press release

Fondation Louis Vuitton presents ART / AFRIQUE, le nouvel atelier, an important exhibition dedicated to contemporary art from the African continent. The exhibition, which is in three parts, is presented across all four floors of the Foundation’s Frank Gehry-designed building. Firstly, The Insider brings together works from the collection of Jean Pigozzi, one of the first and most important collectors of contemporary African art. Secondly, Being There focuses attention on South Africa, one of the most dynamic art scenes on the continent. Thirdly, Fondation Louis Vuitton presents works related to Africa from its own collection. Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier is in line with Fondation Louis Vuitton’s aim to explore lesser known art scenes alongside its monographic exhibitions.

The Insiders brings together works by 14 iconic artists from Jean Pigozzi’s collection, acquired between 1989 and 2009, when the collector was advised by African art expert André Magnin, who travelled extensively to discover artists living and working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Inspired by the freedom and originality of the artists’ work, Pigozzi and Magnin assembled a unique collection of pieces revealing multiple voices of the contemporary African scene between 1989 and 2009. The works on display raise awareness of a relatively unknown art scene, developing its international audience and impact. Featured artists include: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Seni Awa Camara, Calixte Dakpogan, John Goba, Romuald Hazoumè, Seydou Keïta, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Moke, Rigobert Nimi, J.D.‘Okhai Ojeikere, Chéri Samba, Malick Sidibé, and Barthélémy Toguo.

In the frame of this exhibition Pascale Marthine Tayou has created a site-specific work.

Head Curator: Suzanne Pagé Curators: Angéline Scherf and Ludovic Delalande Scientific advisor: André Magnin

Being There presents a selection of works by 16 artists from South Africa, home to one of Africa’s most dynamic art scenes. The exhibition features: internationally renowned figures like William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Jane Alexander, David Koloane and Sue Williamson; a generation of artists born in the 1970s such as Zanele Muholi, Nicholas Hlobo and Moshekwa Langa; artists born in the 1980s whose works confront the legacy of apartheid 20 years after its end including Kemang Wa Lehulere, Athi-Patra Ruga Kudzanai Chiurai, Lawrence Lemaoana, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Buhlebezwe Siwani, and Jody Brand, and photographers revealing contrasting portraits of South-African youth, such as Graeme Williams, Kristin-Lee Moolman and Musa Nxumalo.

The works revisit South Africa’s past though a range of different media, such as installation, photography, painting, textile and video. All of the featured artists participate actively in their country’s economic and social life and use their work to define and affirm a new contemporary South African identity.

An exhibition’s catalogue has been published including texts among others by Achille Mbembe, Okwui Enwezor, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Rory Bester, Hlonipha Mokoena, and Sean O’Toole.

Curators: Suzanne Pagé and Angéline Scherf with Ludovic Delalande and Claire Staebler

Finally, the third part of the exhibition features a new hanging of works by African artists from the Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, emphasising the collection’s international outlook. Featured artists include Kudzanai Chiurai, Omar Ba, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, Wangechi Mutu, Omar Victor Diop, Rashid Johnson, Robin Rhode, Meleko Mokgosi...

A programme of multidisciplinary events involving poetry, literature and music has also been organised in conjunction with the ART / Afrique exhibition.