Installation artist Georges Adéagbo, born in 1942, has travelled for decades between Cotonou (Benin), Hamburg, and exhibition venues around the world. In the 1990s, he came to the attention of the European art world. Today, he ranks among the most prominent of African artists and is considered a pioneer of a self-confident art of the Global South.
Adéagbo’s works are spatial assemblages that juxtapose decorative art objects with everyday items from different cultures. Forgoing Western systems of order and hierarchies of value, Adéagbo weaves an intricate web of relationships between objects, images, and thoughts. His works are both personal and political: their arrangements locate his own history within socio-political issues and events of global relevance.
In recent years, the work of the expressionist Ernst Barlach (1870–1938) has left multiple traces in Adéagbo’s oeuvre. To mark his 80th birthday, the Ernst Barlach Haus is devoting an extensive solo show to him. Adéagbo takes up Barlach’s existential themes such as war and violence, power and impotence, but also charity, mindfulness, and spirituality, and interlinks them with his own perspectives.