Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power

October 19 – December 29, 2019

Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power, 2018, Installation view, Fowler Museum at UCLA. Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles. Photo © Monica Nouwens.

Meleko Mokgosi’s large-scale episodic painting cycle Bread, Butter, and Power forms the newest chapter in his ongoing series Democratic Intuition, which seeks to explore ideas about the many ways that democratic concepts influence our lives, loves, and relationships on macro- and micro-levels.

This twenty-panel installation interrogates the theme of feminism in the context of southern Africa, and considers the consequences of dividing labor practices by gender.

Mokgosi’s approach to storytelling through the form of history painting allows us to compare what we see in the paintings to the realities of inequality and gendered labor division we know from experience. This approach to the content also inspires us to think expansively about politics, power structures, and the role of history in the creation of the current nations of southern Africa.


Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power, 2018, Installation view, Fowler Museum at UCLA. Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles. Photo © Monica Nouwens.