Stories and Poems - Otobong Nkanga, Thierry Oussou and Daniel de Paula

4 June - 13 September at Amsterdam Art Gallery at Capital C
Otobong Nkanga, Thierry Oussou and Daniel de Paula

We are delighted to announce that Lumen Travo gallery will curate a group show at the gallery space located in the main entrance of Capital C in Amsterdam.

This exhibition features three talents of the gallery, blending together their different sensibilities through works on paper, video installations, textile pieces and sculptures while offering an original perspective not only over visual art, but also stories and poems written by the artists themselves.

The works of Otobong Nkanga, Thierry Oussou and Daniel de Paula will merge with the exhibition space, providing a unique opportunity for each guest visiting Capital C to interact and connect with a fresh and engaging side of contemporary art and, at the same time, to investigate the practice of today’s society and challenge traditional ways of thinking.

Participating artists:

Otobong Nkanga’s (Kano, 1974) multi-disciplinary practice spans tapestry, drawing, photography, installation, video and performance, and addresses the complex relationship between humans and land. In her works, she explores this relationship within the tension between exploitative extraction processes and structures of care and repair, tracing the movement of minerals, goods and people in order to explore in-depth economic and ecological processes, investigating the violent relationship on which their extraction and further processing is based.

In 2019 she was the recipient of the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme, the 2019 Ultimas-Flemish Prize for culture and, with Emeka Ogboh, of the Sharjah Biennial 14 Prize. In the same year, Otobong also received a Special Mention at the 58th Venice Biennale for her ongoing practice. In in 2017 she was awarded the Belgian Art Prize and in 2015 with the Yanghyun Prize.

Her most recent solo exhibitions include: Acts at the Crossroads, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2019); From Where I Stand, Tate St. Ives, UK (2019); A Lapse, a Stain, a Fall, ar/ge kunst, Bolzano (2018); To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again, MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); Wetin You Go Do?, The Tanks at Tate Modern, Blavatnik Building, London (2017); The Encounter That Took a Part of Me, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2016); Diaoptasia, Tate Modern, London (2015); Comot Your Eyes Make I Borrow You Mine, Kadist Art Foundation FR, Paris (2015); Crumbling Through Powdery Air, Portikus, Frankfurt (2015).

Additionally, her work has been included in institutional group exhibitions such as 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2019); Sharjah Biennial 14, Sharjah (2019); Artes Mundi 2018, National Museum Cardi, Cardi (2018); Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain (MAMAC), Nice (2018); Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (2018); Documenta 14, Athens / Kassel (2017); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2017); Pirelli Hangarbicocca, Milan (2017); Dialogues, Manifesta – The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam (2017); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016); Museum on/off, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); 13th Biennale de Lyon, La vie moderne, Lyon (2015).

Brazilian artist and researcher Daniel de Paula (Boston,1987) presents a series of objects and works that give continuation to his ongoing investigations towards infrastructure and the production of geographical space understood as the reproduction of violent practices that are fundamental to capitalist production. Through a variety of sculptural and conceptual strategies the artist proposes, not only a critical reflection of the physical structures that surround us, but also of the agency and invisible phenomena they conceal.

Daniel de Paula graduated in 2012 from FAAP with a BFA in Visual Arts, São Paulo and in 2018 came to the Netherlands for a post-academic residency at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. He currently lives and works between São Paulo and Amsterdam.

Recent solo exhibitions include Francesca Minini, Milan (2019); Kunsthalle Gent, Gent (2019); Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo (2017); Galeria Leme, São Paulo (2015). His works have also been included in relevant institutional group exhibitions such as: Il coltello nella carne, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2018); Avenida Paulista, MASP, São Paulo (2017); Metrópole: Experiência Paulistana, Estação Pinacoteca, São Paulo (2017).

Thierry Oussou (Allad, 1988) presents a selection of ink, acrylic and oil-bar new works on paper, evidence of his interest in the subtle details and in common-place, everyday drawings, that highlight the universality of their approach as a shared visual language of expression.

In his practice, Oussou deals with questions about authenticity, history, heritage and visibility. Through his use of various media including painting, sculpture and video, he brings reflection to this moment, crafting probing yet poetic commentaries on the threads that link the past and the future.

In his most recent works on paper Thierry addresses the cotton plantations in Benin and the impact they have on the economic rise of the country. For this series, he developed a complex investigation, first by observing and collecting information from the plantations located in the district of Paouignan in Benin, so essential for the relatively young economy of the country. Later he translated this very knowledge into drawing the portraits of the cotton workers, ultimate protagonists of this project. Through the use of several techniques and media, including the charbon de bois -a material coming from the plantation itself, Thierry Oussou offers us a glimpse into the contemporary Beninois society, opening up a conversation also about the current situation of pandemic crisis and how this is affecting the economic force that the country has built over the years. 

Thierry Oussou has participated in residencies at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2015), and Dokoutin, Brussels (2014). Thierry exhibited at the Dakar Biennale in 2014, at the Berlin Biennial in 2018 and at the 2019 Brazil Biennial.

"Stories and Poems' is also part of @unlockedreconnected: a collective show that brings together a wide range of ‘houses for art’ throughout the Netherlands to mark their reopening. To see which venues are participating in Unlocked/Reconnected, visit their website.

Due to the current measurements, the exhibition is only open by appointment from June 4 - September 13. From Monday - Friday, 10-16 hrs. Please send an email to to schedule your appointment.


Image: Otobong Nkanga, video still from the installation In Pursuit of Bling (2014), courtesy of the artist / Lumen Travo Gallery

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