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Art/Afrique at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

The current exhibition at the Parisian space presents works created by artists from all over the African continent —including a selection from Jean Pigozzi’s contemporary collection

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Text by Rab Messina

In the eyes of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, there is great value in focusing “on the latest developments from less known, or even entirely overlooked, art scenes.” Case in point: the private institution is showcasing the recent works of artists from all corners of the African continent in the exhibition Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier.

Highlights include The Insiders, a selection from the renowned contemporary African art collection of French businessman and philanthropist Jean Pigozzi, ranging from 1989 to 2009. Pigozzi, a pioneer in this area, has been in direct contact with creators in French-, English- and Portuguese-speaking countries in the continent, collecting their work since the late 80s.

The result is a sample that includes drawings by Ivorian Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and sculptures by artists such as Senegalese Seni Awa Camara and Beninese Calixte Dakpogan, each “deeply influenced by the spiritual, scientific and craft traditions of their country of origin,” according to the Fondation. Also, for the exhibition, Cameroon’s Pascale Marthine Tayou has created a new site-specific piece.

As a complement to The Insiders, the show also features a section called Being There, a collective presentation of works from South African artists. The list includes well-known names, such as Jane Alexander and David Goldblatt, but also a group of artists born in the 80s, who are today struggling with analysing identity in their post-Apartheid country —that group includes Jody Brand and Kudzanai Chiurai.

But Art/Afrique is also all-encompassing and recognises the work of the diaspora: it includes a section devoted to work from artists living outside their countries, as well as Afro-American creators.

Art/Afrique will be open until August 28, 2017.

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Kudzanai Chiurai (1981, Zimbabwe) Genesis [Je n'isi isi] III, 2016 Work belonging to the collection of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. COPYRIGHT: © Kudzanai Chiurai. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
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Romuald Hazoumè (1962, Benin) Exit Ball, 2008 Work belonging to the collection of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. COPYRIGHT: © ADAGP, Paris 2017. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, Paris. Photo Thomas Lannes
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Lawrence Lemaoana, Freedom is a Stone Throw Away, 2017, broderie de coton sur Kanga, 155 x 105 cm Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY © Lawrence Lemaoana Photo Jurie Potgieter
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Kemang Wa Lehulere, Remembering the Future of a Hole as a Verb 2, 2012, craie sur tableau noir peint. Vue d’installation, “The Ungovernables”, New Museum, New York © Kemang Wa Lehulere, courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg Photo Benoit Pailley

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