A resilient contemporary African art community faces the coronavirus storm
Posted on
Enam Gbewonyo, Venice Nude Me Performance, © Michal-Murawski
Enam Gbewonyo, Venice Nude Me Performance, © Michal-Murawski

Museums and galleries: shuttered! Art fairs and biennales: postponed indefinitely! Previews, artists’ talks, and performances: cancelled! The extreme measures taken to dampen the swift spread of the coronavirus pandemic have brought the art world in its present form to a screeching halt. Unwittingly, the confinement measures have also exposed the fragile financial health of numerous art and cultural organisations and precipitated the closure of others. Suddenly, a question that would have seemed unfathomable only a few months ago, becomes reasonable: if some of these long-standing institutions cannot outlive this crisis, what would become of the budding contemporary African art scene?

READ MORE…

Spread the joy of experiencing contemporary African art from the comfort of your home.
Posted on
Billie ZANGEWA Soldier of Love , 2020, Soie brodée / Embroidered silk ©Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels
Billie ZANGEWA, Soldier of Love, 2020, Soie brodée / Embroidered silk © Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels

 

Welcome to the first of #Artinthetimeofcovid19 series.

Let’s face it: things are rather grim in the world right now. The death toll caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge. Meanwhile, businesses and public spaces have had to shut down as part of an extensive set of sanitary measures designed to contain the disease. These measures are saving our lives while sadly endangering our livelihood. And now, ongoing confinement has started taking its toll on people’s mental health.

We can’t change this gloomy climate. However, we can create within it, a virtual space of escapism: one that transports us into studios, exhibition spaces, or into gripping visual tales. #Artinthetimeofcovid19 

READ MORE…

The guide to 8 exhibitions that showcase works by Black contemporary artists
Posted on
Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Dorinda Essah, 2020, The Yellow Wallpaper.
Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Dorinda Essah, 2020, The Yellow Wallpaper exhibition at the Morris William Gallery

Before the coronavirus pandemic had ground most activities to a halt, we strolled through London for a pre-spring art crawl, looking at works by African artists, and by and large, Black contemporary artists. We also added other exciting ongoing shows and exhibitions due to open. Here is what was meant to be the March guide to 8 Contemporary African Art exhibitions in London.

READ MORE…

The London-based French Algerian artist Zineb Sedira set to represent France at the Venice Biennale in 2021
Posted on
London-based, French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira
London-based, French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira

It is a first: The London-based French Algerian artist Zineb Sedira is set to represent France at the Fifty-Ninth edition of the Venice Biennale in 2021. She will be the first artist of Algerian descent to do so.

READ MORE…

When a painting turns a young Congolese artist into a refugee
Posted on
Marionette, 2019 Jonathan Vatunga
Marionette, 2019 Jonathan Vatunga

The acclaimed exhibition Beaute Congo staged at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2015 drew international attention to the buoyant Congolese artistic scene. Ever since, older artists such as Chéri Samba and Chéri Cherin have enjoyed a renewed interest in their works, while a younger generation of artists, including the likes of JP Mika (also part of the exhibition) and Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, has taken the Contemporary African Art scene by storm.

READ MORE…

AKAA, Contemporary African Art and Design fair hits its stride on the 4th attempt
Posted on
maya-ines-touam-triptyque-vertical-sans-titre-1-tirage-photographique-sous-diassec-mat-3-x-105-x-70-cm-2019-ed-3-1-ap-courtesy-african-arty
Maya-Ines Touam, Triptyque vertical sans titre, Courtesy African Arty

The 4th edition of the Contemporary African Art and Design fair AKAA (Also Known As Africa) opened a day earlier to a select group of collectors and art insiders. By the time the fair opened for the official preview on Friday 8th, the clues that this would be a better, well-rounded selection – compared with preview editions – were evident. This was an edition rooted in the youthfulness of artists recounting a multifaceted contemporary Africa, investigating the continent’s cultural hybridity and, more importantly, reimagining its future. 

READ MORE…

Young Cameroonian artist Marc Padeu sets surprising new records at Piasa Contemporary African art auction
Posted on
Marc Padeu, Voici l'homme !, 2019. Courtesy of the artist
Marc Padeu, Voici l’homme !, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

For African Art lovers, Piasa’s contemporary African art auction has become a standard feature on the Parisian autumnal art calendar alongside the art and design fair AKAA, Also Known As Africa. However, the more surprising aspects of the auction were the new records established by young Cameroonian artist Marc Padeu and other artists recently introduced to the secondary market.

READ MORE…

Ben Enwonwu dominates Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African art auction
Posted on
Ben Enwonwu, Christine, 1971
Ben Enwonwu, Christine, 1971

In the astronomical world of contemporary art where sales at auctions amounted to $29.1 billion in 2018 (according to the latest Art Basel and USB Global report), £4 m ($4.6m) is infinitesimally small. Yet, it calls for a great deal of relativism as that is precisely the new record for a single auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art.

READ MORE…

Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus, emphatically propels Black History into the collective consciousness.
Posted on
Kara Walker, Fons Americanus at the Tate in London
Kara Walker, Fons Americanus at the Tate in London

Veni Vidi Vici. The sentence attributed to Jules Cesar encapsulates the way history is crudely memorialized in public spaces. Grandiloquent and gilded statues often favour the single perspective of those who came, saw, and conquered. Of these constructed heroes, we are collectively required only to remember their reported gestures of self-sacrifice, courage, and endearing ability to triumph against all the odds.

READ MORE…

Celebrated Nigerian artist, Ben Enwonwu dominates a lacklustre Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams.
Posted on
Ben Enwonwu, Portrait of Marianne, 1972. Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams
Ben Enwonwu, Portrait of Marianne, 1972. Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams

Bonhams‘s customary modern and contemporary African Art auction yields a little over £2 million, barely over the aggregate of the presales low estimate.

The £2 million of sales is a lacklustre result for an auction held during Frieze London and on the opening day of the Contemporary African Art Fair 1:54, when international collectors flock to london and are expected to be on a spending spree.

READ MORE…