The highly-anticipated exhibition, If You Look Hard Enough, You Can See Our Future, made its worldwide debut at the African American Museum, Dallas in historic Fair Park. Made possible by the beloved restaurant group Nando’s, one of the largest collectors of contemporary Southern African art in the world, the exhibition features nearly 90 pieces from more than 60 emerging, mid-career and established artists.
Free and open to the public, the exhibition runs through Aug. 13.
Some of the most notable Southern African-based artists will have work on display, including Zanele Muholi, Kudzanai Chiurai, Claudette Schreuders, Patrick Kagiso, Igshaan Adams, Stephen Hobbs, Anastasia Pather, Penny Siopis, William Kentridge, Portia Zvavahera and Samson Mnisi. The selection of work is drawn from the collection’s strength in portraiture, landscape, cityscapes and abstraction.
“This exhibition is about the unity of contemporary Southern African artwork. And the collective experience at our museum is an immersion into both Southern African and African American artwork,” said Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr., president and CEO of the African American Museum, Dallas. “We are honored to be selected for Nando’s debut of an exhibition that embodies this shared community, and culture.”
Curating an exhibition from a collection built over two decades and assembling pieces never seen together was an idea that came to life from the late philanthropist and businessman, Dick Enthoven, who tapped Laurie Ann Farrell to be the curator. One of the most important curators working to expose artists from Africa and the African Diaspora to the United States; Farrell served as a curator at The African Center (formerly known as The Museum of African Art) in New York City, an executive director at Savannah College of Art & Design, curator and head of modern and contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Art, and briefly as senior curator at the Dallas Contemporary.
“To exhibit exemplary pieces from the Nando’s art collection that have never been seen together before introduces a broad range of South African talent to the United States,” said Farrell. “Attendees will be immersed in the collections’ distinct aesthetics, while also engaging with universal themes of humanity, love, loss and hope for a better future.”
The start of the exhibition takes place during the 10th iteration of Dallas Arts Month when community leaders celebrate the city’s emergence as a capital of culture. The debut of the exhibition is also listed as an “official” must-see for the international set of collectors, professionals and tourists that attend the Dallas Arts Fair in the third week of April every year.
“As a proudly African brand coming to Dallas, we consider the African American Museum, to be the perfect canvas on which to share world-class expressions of the modern Southern African lived experience,” said Sepanta Bagherpour, Chief Brand Officer of Nando’s North America.
Home to the legendary South-African flamed-grilled PERi-PERi chicken and PERi-PERi sauces, the first Nando’s locations arrive in Texas this summer, with two locations opening in Houston and one in Dallas.
HOURS. The African American Museum, Dallas is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.
For more information, go to aamdallas.org or call214-565-9026.
About the Nando’s Art Collection
Through the vision of the late South African businessman Dick Enthoven, Nando’s started collecting art in partnership with arts consultancy Spier Arts Trust in 2001 and has since become owner of one of the world’s largest collection of Southern African contemporary art and design. The collection is uniquely displayed in Nando’s restaurants globally, creating bespoke settings, providing access to millions of people, many of whom will never visit an art gallery, or museum. Visitors to Nando’s custom-designed restaurants also have the opportunity to see firsthand permanent artwork from the 25,000+ piece collection that is featured prominently at each location.
About the African American Museum, Dallas
The African American Museum, Dallas was founded in 1974 as a part of Bishop College. The Museum has operated independently since 1979. For more than 40 years, the African American Museum has stood as a cultural beacon in Dallas and the Southwestern United States. Located in Dallas’ historic Fair Park, the African American Museum is the only museum in the Southwestern United States devoted to the collection, preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials that relate to the African American experience. The African American Museum incorporates a wide variety of visual art forms and historical documents that portray the African American experience in the United States, Southwest, and Dallas. The Museum has a small, but rich collection of African art, African American fine art and one of the largest African American folk-art collections in the United States. Learn more at aamdallas.org.
About Nando’s PERi-PERi
After making its 1987 debut in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nando’s has spread its flame to legions of fans in 24 countries on five continents who can’t resist the allure of succulent PERi-PERi chicken that’s been marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to their preferred flavor and spice. The restaurant is equally renowned for its spicy PERi-PERi – the Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper that indigenous Africans introduced to the Portuguese centuries ago.
Nando’s PERi-PERi entered the US market in 2008 with the opening of its first location in Washington, D.C., and now operates nearly 50 restaurants in and around Virginia, Maryland, Washington, and Chicago. For more information, visit www.nandosperiperi.com.