Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery is pleased to present, Esthétique du chaos, the first solo exhibition of Eddy Kamuanga in Luxembourg.
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga’s talent and painting prowess has been internationally acclaimed and recognized over the past years, conferring him the status of established artist despite his young age. His figurative signature bares the motifs of printed circuit boards, fading or monotonous backgrounds, and rich layers of historical readings, marking his engagement with the conflicting realities of his country, the DRC. The impression/rendering of Kamuanga’s painting is achieved through carefully staged compositions, giving them a strong tangible aura. After attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa (DRC), an experience that felt too narrow for him, Eddy Kamuanga went on with exploring and carving his brushing style and pictorial identity in a solitary fashion. When there was little to no indication that he would have a breakthrough, he patiently laid the foundation of a striking visual expression that is today at the forefront of contemporary African art production.
The portrayed characters’ pose in his work always seem to suggest an inexorable fate that reflect the life condition of many Congolese citizens and the enduring global dynamics that maintain a wicked status quo in the country. Much like a creative historiographer, Kamuanga leaves clues, materials elements, signifiers that hint at the subject and concerns of a given series, which often revolve around the postcolonial and exploitative realities faced by given communities. Within the walls of the gallery, three new commissions entitled The Chaos’ Aesthetics/Design (2023) are on display. In this latest body of work, the artist addresses what he refers as a “universal design”, or the manufacturing of universal technologies or goods – commodities that would otherwise not be possible to massively produce without the chaos caused by the sourcing of raw materials needed for such production. The design at play here is of a systemic, ongoing, and damaging nature, and is framed within the artist’s high art canvases. Whereas the land that nurtures universal promises is painstakingly remote from any context of privileges. Kamuanga’s work deals with the desperate consequences of the colonial and missionary enterprise in the Congo – Ghost of the Present (2021-2023) – and with the imbalance and the injustices caused by unregulated processes of mineral extraction, primarily copper, cobalt and coltan. The deliberate and in part corporeal invisibility or anomaly of some individuals in his paintings is a reflection on the silencing of the human suffering and tragedies behind this relentless machinery.
After a recent comprehensive and extensive monograph published last year by Rizzoli, his first solo show with Zidoun & Bossuyt discloses and reaffirms his rigorous artistic dedication to a visual language that whispers the histories of a neglected people and region, not without signs of solidarity, resistance and potential renaissance.
Written essay by Jean-Sylvain Tshilumba Mukendi
Born in 1991, Eddy Kamuanga lives and works in Kinshasa, Africa. In 2017, his work was included in the exhibition African-Print Fashion Now! at the Fowler Museum, UCLA, touring to Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN, and Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC. His work has been exhibited internationally at institutions including Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN; Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK. In 2022, he was part of the group exhibition Fortitude: Resistance and Resilience in African Arts – Reimagining the People’s Collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA.
Eddy Kamuanga’s work is in important private and public collections including: Private Collection Laurence Graff OBE; Zeitz Collection of Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa; the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, USA; Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, USA; the Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa; Scheryn Art Collection, Cape Town, South Africa; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, USA and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada. Eddy Kamuanga is presenting his first solo exhibition at Zidoun-Bossuyt Luxembourg from 21 June until 22 July 2023.