The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Contemporary African art conquering the continent
View of Zeitz MOCAA in Silo Square. Photo: Iwan Baan.

by Philippe Alfroy with AFP's Africa bureau network


JOHANNESBURG (AFP).- Contemporary African art has long been beloved by collectors in Europe and North America.

But now, such works are enjoying a renaissance among experts and the public on the continent itself.

The opening of the largest museum of African contemporary art in the world in Cape Town on Friday is seen as a game-changer for the continent's arts scene.

"Anything that is high profile and promotes really excellent contemporary African art is a really good idea and we'll all benefit from it," said Danda Jaroljmek, director of Nairobi's Circle Art gallery and founder of Art Auction East Africa.

"It can only help all of us in what we're doing."

Set in a 6,000 square metre former grain silo converted to premium gallery space at a cost of 31 million euros ($37 million), the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa's (MoCAA) collection will offer visitors a glimpse of hundreds of African pieces.

The museum's opening also heralds the arrival of a much-needed local space where African sculptors, photographers and painters can have their works seen and enjoyed.

Before, their works would typically have ended up under the hammer in a Western auction house or in the portfolios of private collectors in Europe, Asia or America.

'Gaps must be plugged'
In May, British auctioneers Sotheby's sold its first consignment of African contemporary and modern art.

Not to be outdone, the Vuitton foundation in Paris recently staged a major exhibition of art from the continent.

Both were runaway successes that highlighted the growing interest around the genre -- as well as the growing demand among Western art fans and galleries for African art which is helping develop the continental art market.

"Major museums, like the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, or MoMA in New York have realised that they have very limited African contemporary and modern art offerings -- if any," said Clement Lecomte, an expert at the Cecile Fakhoury gallery in Abidjan.

"For these museums that have a global outlook, these gaps must be plugged, so it's natural that they are turning to galleries on the continent.

"Art follows money."

As well as the Cecile Fakhoury gallery, several others are also thriving in Ivory Coast's commercial capital and cashing in on the desire for African pieces.

Abidjan's Civilisations Museum reopened this year after a long-term closure caused by political instability and now features a contemporary art room.

It includes work by celebrated sculptor Jems Koko Bi.

The same trend is being seen in Dakar which will next year host the 13th edition of the Dak'Art biennial which celebrates the best of African contemporary art.

"We're feeling a renewal of artists. We're observing a movement of works worldwide, in Europe and in the US," said one of Dak'Art's organisers who declined to be named.

"Now the priority is to develop the movement within our own (West African) community, and in Africa."

'Shake-up the existing order'
Danda Jaroljmek is seeing the same phenomenon is East Africa.

Her gallery's revenues remain modest, but are picking up.

"Things have changed radically in the last five years in Kenya and East Africa," said the gallery director.

Marie-Cecile Zinsou who created the art museum in Benin that bears her name describes Nigeria as the driving force behind the revival of contemporary African art on the continent.

"Something is clearly happening in Nigeria, especially with the increase in auction sales in Lagos. That will explode," said the Franco-Beninese entrepreneur.

"The country has two essential factors for the development of art: democracy and a dynamic economy," she told AFP.

"We invest in art if we can be persuaded that tomorrow will be better -- if not, it makes no sense."

Zinsou described the newly opened Cape Town space as a "tremendous symbol", but acknowledges that her approach is starkly different to that of MoCAA.

"It's all about private sector initiative. We still don't have a public equivalent, so it's the private sector making things happen in the cultural sphere," she said.

"I hope that the success of this museum will prompt governments to shake-up the existing order."


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

September 24, 2017

The Royal Academy of Arts opens a landmark exhibition of works by Jasper Johns

Exhibition at Galerie Alexis Pentcheff looks at Maurice Utrillo's legacy

Exhibition at Kewenig brings together works by Jannis Kounellis, El Anatsui and Anish Kapoor

Exhibition at Hauser & Wirth presents works by three generations of Brazilian artists

Contemporary African art conquering the continent

Julien's Auctions 'Icons & Idols' salutes world leaders and legends

Exhibition at Kings College London takes the writings of W.G. Sebald as a starting point

New Art Centre opens exhibition of works by Toby Ziegler

Capitain Petzel opens solo exhibition of work by New York artist Amy Sillman

Exhibition showcases the magnificent food still lifes of the Golden Age

The International Center of Photography opens 'Generation Wealth' by Lauren Greenfield

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery opens exhibition of works by legendary Los Angeles artist Billy Al Bengston

George Nakashima to lead Freeman's Design Auction

BAMPFA mounts first exhibition in more than two decades of work by painter Martin Wong

Solo exhibition by Lebanese artist Pascal Hachem on view at The Mosaic Rooms

New Pablo Bronstein show unveiled at Royal Institute of British Architects

Exhibition celebrates 125th anniversary of prominent Latvian artist Aleksandra Beļcova

Comprehensive Virtual Reality exhibition opens at Copenhagen Contemporary

MAGMA gallery opens Jan Kaláb's first exhibition in Italy

Figure/Ground exhibition kicks off gallery season at Montserrat College of Art

Photo ceramics by Xiomáro on exhibit at Weir Farm National Historic Site

The life and career of Christopher Lee to be celebrated at Spink

INVISIBLE-EXPORTS opens a two-person show featuring Louise Nevelson and Vaginal Davis

Exhibition at the Davis Museum focuses on the uncertainty of refugee journeys

Another £33,000 paid out for the man who collected knives and forks

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful