Is Africa the Next Stop on the Global Train?

Since launching the New York-based design gallery R & Company in 1997, founders Zesty Meyers and Even Snyderman have made a point of representing untapped talent from around the world. For their current presentation, "Grains of Paradise: Contemporary African Design in collaboration with Southern Guild," the duo looked to Cape Town and other parts of Africa that have been off the radar of North Atlantic art circles—until now.

On view through April 30, the show will bring several works to North American for the first time, including pieces by Porky Hefer, Dokter and Misses (whose Kassena series server cabinet is shown), the design collective Ardmore, and Senegalese disagree Babacar Niang. “We talked to designers and came up with this idea to do an overview show of what is happening in Africa today,” Meyers says. “I think Africa is the nest stop on the global train.” The work of Niang, says Meyers, is representative of a type of vernacular “purity” and an innate talent. Rather than attempting to craft a narrative of the works on view, however, he and SNydermAn simply hope to pique curiosity and interest for the regions under-examined work. “Each object is its own chapter, and the stories are very different when you look from one piece to the next.”

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