Installation Images

Frieze Los Angeles
February 29, 2024–March 03, 2024

For Frieze Focus 2024, Micki Meng presents a solo presentation of ink drawings and sculpture by Congolese artist Jean Katambayi Mukendi.

Mukendi is one of the most active artists living and working in sub-Saharan Africa right now. Trained as an electrician, Mukendi employs his knowledge of circuitry in his artwork, making works that often dramatize the flow of energy. In this spirit, this presentation includes a central sculpture of paper, cardboard, and copper wire, and drawings of ink from ballpoint pens. His home city of Lubumbashi is a mining town rich in esoteric minerals, but its citizens have vastly unequal access to the kinds of technology, like high-efficiency light bulbs, that their extracted wealth is used to produce. As a political or economic problem, this one is as firmly rooted as they get: Overcoming it demands the kind of imagination which Mukendi’s works incite. The works describe the supporting materials for his vision of an enriched Africa and an equalized, futuristic world economy, in which the benefits of the developed world are shared with the countries from which the raw materials are taken.

Mukendi (b. 1974, Lubumbashi, CD) has exhibited internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include 109 City Ramiken, New York, US (2023); Jean Katambayi Mukendi: Seer, Kunsthalle Kohta, Helsinki, FI (2022); f’low, Waldburger Wouters, BE (2022); RE-FLEX, SALTS, Basel, CH (2022); Quarantaine, Ramiken, New York, US (2020); Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Neue Galerie im Höhmannhaus, Augsburg, DE (2019); Mère Terre, trampoline, Antwerp, BE (2018); intemporal, trampoline, Antwerp, BE (2017); Attempts to Read the World Differently: 3 Exhibitions in 5 Acts, Stroom, The Hague, NL (2017); Uncertainty Scenarios, Enough Room for Space, Brussels, BE (2016); and On ne sait pas où on va, trampoline, Antwerp, BE (2016). His work has been included in many group exhibitions including Drawing in the Continuous Present, The Drawing Center, New York, US (2022); Triennale di Milano, Congolese Pavilion, IT(2022); You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, FR (2021); Biennale Taipei, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2020); The Hum Comes from the Stumuch, Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, BE (2018); and Le Bord des Mondes, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (2015). He participated in the 4th and 5th Lubumbashi Biennales (2015, 2017), the 11th Dakar Biennale (2014), and the 12th Havana Biennale (2015). In 2016 he was an artist in residence at WIELS in Brussels and was featured at WIELS in Multiple Transmissions : Art in the Afro-politan Age. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Frieze, and Artforum and is in the collections of CCS Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His work is included in the upcoming Zurich Biennial, at Kunsthalle Zürich, CH and Manifesta 15, Barcelona, Spain.