The Stevenson Gallery shows work by these two very different artists.
Odita's bright abstract acrylics are a complete contrast to the predominantly black and white photography of Mlangeni, although there is a similarity in the theme. The tension in the composition and colour of Odita's work reflects the tension between his two worlds, between Nigeria, where he was born and the United States, where he lives, between Africa and the western world.
Mlangeni's photos (No Problem) reflect the stark realities and tensions in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg, close to the wealthy, mainly white suburb of Sandton. The show also includes Mlangeni's photos of the increasingly delapidated suburb of Betrams in Johannesburg (My Storie), shown at the Liverpool biennale in 2012 but not seen in South Africa before.
Mlangeni's Country Girls series (2003-2009) about a gay community in rural areas of Mpumalanga province was a ground-breaking reportage. When talking about his work Mlangeni says that he always tries “to find beauty where you think there is no beauty.” Stevenson Gallery, Buchanan Building, 160 Lowry Road, www.stevenson.info
Tomorrow World by Odili Donald Odita
Merc on Queens Street by Sabelo Mlangeni
From Country Girls by Sabelo Mlangeni