portrait of a figure rendered in multicolored pigments, mostly red, with blue sections, outlined in thin, green lines, with light blue polka dots on shoulders and chest; image of figure dissolves into abstracted linear forms at the bottom; old photographs of families with young children, surround portrait; black background with blue text, some circled or outlined with red, green or blue lines; white section with "OCTOBER" in black pigment at TC; white rectangular section with Soviet symbol and text that reads "WHO OWNED HOW MUCH LAND?" inside, and outlined with red, jagged lines; black and white photograph in ULC

October, 2019

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The Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai is known for his politically critical work, which landed him in exile in South Africa. His paintings are multi-layered collages that incorporate historical, artistic, and personal references—often difficult to fully grasp for an outsider. The sitter in this painting is unidentified. But the title (“October”), the depiction of a hammer and sickle, and the mention of land ownership all point to the October Revolution in Russia in 1917. Repossession of land was a big issue in the nascent Soviet state, as it was in post-independence Zimbabwe under the late President Mugabe.

Details
Title
October
Artist Life
born 1981
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2021.75
Curator Approved

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portrait of a figure rendered in multicolored pigments, mostly red, with blue sections, outlined in thin, green lines, with light blue polka dots on shoulders and chest; image of figure dissolves into abstracted linear forms at the bottom; old photographs of families with young children, surround portrait; black background with blue text, some circled or outlined with red, green or blue lines; white section with "OCTOBER" in black pigment at TC; white rectangular section with Soviet symbol and text that reads "WHO OWNED HOW MUCH LAND?" inside, and outlined with red, jagged lines; black and white photograph in ULC
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