Wonderland.

Louis Vuitton: Art/Afrique

A new exhibition brings modern African art to Paris.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is continuing its commitment to underrepresented or overlooked areas of the art world, branching away from a Eurocentric viewpoint for a new exhibition that explores and celebrates work by African artists. Overriding the art history traditionally taught in western schools – a curriculum that rarely expands beyond Europe and America – Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier attempts to show how narrow such a viewpoint can be.

Split into three sections, the show features ‘The Insiders’, which boasts work from businessman-cum-art collector Jean Pigozzi’s personal collection, ‘Being There’, which pulls from South Africa’s contemporary scene, and ‘Africa’, which is made up of work from the Fondation’s in-house collection.

(LEFT) Untitled, 1956, Seydou Keïta, Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection © Maurice Aeschimann
(RIGHT) Untitled, Seydou Keïta, Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection © Maurice Aeschimann

Pigozzi’s selection has been curated via travel, from previous visits to artists across the continent in collaboration with André Magnin, experiencing multiple cultures and religions as well as landscape (resulting in a bold collection, part of which fills the space).

Elsewhere the Fondation has been careful in categorising work from an entire continent under a single banner, which could be interpreted as generalising or trivialising; here this is avoided with a focus on a single aspect of African art in Being There. Devoting this section to South Africa’s contemporary scene, it explores a culture which is still reacting to apartheid and the fallout from it, and by expressing this through any medium keeping it in collective conscious and avoiding revisionist history.

Finally those pieces on display from the in-house collection highlights African artists who have emigrated, as well as Afro-American artists, with a series of events running alongside the static presentation.

Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier opens 26th April until 28th August 2017.

Words
Rebecca Sander
Louis Vuitton: Art/Afrique

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