Recently opened in New York is Okwui Enwezor's major survey exhibition, 'The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994'. The New York Times
carried two reviews on Sunday, with Holland Cotter hailing it as "one of most important shows to hit town in years" (and recommending that someone "grab" Moshekwa Langa for a New York solo), and Roberta Smith awarding it "landmark status". While contemporary African art is gaining a toehold on the global scene, African modernism has remained overlooked and largely invisible - and both critics clearly find it immensely rewarding and stimulating to see such work situated within its historical and political context. All of which drives home what a tragedy it is that 'The Short Century' will not be seen in South Africa (or anywhere on the continent), despite efforts by certain staff at the SA National Gallery. Of course, the costs involved in a show like this are enormous, but surely, if it had been planned from the start, there could have been a way? As small consolation, the full reviews by Cotter
can be read online (registration is required but free).