Now and Then: El Loko/Kyle Morland introduces an intergenerational dialogue between a historical artist and a young artist, resulting in a greater understanding of the often derided, linear progression of artistic practice. The inaugural exhibition in the museum’s sculpture garden unveils a major commission by El Loko (Togo) and works by the local sculptor Kyle Morland (South Africa).
El Loko’s nine laminated glass discs are both the ceiling of the museum and the floor of the rooftop sculpture garden, now standing as a memorial to the artist and his contribution to the universality of artistic expression. Kyle Morland’s presentation is an ongoing acknowledgement of the technical and conceptual inheritances from 20th-century abstract sculpture.
El Loko was born and raised in Pédakondji, Togo and trained as a textile designer in Accra, Ghana. Joseph Beuys initially funded Loko’s studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany, leading to later collaborations between the two. Best known for his Cosmic Alphabet, El Loko’s vision was to create a universal language that transcends racial and cultural barriers. The very same barriers which prohibit free association and communication.
Kyle Morland manipulates metal to form abstract sculptures, expressing spatial relationships of scale, volume, and weight. Morland aestheticises discarded or overlooked material to challenge preconceived ideas of hierarchies inherent in the conversations around material culture.