Follow the dramatic clues, ignore the artspeak
Like in a romantic maze, visitors must find their own way through Kemang Wa Lehulere’s extraordinary exhibition, writes Melvyn Minnaar
It may be a good idea to tackle the issue of obscurity — or the obstacles laid purposely or otherwise — for a gentle, own-minded art enthusiast wanting a jolly art gallery experience. It is clear after wandering around the gloriously neutral white spaces of Stevenson Cape Town, where Kemang Wa Lehulere, 33, has installed his latest work, that he is a very bright artist. He won the 2017 Deutsche Bank Artist of Year accolade and the 2015 Standard Bank award. And soon this talented Capetonian will be elevated to the ranks of international gallerist acclaim (and business) with a famous London dealer. Wa Lehulere is an individually voiced artist, one of a kind. But, as an introduction to the current show — titled a tad obscurely but alluringly poetical as Here I am, A Concrete Man, Throwing Himself into Abstraction — the note to the exhibition reads: "Wa Lehulere foregrounds the poetics of the suspended and the implied, excavating the metaphoric fecundity of the unrealised gesture." Sic,...