Artwork: Kudzanai Chiurai. Revelations V. 145 x 200 cm. 2011. © Kudzanai Chiurai © Courtesy de l’artiste et Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris et Marian Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.
In recent years, the arts of Africa have taken the world stage by storm as the diverse peoples and cultures of the continent offer a distinctive vantage point and approach to creativity that is as singular as it is breathtaking. In celebration of the diverse arts of the land, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, presents Art/Africa, le nouvel atelier, a series of three exhibitions currently on view now through August 28, 2017.
Art/Africa looks at the response of artists to the movements of the past fifty years, as independence from imperialist powers restored self-determination and freedom to the peoples whose homelands had been occupied by foreign invaders for centuries. The works look at the responses to colonialism, apartheid, issues of gender, family, and identity, and activism.
Divided into three parts, Art/Africa showcases “The Insiders,” a collection of works made between 1989 and 2009 drawn from the Jean Pigozzi collection of African art. Pigozzi began collecting African art, relying on the advice of curator and gallerist André Magnin, one of the key figures in showcasing contempoary African art onto the global stage.
“The Insiders” showcases works that combine the spiritual, scientific, and technical lore of each artist’s native land, showcasing the incredible breadth of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that can be found in every corner of Africa. The exhibition includes works by Frédéric Bruly Bouabréohn Goba, Romuald Hazoumè, Seydou Keïta, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Chéri Samba, and Malick Sidibé, among many more, as well as a site specific work created by Pascale Martine-Thayou.
The second section, Being There, focuses on South African artists and the struggles particular to their nation. The exhibition features works by Crave faves David Goldblatt and William Kentridge who lived through apartheid as white men, using their work to question and dismantle the system of oppression. It also features work by artists born in the 1980s who confront the legacy of apartheid 20 years after its end, dealing with the issues of the country’s past and the easy in which it influences their world today. These artists include Jody Brand, Lawrence Lemoana, Athi-Patra Ruga, and Lemang Wa Lehulere, among others.
Finally, the exhibition concludes with a selection of works drawn from the Fondation’s permanent collection, offering evolving perspectives that shine light on the way in which we consider the contributions of Africa today. The exhibition also features a multidisciplinary program of events that bring together all of the arts: music, poetry, literature, and cinema, to show the ways in which they function together, providing a full view of the true glories of the continent.
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.