Lecture: David Riep "Symbols of Self: Art and Identity in Southern Africa"

  • 7:00 PM

Figge Art Museum
225 W. Second St., Davenport, IA

The arts across southern Africa have long been used to assert identity, status, and affiliation, and to maintain visual markers of both the individual and the collective.

This notion serves as the point of departure for the Colorado State University art historian David Riep, who will discuss the link between art and cultural affiliation in southern Africa through his talk “Symbols of Self: Art and Identity in Southern Africa.” His presentation will draw upon artistic examples from an accompanying exhibition and will detail the unique visual expressions from five indigenous southern African cultures: Zulu, Xhosa, South Sotho, Ndebele, and Tsonga-Shangaan.

From beer pots to beadwork, Riep will discuss the unique formal aspects of the visual arts from these cultures, and highlight how form, pattern, and color are used to promote identity and cultural affiliation in a highly interactive social climate.

David M. Riep is associate curator of African art at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, and an assistant professor of art history at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. He specializes in the arts of Africa and teaches courses on global art history and museum studies, while also producing documentary films on South Sotho arts and culture. 

David Riep is guest curator for the UIMA exhibition Symbols of Self: Art and Identity in Southern Africa, on view at the Figge Art Museum from April 22–August 13, 2017

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in a program, please contact the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in advance at 335-1727.