A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to open 100% Africa exhibition
From 12 October 2006 to February 2007, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will be hosting 100% Africa, an exhibition of works by 25 artists living and working in 15 sub-Saharan countries that illustrates the diversity and richness of current modes of expression in contemporary black African art
This unique exhibition features the most important works from the Contemporary African Art Collection, considered one of the world’s finest private collections of modern art from the African continent.
found 10/11/2006 at eitb24.com
Sponsored by Seguros Bilbao, this unique, quite unprecedented exhibition features the most important works from the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) owned by collector Jean Pigozzi and considered one of the world’s finest private collections of modern art from the African continent. Also included are several artworks created exclusively for display at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Occupying all seven galleries on the Museum’s third floor, 100% Africa is an explosive fusion of black Africa’s tradition and beliefs, its past and present, as seen in the work of several generations of African artists. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, installations and videos combine to give the visitor an unusual and most enlightening viewpoint on contemporary art in Africa.
Presented in a very distinctive setting created by prestigious Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, working with Marco Palmieri, this selection blends works by internationally-renowned artists such as the great portrait artist Seydou Keita, painters Chéri Samba, George Lilanga and Richard Onyango, encyclopedist and universalist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and the unclassifiable Bodys Isek Kingelez and Romuald Hazoumé, with others by younger, highly promising artists like Mansaray, Titos Mabota, Pathy Tsingele and Dakpogan.
The Western slant
For decades, the very idea of contemporary African art was distorted by the West’s view of things. By 1914, virtually the whole of Africa had been carved up and subjected to European colonization. Apart from politics and economics, the dominion of a handful of European nations was also clearly cultural.
As in other "underdeveloped" countries, African art was relegated to the condition of folklore and crafts, the category of contemporary art being reserved for artists in Western countries. However, Africa too had its own Academy-based modern art, very much a product of colonial and post-colonial teaching, although neither the quality of the art, or its very existence, ever received international recognition.
It was not until the late 1980s that the West began to look at contemporary art from a universal viewpoint, and trace intercultural relationships between all the continents. From 1986, the artistic production of the "forgotten continents", Africa, South America, Asia and Oceania, was subjected to systematic exploration.
This research made the landmark exhibition Magiciens de la terre possible. What Magiciens de la terre did was to reveal a host of surprising, free and completely unknown works to the world. Since then, a whole, previously ignored slice of contemporary creativity began to take its rightful place in world art history.
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