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BLACK SUBJECTS: Still II

Serge Alain Nitegeka (Burundian, born 1983). BLACK SUBJECTS: Still II, 2014. Triptych: paint and charcoal on wood, 96 1/16 x 144 15/16 inches (244 x 368.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mrs. George A. Forman, by exchange, 2014 (2014:29a-c). © Serge Alain Nitegeka

© Serge Alain Nitegeka

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Serge Alain Nitegeka

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Serge Alain Nitegeka

Burundian, active in South Africa, born 1983

BLACK SUBJECTS: Still II, 2014

triptych: paint and charcoal on wood

each panel (support): 96 x 48 x 3 1/4 inches (243.84 x 121.92 x 8.26 cm); overall: 96 1/16 x 144 15/16 inches (244 x 368.14 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Mrs. George A. Forman, by exchange, 2014

2014:29a-c

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, undated / on tag / artist's signature

Provenance

the artist;
purchased through Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2014

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Serge Alain Nitegeka was only ten years old when civil war broke out in his native Burundi; after escaping to the Democratic Republic of Congo and then Kenya, his family settled in South Africa around 2003. The experience of being in exile and seeking asylum is central to Nitegeka’s identity and to his artistic practice. As he has described it, “You arrive in a strange place, and you have to use what you've got at hand, use your resources and the space available to you, to survive.”

In both his sculptures and paintings, Nitegeka prefers to use wood, which he associates with the shipping industry as well as “informal housing,” or slums. BLACK SUBJECTS: Still II was inspired by the artist’s 2012 film Black Subjects, which features black-clad actors interacting with his sculptures. Nitegeka often installs these works in a way that interrupts the free movement of visitors, suggesting the physical and emotional obstacles that people with precarious lives must navigate every day. With its dramatic black angles, BLACK SUBJECTS: Still II also echoes the stark abstract compositions of some of the artists who pioneered abstraction in the early twentieth century. Like those artists, Nitegeka is driven by a faith in the social power of art and a sense of hopefulness for the future.

Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019

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