Arts & Culture

Contemporary African Artists

Modern African artists are now facing enormous challenges that are precisely related to the fact that they are “Africans.” Only if they adhere to Western customs and parameters are there in a global situation that now appears to promote artists as worthy of recognition.

The immediate challenge is to see their work as genuine and contemporary. “Now”, without compromising the expectations and assumptions of the viewer, and thus without compromising the intrinsic value of their artwork.

The work should be viewed in the context of the particular context in which it was created.

Shows like “Africa Remix” categorized contemporary artwork based on the artist’s nationality and put it together under the very large “Africa” ​​umbrella.

The show served a purpose to get the exposure of many Contemporary african artist Otherwise, the work may not have been exhibited at an international level, but there is an opportunity to change the way African art is exhibited.

It’s time to take a more detailed approach to the modern history of Africa. Its development has led to the very vibrant and sophisticated art scene that exists in Africa today.

It is also up to the contemporary African artists themselves to have a strong belief in their work and to know that it is valid and contributes to contemporary African discourse.We need to play a more active role in accurately developing and defining what contemporary African art is.

But they cannot do it alone, and the African government must recognize that culture and development are inseparable. Funds must be allocated for the advancement of all forms of art. Art and culture promote in society until they collectively become a matter of national pride and, as before colonialism arrived on the continent, art once again occupies an important position in the community. Must be done.

True contemporary African artists work outside the rationale for international art and reflect their own underlying principles.

Established contemporary artist from Africa

The following artists are well established and have a significant influence on the world of art both in Africa and internationally.

  • Frederic Bouabre, Côte d’Ivoire b 1923
  • Esther Mahlangu, South Africa b 1935
  • Cyprien Tokoudagba, Benin b 1939
  • Ghana, El Anatsui b 1944
  • Rachid Koraichi, Algeria b 1947
  • Bodys Isek Kingelez, DRC b 1948
  • Hassan Musa, Sudan, born 1951
  • Marlene Dumas, South Africa b 1953
  • Abdulai Konate, Mali b 1953
  • William Kentridge, South Africa b 1955
  • Sheri Kerin, DRC b 1955
  • Willie Bester, South Africa b 1956
  • Owusu-Ghana, Ancoma b 1956
  • Samba Cherie, DRC b 1956
  • Julian Singozen, Benin b 1957
  • Sokari Duglas Camp, Nigeria / UK b 1958
  • Richard Onyango, Nigeria b 1960
  • Yinka Shonibare, UK / Nigeria b 1962
  • Lomar Azoom, Benin b 1962
  • Sandile Zulu, South Africa b 1962
  • Ghada Amer, Egypt b 1963
  • Barthelemy Toguo, Togo b 1967
  • Pascale Marthine Tayou, Cameroon b 1967
  • Kendelgias, South Africa b 1968
  • Soly Cisse, Senegal b 1969
  • Julie Mehretu, Ethiopia / New York b 1970
  • Abu Bakkerman Sarai, Sierra Leone b 1970
  • Wengechi Mutu, Kenya / USA b 1972
  • Claudette Schroiders, South Africa b 1973
  • Traci Lords, South Africa b 1974
  • Robin Road, South Africa / Berlin b 1976
  • Kudzanai Chiurai, Zimbabwe b 1981

One of the biggest dilemmas facing contemporary African artists today is racial prejudice. This is a spillover effect from the same attitude that existed throughout the last century.

African artists are expected to remain tribal-based, instinctive and primitive art in order to be unaffected by the world and to be considered “real”. But this ties modern African artists to their bed posts, Gerald Kenam In honor of his past, he succeeded in expressing their tribalism in a very modern conceptual way that is exciting and relevant to the “now.”

now To reinvent archive artifacts and develop relationships with several larger museums in Europe and the United States that would greatly benefit from the on-site transfer of ideas, rather than exhibiting them with international African choices. It’s time to invest in your efforts. Some artists have little to do with the continent.

Help is absolutely necessary, but not a paternalistic method. It’s up to the African components to make a showcase, with enough confidence in what they have to offer to prevent this from happening.

There is much to learn about the culture of African society and its traditional visual language. In understanding its complexity and nuances, we have never even touched the surface.

Some of its complexity that they may not want to reveal because they have their own pious place is completely inappropriate to be declared a work of art and it was created It may insult your purpose. However, this requires large sums of money, intelligent initiatives, national discourse, and continental cooperation to enable contemporary African art to grow virtually collectively beyond individual interests. This is the area to do.

Wangechi Mutu, b 1972, Kenya

Wangechi Mutu needs to be one of the most exciting artists in the world’s art arenas right now, and for me it’s a microcosm of a completely contemporary and global contemporary African artist.

Guggenheim, Germany, considers it appropriate to elect her “Artist of the Year, 2010”. This is a decision that guarantees long-term impetus for her career.

Wangechi Mutu was born in Kenya, attended school in Wales and now lives in New York. She is less interested in reflecting her original cultural identity than how her life as a member of the “alien” evolves. A permanent traveler whose cultural identity has become a hybrid creation.

Mom, me and the past.

Her installation suggests her own little heaven, a room in which she traps herself like many immigrants whose dreams and aspirations echo in the space they live in, to some extent in their traveling world. Produces stability.

Her exciting and highly detailed collage works are filled with her energy due to the very personal thoughts and time-consuming processes that produce the final result. Her work can be found, firstly in the main context of her existence, secondly in the use of animal masks, transcendence of existence, references to traditional customs and major habitats. It reflects the heritage.


Julian Singozan b 1957, Benin

Julian Singozan Is a very optimistic person, and given his chosen subject, the work can be engulfed in bitterness and brutality.

Instead, it’s uplifting and meaningful. And that is also beautiful. The use of color is concrete and dynamic, and his drawings are skillfully and intricately performed. The importance of his work lies in the insight of contemporary African artists’ approaches to drawing narrative works with spiritual, historical and aesthetic elements.

Julian Shingozan 2Details, Gates of Return, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2007

Julian studied architecture in Tashkent and began drawing and painting for Paris. He represents the pictorial historical events of his people in a well-defined technical tradition, but infuse his work with human and spiritual content reminiscent of his culture. is.




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