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Saturday, October 19, 2019 to Sunday, December 15, 2019


Smart Museum of Art



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Smart Museum of Art


Meleko Mokgosi’s large-scale episodic painting cycle Bread, Butter, and Power forms the newest chapter in his ongoing series Democratic Intuition, which seeks to explore ideas about the many ways that democratic concepts influence our lives, loves, and relationships on macro- and micro-levels.

This twenty-panel installation interrogates the theme of feminism in the context of southern Africa, and considers the consequences of dividing labor practices by gender.

Mokgosi’s approach to storytelling through the form of history painting allows us to compare what we see in the paintings to the realities of inequality and gendered labor division we know from experience. This approach to the content also inspires us to think expansively about politics, power structures, and the role of history in the creation of the current nations of southern Africa.

Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power was organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and is curated by Erica P. Jones, Associate Curator of African Arts. The Smart Museum presentation was overseen by Jennifer Carty, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.