15 rue des Arquebusiers 75003
October 12th 2019 - November 17th 2019


(The one who comes from afar)


Zimbabwean born artist, Richard Mudariki, presents his debut solo exhibition in Europe with a series of works on paper and paintings on canvas.


Mudariki (b.1985) who began his practice in Harare some 18 years ago, was a student of many established Zimbabwean artists who instructed him at an early age of fourteen years. Despite his move to Cape Town, South Africa in 2008 where he now lives and works, Mudariki remains at the forefront of Zimbabwean visual arts.


Mudariki’s paintings speaks not only to world politics, the events and issues, but also negotiates the personal politics of his own art practice, continually defining his territory as a painter who crystallises his own motivations and intent.  As he continues to define his own practice, Mudariki remains aware of his position as an artist from the African continent adjacent to the canon of Western history of painting. Referencing and combining some classic paintings from Western art history, Mudariki engages in a complex act of parody, critique and self-reflection. In it, he continues an ever-evolving discussion of how an artist is to engage, on both a personal and professional level, with a canon that has historically excluded and occluded artists from Africa.


Some of the paintings in the exhibition include ‘A View from the artist’s studio’ (acrylic on canvas), in which the artist assumes the role of a witness of his time. As the title informs, the scene is that of his studio, with a French window that frames the discontent of the masses in France, America and United Kingdom. A spotless palette and a canvas turned away from us begs for us to ask questions – is he opening his studio to the world or is the world suggesting to him a scene for a brand new painting? A painting within the painting, the window becomes a mise en abyme of the artist’s work. Like Jan Van Eyck in Les Epoux Arnolfini, the piece becomes a reflection of the world and a portrait of the artist’s status.


Other paintings being showed include, Bira reClimate Change – A traditional Shona rain ceremonial is taking place on stage in front of an audience. The all white dressed musicians play a traditional Zimbabwean instrument, ‘mbira’ (a lamellophone) with a spirit medium ‘angel’ figure, wings spread, seems to be the conductor of this orchestra. In the lush green background, vocalists and a hand waving a Zimbabwean flag emerge. The middle foreground shows a globe of the world, with a thermometer that indicates that its temperature is rising.


Like a stage director, painting all his characters to make them “play” in his visual drama; Mudariki allows us to apprehend the political situation of this world, without ever directing us to the next act.



Vernissage(s)  in the presence of the artist: Saturday October12  from 4PM to 8.30 PM

and Sunday October 13 from 2PM to 6PM.

On the occasion of  the Fiac and  during Fiac galerie’s nocturnal Thursday October 17th from 6PM to 10PM in the presence of the artist.

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