10719 BERLIN
68 Projects
Thursday, May 6, 11am - 12pm EST

American Fables

Federico Solmi and Larry Ossei-Mensah

Join the online livestream of the physical talk at artist studio. On the occasion of Frieze New York 2021 and as a tribute to the Vision & Justice Project.

Galerie Kornfeld in Berlin is pleased to present the talk “American Fables” and the accompanying works by the artist Federico Solmi as part of a series of initiatives comprising the tribute to the Vision & Justice Project and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Associate Professor at Harvard University, as organized by Frieze New York. Curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and artist Federico Solmi discuss through the critical works of the artist, the subjectivity of history, its vulnerability to partisan ideals and nationalism, rendering historical accounts more akin to folktales than facts. Exploring how corruption, capitalism and systematic oppression have shaped the psyche, identity, and reality of race and citizenship in the United States and western culture.

About the speakers

Using game engines, digital animation, virtual and augmented reality combined with his drawings and paintings, Federico Solmi creates satirical and clownish portrayals of political leaders, colonial rulers and explorers absorbed in extravagant and deranged parties; pompous, imperious parades; and theatrical and contrived events.

In 2009, Solmi was awarded by the Guggenheim Foundation of New York with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the category of Video & Audio. His work has been included in several international Biennials, including: Open Spaces: A Kansas City Arts Experience (2018), the Beijing Media Art Biennale (2016), Frankfurt B3 Biennial of the Moving image (2017-2015), the First Shenzhen Animation Biennial in China (2013), the 54th Venice Biennial (2011), and the SITE Santa Fe Biennial in New Mexico (2010). Solmi has several forthcoming museum solo exhibitions, including The Block Museum of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (2021),  Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Arizona (2022), Morris Museum, Morristown New Jersey (2023) and group exhibitions at The Phillips Collection and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, and Ocean Flower Museum Island in Hainan Province, Danzhou, China. Solmi’s work was featured in Times Square New York for the Midnight Moment. From 2016 to 2019 Federico Solmi was visiting Professor at Yale University School of Art, and Yale School of Drama, New Haven CT.

Larry Ossei-Mensah uses contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. The Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe from New York City to Rome featuring artists such as Firelei Baez, Allison Janae Hamilton, Brendan Fernades, Ebony G. Patterson, Modou Dieng, Glenn Kaino, Joiri Minayaand Stanley Whitney to name a few. Moreover, Ossei-Mensah has actively documented cultural happenings featuring the most dynamic visual artists working today such as Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Federico Solmi, and Kehinde Wiley.

A native of The Bronx, Ossei-Mensah is also the co-founder of ARTNOIR, a 501(c)(3) and global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. ARTNOIR endeavors to celebrate the artistry and creativity of Black and Brown artists around the world via virtual and in-person experiences. Ossei-Mensah is a contributor to the first-ever Ghanaian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennial with an essay on the work of visual artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Ossei-Mensah is the former Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator atMOCAD in Detroit. Ossei-Mensah currently serves as Curator-at-Largeat BAM, where he curated the NY Times heralded the exhibition Let FreeRing in January 2021.

Ossei-Mensah has had recent profiles in such publications as the NYTimes, Artsy, and Cultured Magazine, and was recently named to Artnet’s 2020 Innovator List. Follow him on Instagram at @larryosseimensah andTwitter at @youngglobal.


Federico Solmi

The Amiable Despot


Acrylic paint, gold leaf,and silver leaf on plexiglass, LED screen, video loop (min 2: 27 sec)

86 x 132 x 10 cm

Federico Solmi

The Gracious Conquistadors


Acrylic paint, gold leaf and silver leaf on plexiglass, LED screen, video loop (min 2: 26 sec)

86 x 132 x 10 cm

Federico Solmi

The Great Debauchery (Detail)


Acrylic paint, gold leaf, silver leaf, pen and ink,and mixed media on 3 wood panels with shaped wood relief

180 x 600 x 7.5 cm

Federico Solmi

The Great Expedition


Acrylic paint and gold leaf on plexiglass, LED screen, video loop (min 2: 52 sec)

86 x 132 x 10 cm

Email hakobyan@galeriekornfeld.com for a catalogue of works.