Beyond Borders: Global Africa

August 11 - November 25, 2018

More than ever in the era of globalization, ideas traverse geographic, generational, and cultural boundaries, even as national borders seem to be closing. Beyond Borders: Global Africa reflects on this moment by considering how Africa and its artists have been at the center of complex histories of encounter and exchange for centuries. Bringing together a dazzling array of works made in Africa, Europe, and the United States from the nineteenth to twenty-first century, the exhibition demonstrates the international scope and reach of art from Africa and the African diaspora. It also explores issues such as slavery, colonization, migration, racism, and identity at play in the objects and their histories. Highlights include paintings, photographs, sculpture, and installations by Kudzanai Chiurai, Omar Victor Diop, Wangechi Mutu, and Serge Alain Nitegeka. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication, the tenth in the UMMA Books series.

Lead support for Beyond Borders: Global Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich. 


Omar Victor Diop, Jean-Baptiste Belley (1746-1805), 2014, pigment inkjet printing on Harman by Hahnemühle paper. Courtesy of Mott-Warsh collection, Flint, Michigan and MAGNIN-A Gallery, Paris, © Omar Victor Diop

Chéri Samba, Hommage aux Anciens Créateurs (A Tribute to Earlier Artists), 1999, acrylic and glitter on canvas. Courtesy of the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), Collection Jean Pigozzi, Geneva, Inv# ZA.CHS.049, © Chéri Samba

Seydou Keïta, Untitled, 1956-57, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), Collection Jean Pigozzi, Geneva, Inv# MA/KE.046.D, © Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC

Artist unrecorded, Kongo peoples, Vili group, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Nkisi (power figure), ca. 1800, wood, tukula powder and kaolin. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern, 2005/1.180.

Artist unrecorded, collected in Florida, Paket kongo (Vodou medicine packet), 2012, cloth, thread, feathers, metal pins, unidentified substances. Private collection. Photography: Charlie Edwards


Exhibition Timeline

SatAug 11
Exhibition Opens
Aug 12
In Conversation: Borders in the Age of Globalization 
Artists and Curators / Exhibitions Related / Gallery Talks and Tours
Aug 26
Beyond Borders: Global Africa
Gallery Talks and Tours
SunNov 25
Exhibition Closes