NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999)
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The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents Nkame, a solo exhibition of the late Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999), who produced an extraordinary body of work central to the history of contemporary printmaking. Nkame was named one of the “Top Ten Exhibitions in the World” by ARTnews magazine and one of the “Top Ten Exhibitions in New York City” by The New York Times, in 2017.
Nkame presents 48 prints and audiovisual materials that encompass a wide range of the artist’s production from 1984 until her untimely passing in 1999. Ayón is highly regarded for her signature technique of collography, a printing process in which a variety of materials are collaged onto a cardboard matrix. Her palette of black, white and gray adds drama and mystery to her prints, many of them produced on a large scale.
Ayón took on the subject of the Abakuá Secret Society while still an art student. This brotherhood arrived in Cuba in the early 19th century, carried by enslaved Africans from southeastern Nigeria, and became a nucleus of protection and resistance for its members.