Since January 15, 2021, Africa has invited itself to Brittany with an exceptional exhibition at the Espace d’Art Le Comœdia. Crossed views and creations from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo (DRC), Ivory Coast, Ghana, France and Senegal with 140 works and 23 artists, Visions d’Afrique celebrates diversity.
Africa as seen through Art
From the most “classical” arts such as painting, sculpture and engraving to the most modern arts such as Street Art and Pop Art, through photography and collage, this exhibition at Comœdia honors the plurality of points of view and the variety of creations of the exhibiting artists. Through the more than one hundred works exhibited, it is the perception of Africa through the eyes of artists that is offered to visitors.
The diversity of Visions of Africa lies as much in the media used (photographs, sculptures, engravings, paintings, …) as in the themes addressed (mythology, scenes of daily life, societal and political vision of the country of origin, …). In graphics or in volume, it is also a very colorful exhibition, reflecting the multiplicity of works presented and the undeniable richness of Africa.
Adeline de Monpezat, director of the place, wishes, through this artistic line, to change the western look and vision. She explains that “there is not a uniform and homogeneous African art but a diversity of artists who each have their own techniques, their sensitivity and their imagination”. She specifies that “this is not an exhibition of African art, we are not talking, for example, not French art. It is an exhibition of contemporary art”.
An impressive exhibitor panel
The artists exhibited at Comœdia for this event come from worlds as varied as their works. Several movements are thus highlighted.
Popular painting, carried by several famous painters from Congo such as Pierre Bodo, Bodo Fils or Francklin Mbungu, is highlighted. In the same wake are also exhibited the works of Shula Mosengo and Chéri CHERIN, also masters of this movement. Painting has a place of choice in this exhibition, whether through works by local artists (Brest) such as Loïc Madec or internationally appreciated artists such as ALMIGHTY GOD and Soly Cissé.
Urban Art and Neo Pop Art are well represented by Kouka Ntadi, Street Art specialist, Fred Ebami, the anonymous artist Treize Bis who impresses in France with his collages and Gopal Dagnogo. The contemporary scene is at the rendezvous with the unmissable Leslie Amine, painter and only woman of the exhibition and Benjamin Deroche, photographer who offers us unpublished pictures, never presented. They are the result of a fortuitous discovery of negatives in the double bottom of an old trunk, retracing the journey to Africa of the owner of the trunk. The photographer created from these negatives that he developed, “works enhanced with shards and traces of gold leaf”.
The sculpture is carried by Abou Traoré from Burkina Faso, Bienvenu Nanga from the DRC, Euloge Glèlè from Benin as well as Jean-Bernard Susperregui, Marc Piano and Vincent de Monpezat from France. Engraving works are proposed by Thomas Godin, and if you are looking for very versatile artists, you will be delighted by the works of Jean-Yves André and William Adjété Wilson.
The Comœdia: Prestigious host for Visions d’Afrique
The Comœdia, a private art gallery, has been open since 2019 in a mythical building in Brest which, after having been a theater and then a cinema, has remained abandoned for 30 years. Cherished in the heart of Brest, it is a true architectural jewel of the style of the 1940s. The art space aims to promote contemporary art artists, painters, visual artists and sculptors recognized or emerging, by offering for sale their works. The gallery is open from Thursday to Saturday from 2pm to 6pm and by appointment. As part of the exhibition, it offers Art Weekends, guided tours of the exhibition every Saturday at 9:30 and 11am gallery closed. Conferences with experts in contemporary African art are scheduled and a guided tour in Breton is also planned for the first time.
With Visions d’Afrique, the first exhibition bringing together so many artists from the contemporary art world on the theme of Africa in Brittany, Comœdia wants to integrate artists at the heart of contemporary art in the place they deserve but also to radiate beyond regional borders. The exhibition will close on July 24, 2021.