Jean Katambayi Mukendi
Jean Katambayi Mukendi's "Quarantaine," the Democratic Republic of the Congo-based artist's first solo show in the United States, is on view at Ramiken Crucible.
The exhibition unveils a freestanding assemblage work as well as a new series of ballpoint pen drawings, collectively titled "Covid Afrolampe." Each illustration represents a theoretically feasible design for a lightbulb—Mukendi has a background in electrical engineering—that simultaneously embodies his attempt to visualize an abstract idea on paper. Take, for instance, Covid Afrolampe XII (Stress) (2020) [pictured], in which a meticulously rendered geometrical pattern contained within the lightbulb's shape appears subtly, maddening askew—no doubt a fraught situation for any engineer-turned-artist.
Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Covid Afrolampe XII (Stress), 2020. Photo: Dario Lasagni.