Fondation Louis Vuitton’s new group show, Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier, trumpets artists both old and new from across the continent

Fondation Louis Vuitton is giving its full and mighty attention to African art with the new exhibition Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier. Curated by Suzanne Pagé and Angéline Scherf with Ludovic Delalande and Claire Staebler, it encompasses three displays that together take in a hugely diverse range of mediums and names spanning the 20th and 21st century.

The Insiders features works by 15 established artists from the Jean Pigozzi collection dating from 1989 to 2009. The famed collector, guided by gallerist André Magnin, amassed a significant number of works that go some way to representing the political, social and spiritual mood of their time. Those artists on view here include Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, John Goba, Romuald Hazoumè, Seydou Keïta, Rigobert Nimi, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Chéri Samba, Malick Sidibé, and Barthélémy Toguo.

The second section, Being There, focuses on South Africa’s art scene as one of the most progressive and engaged microcosms of art on the continent. Artists range from forebears such as David Goldblatt, William Kentridge and Sue Williamson, through today’s leading lights including Nicholas Hlobo, Zanele Muholi and Moshekwa Langa, and onward to new generation artists Lawrence Lemaoana, Athi-Patra Ruga and Kemang Wa Lehulere. Through their activist works, the history of the country before and beyond the end of apartheid is laid bare, bringing us to face to face not only with its heavy legacy but also the plethora of new and positive South African Identities rising up today.

Finally, a new display of African art from Fondation Louis Vuitton’s own collection, including both diaspora and African American artists, completes this impressive show. Continuing the wave of African art that has taken Paris by storm in recent months, thanks to the AKAA art fair, Art Paris Art Fair and current exhibition Le jour qui vient at Galerie des Galeries, Art/Afrique further cements the global impact African art is having in 2017. Fondation Louis Vuitton, the philanthropic arm of the LVMH group that has been housed in a breath-taking Frank Gehry building since 2014, is dedicated to creating open dialogue among artists, intellectuals and the public. This new endeavour will no doubt create many new and important connections.

Art/Afrique runs until 26 August 2017 at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

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Published on 26/04/2017