Exhibitions

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Kimbembele Ihunga (1992) Courtesy of The Museum of Everything

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Bodys Isek Kingelez
40
Tramway
25 Albert Dr, Glasgow G41 2PE
24 Apr — 21 Jun 2020
Mon – Fri, 12pm – 5pm Sat – Sun, 12pm – 6pm
This exhibition was due to take place during Glasgow International 2020, 23 April – 10 May, which has been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. The festival will be re-staged in 2021 with dates to be announced.

Based in then-Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948 – 2015) created sculptures of imagined buildings and cityscapes that propose fantastical, utopian models for a more harmonious future society. Working in a period of socio-political shifts, Kingelez responded to an urgent need to transform urban reality. 

From the late 1970s until 1985 Kingelez worked as a self-taught art restorer at the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaïre, which gave him access to supplies and materials, and a base to refine his practice. He created works from a variety of everyday and found materials such as coloured paper, cardboard, plastic and tape, meticulously repurposed in order to radically rethink the world around him.

Shown for the first time in a UK solo exhibition, Kingelez’s ‘extreme maquettes’ are vibrant, ambitious and highly detailed sculptures. These inventive works raise questions around difficult issues of urban planning, economic inequity, nationhood and national identity – resonating profoundly within today’s contemporary societies – while remaining innately infused with potential.

Kingelez’s work was first included in the ground-breaking 1989 exhibition Magiciens de la terre at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and has most recently been exhibited in the first large-scale solo presentation of his work, City Dreams (2018-2019) at MoMA, New York. 

Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation

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