• 30 June – 27 August 2022

      

    Galerie Marguo is pleased to present Inner CircleUgandan artist Godwin Champs Namuyimba’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and in France, on view from 30 June - 27 August 2022. 

     

    Namuyimba’s practice explores the ways that identity is constructed in a globalized and hyper-networked world, particularly within a postcolonial African context. In this new body of work, the artist appears to critically and equivocally grapple with the notion of Black Excellence – a conflictual term that on the one hand champions and celebrates the achievements and contributions of Black communities in a racialized society, while signifying, on the other, the disproportionate pressure Black individuals face to ‘work twice as hard to get half as far’. 

     

    Artist: Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    Full Press Release

    30 June – 27 August 2022 Galerie Marguo is pleased to present Inner Circle, Ugandan artist Godwin Champs Namuyimba’s first...

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba, Kitchen Dilemma, 2022

  • I don't want to tackle the end. I want to create a story.

    A world of conquering, where the blacks are going to conquer.

     

    — Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    Namuyimba at his studio in Masaka, Uganda, 2022
  • Ten larger-than-life portraits comprise this cycle of paintings, constituting a sort of pantheon across the gallery walls. Measuring at around 250 x 200 cm each, the works evoke a bodily response from the viewer, as though one were standing before real individuals. This subtle tactic draws us in, stoking our curiosity into these mysterious characters, who address us with their unflinching gaze from an array of richly patterned domestic interiors, rendered via many thin, watery layers of acrylic paint.

  • The Black Benchers, 2022 (detail)
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba The Black Benchers, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 255.5 x 210 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      The Black Benchers, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      255.5 x 210 cm
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba From Boys to Men, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 260.5 x 210 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      From Boys to Men, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      260.5 x 210 cm
  • From Boys to Men, 2022 (detail)
  • Upon sustained observation, however, the viewer may notice that the architectural perspectives are ever so slightly skewed. The realistically depicted scenes of African domesticity that we easily took for granted begin to fragment and flatten. The compositions take on a collage-like quality, an apt metaphor for personal identity that at first glance appears singular and legible, but is in fact infinitely complex and kaleidoscopic, contradictory and ever-evolving.

  • Seated in Glorious Places, 2022 (detail)
  • Godwin Champs Namuyimba, Seated in Glorious Places, 2022

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    Seated in Glorious Places, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
    256.5 x 203 cm
  • This idea is echoed through the artist’s choice of subject matter, as well. The reference material for Namuyimba’s fictional figures is sourced from images of white people on Pinterest, which he then transfigures and situates in settings derived from his surroundings in Uganda.

     

    Pinterest is a website built on and fueled by people’s aspirations for every aspect of their lives: from their homes and weddings to their wardrobes and cosmetic surgery. Many of the trending lifestyle #aesthetics that proliferate on social media like Pinterest are overwhelmingly incarnated by white and affluent people, which reinforces distorted norms, and even fabricates desire and longing for a certain unattainable existence. 

  • Kitchen Dilemma, 2022 (detail)
  • I titled this image Kitchen Dilemma, which symbolizes an enforced culture, because it's not a part of a black setting...

    I titled this image Kitchen Dilemma, which symbolizes an enforced culture, because it's not a part of a black setting for man to be in the kitchen, doing chores. So I use this image to show that there is an enforcement in culture, that has to change. That has to change. 

     

    — Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    GODWIN CHAMPS NAMUYIMBA

    Kitchen Dilemma, 2022
    Acrylic on canvas
    241 x 200.5 cm

  • False Teacher, 2022 (detail)
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba False Teacher, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 185 x 150 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      False Teacher, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      185 x 150 cm
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba At the Coffee House, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 185 x 150 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      At the Coffee House, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      185 x 150 cm
  • At the Coffee House, 2022 (detail)
  • The title of the exhibition, Inner Circle, evokes this exclusive, aspirational air, while also alluding to the ways that imposed beliefs about identity, and the incongruence between how we are perceived and how we see ourselves, are often deeply internalized. The artist plays with this duality: the subjects are recognizable but chimeric, drawing us close but then not any closer. 

  • Lust Night, 2022 (detail)
  • Godwin Champs Namuyimba, Lust Night, 2022

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    Lust Night, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
    212.5 x 165 cm
  • Majesty, 2022 (detail)
  • The oblique symbols borrowed from Christian and Egyptian iconography that recur throughout his paintings – both diegetically, worked into the wallpaper of Majesty (2022), or diagrammatically, as seen in the backgrounds and borders framing Flying Golfer (2022) and The Naked Esteem (2022) – reinforce this sense of the profound unknowability of the other, and potentially, even ourselves.

  • Godwin Champs Namuyimba, Majesty, 2022

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba

    Majesty, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
    253.5 x 202.5 cm
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba Flying Golfer, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 257 x 201 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      Flying Golfer, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      257 x 201 cm
    • Godwin Champs Namuyimba The Naked Esteem, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 256.5 x 206 cm
      Godwin Champs Namuyimba
      The Naked Esteem, 2022
      Acrylic on canvas
      256.5 x 206 cm
  • Flying Golfer, 2022 (detail)
  • The Naked Esteem, 2022 (detail)
  • ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba, The Harvest, 2021

    Collection Mudam Luxembourg

    © Godwin Champs Namuyimba.

    Courtesy of the artist and Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery 

     

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

     

    Godwin Champs Namuyimba (b.1989, Masaka Uganda) lives and works in Masaka, Uganda. He earned his BFA from Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda in 2017. Solo exhibitions include: ‘Rocker Room’, Zidoun Bossuyt Gallery (Luxembourg, 2022); ‘Antechamber’, East-Projects (New York, US 2021); ‘Godwin Champs Namuyimba’, Ars Belga (Brussels, BE 2021); and ‘The Dreamer’, Galleri Steinsland & Berliner Gallery (Stockholm, SE 2019). Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Summertime’, Zidoun Bossuyt Gallery (Luxembourg, 2021); ‘Dreamsongs – From Medicine to Demons to Artificial Intelligence’, Colnaghi Gallery (London, UK 2020); ‘June Invitational’, Ars Belga (Brussels, BE 2020); ‘L’Afrique fantôme’, Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, FR 2020); and ‘Demifigures’, Laloma Projects (Los Angeles, LA 2020).

     

    In 2021, Namuyimba was a resident at Stjarna.art in Brussels, Belgium. His work is held in the collections of MUDAM - The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg; The W Art Foundation, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hong Kong; the Örebro City Library, Örebro, Sweden; and The Bunker Art Space, Beth Rudin de Woody Collection, West Palm Beach, USA. 

     

    Learn more →

  • Get in touch