Contemporary African Art at the Royal Academy summer exhibition

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Entrance Summer exhibition

The sign for the Royal Academy 2017 summer exhibition bears bold, bright and overall promising colours. They mirror the colours of the Wind Sculpture VI by Yinka Shonibare MBE. The sculpture itself has been erected in the courtyard, right in front of the statue draped in an african wax fabric. Together, they set the tone for the diversity of the art selection and the representation of Africa at this years’ exhibition.

Summer Exhibition Gudali by El Anatsui
Gudali, El Anatsui

At exhibitions featuring contemporary African art, there are the renowned artists and trailblazers we have come to expect. First, El Anatsui, the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale in 2015, Yinka Shonibare MBE who was part of the RA selecting committee this year or Romuald Hazoumè of Benin, famous for his masks made of Jerricans. His majestic installation “Petrol Cargo” takes centre stage in the Central Hall of the building.

Alongside these household names, especially in Gallery VI, there is a large selection of art works mostly by African artists. The various paintings, sculptures and textiles testify to the diversity of artistic creation on the continent. Most of these artists stand out with their use of materials that may appear unusual, but are very much embedded in their familiar environment. From Hasan Hajjaj’s Henna Bikers to Abe Odedina’ Deep Cut, or Modupeola Fadugba’s Heads or Tails, they are examining the questions of identity and challenging some of our deep-seated pre conceptions.

Henna Bikers, Hassan Hajjaj
Henna Bikers, Hassan Hajjaj

Over 25 Artists from Africa and its diaspora are at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Although we focus mainly on African Art, the overall exhibition is amazing. Do not miss it.

Until August 20th .

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