has a short video documentary of the project and documentation of the most recent istallation of the Make Safe Make Space prints installed as part of the Under Color of Law exhibition at Berman Museum this spring:

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x-speaks-flier-UPDATE_0131

The X Speaks page now includes videos of the eight collaborations.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about any of my projects or upcoming exhibitions.

Drawing: Tawhid and Right Brain Thinking

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my new and enhanced love for drawing.

In this Oprah Winfrey interview with neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, she talks about her realizations during and after having a stroke on the left side of her brain. Without the full functionality of her left brain, her right brain was no longer checked by language and the ability to name and differentiate things. She experienced a great sense of connection and oneness.

Oprah’s interview with Dr. Taylor helped me to understand what was going on when my teacher demonstrated drawing a still-life of two apples. I realized that my teacher was not naming things as she was drawing. The apples were just curves that appeared before her. Not two separate apples, but curves who’s relationship to one another allowed for each of them to appear to be apples. When I realized this- that she was not deciding to draw two apples by naming them as such and then drawing them,  I had a real breakthrough. What I was witnessing was another reality of Tawhid (Oneness) and I no longer needed to give a name to what I was seeing, but just accept it and draw it. I didn’t have to finish one object before beginning another – because I was no longer seeing them as separate objects. Drawing on this new realization, I was in a sort of euphoria and you couldn’t take the silly smile off my face as I drew the new still life. I was getting it!  I moved my charcoal all over my paper as I made lines, curves, and other marks appear as renderings of objects.

I’m making some new still-life drawings and I love it. I’ll probably exhibit some of my new drawings at my next solo exhibition at Room 100 at Goldenbelt Studios this September. I love love love experimenting and challenging myself in new mediums. My new thing these days is taking classes on everything I do not know well but would like to be skilled in. This includes things like waterless lithography (learned that earlier in the year), Arabic (I’m a beginner and my husband is teaching me more), and swimming (I’ve started an Aqua Tots class with my baby boy and I’m going to learn how to swim for real this summer inshaAllah).

Every medium I work with teaches me something new about life. The first big lesson I recall learning from art was integrity – I learned that as a dancer. Drawing teaches me not to name things; at least not before I really look, accept and connect.

Jan. 28, 2012: Open Studios @ Galveston Artist Residency Grand Opening

Announcing the opening of the Galveston Artist Residency and Gallery,

A new Gulf Coast Arts Initiative.

We are pleased to announce the official opening of the Galveston Artist Residency (GAR) and Gallery on Saturday, September 28, 2012 from 4-9pm. In honor of the opening, GAR will have the current artists in residence studios open to the public, a show of the resident’s work and a celebratory party to mark our beginning with food and live music. Galveston Artist Residency is located at 2521 Mechanic Street, Galveston, TX 77550.

This year we were excited to welcome Nick Barbee, Nsenga Knight, and Kelly Sears to GAR as the first, full time artists-in-residence, and Colin Hunt as the Summer 2011 artist-in-residence.

Nick Barbee works in a variety of media, dealing with formal concerns of presentation, the history of abstraction and historic narrative. Barbee will be showing his body of work Cato, recently on view at Rice University’s Emergency Room. Nsenga Knight is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose work poses questions about process, power, representation and the construction of historical narratives. Knight will be exhibiting a series of photos that are part of an ongoing project. The work has also been exhibited at the Ice Box in Philadelphia. Kelly Sears is an animator and filmmaker whose collage-like works are created from discarded periodicals, books, archives and orphan films. For the fourth time, Sears was selected to screen an animated short film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film, Once it Started it Could Not End Otherwise will also be presented at the GAR opening. Colin Hunt is a painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Hunt’s fragmented trompe l’oeil paintings are a meditation on love and despair and blur the line between memory and the tangible.

GAR was created to promote and encourage the knowledge and appreciation of art by giving artists a gift of time and space for the development of their work. The residency provides studio space, accommodation, and a stipend to three artists annually. GAR is committed to supporting serious creative artists of any discipline. This includes, but is not limited to; visual artists, multimedia or film artists, writers and composers, with a special interest in artists who are involved in non-commercial endeavors, environmental or sustainable living projects or projects that can increase community involvement or social awareness. The residency is open to emerging artists as well as mid-career and established artists.

Potential recipients of GAR grants come from a pool of artists nominated by a jury of independent art professionals. Residency applications are sent to this pool of nominated artists, and Residency grant offers are then sent to the artists selected. At the present time there will not be open calls for grants or applications for residency.

In addition to our residency program, the GAR Gallery and Courtyard will host various public programs such as art exhibitions, film series, open studios, lectures, etc.

GAR is located in a pair of radically redesigned and rebuilt industrial structures on the edge of downtown Galveston. These former cotton-baling workshops now comprise studios for four artists, a dedicated gallery building, courtyard garden and outdoor display/event space. Construction was underway throughout 2011 and is now complete.

For more information about the Galveston Artist Residency, please visit our website at www.galvestonartistresidency.org, or email us at info@galvestonartistresidency.org.