Jean Katambayi Mukendi at Ramiken

Artist: Jean Katambayi Mukendi

Exhibition title: Quarantaine

Venue: Ramiken, New York, US

Date: November 12, 2020 – January 30, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and RAMIKEN, New York

Quarantaine is Jean Katambayi Mukendi’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The show consists of drawings and mixed media pieces made by Mukendi during quarantine at his home studio in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dubbed the Afrolampe, each drawing is a philosophical meditation in ballpoint pen, illustrating a single idea through a technical schematic for a lightbulb. An engineer by trade, Mukendi employs his knowledge of circuitry in drafting these fantastic combinations of filaments, glass, and electrical connections, mapped out in precise line work over a uniform grid. Mukendi fills solid black areas by building up single lines, creating patterned imprints in the paper from the pressure of his repetitive marks. His assemblages are boxes constructed from wood, with cutout reliefs integrated with drawings.

Jean Katambayi Mukendi was born in 1974 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lives and works in Lubumbashi.