Covid-19 has forced organizers to cancel many cultural events around the world. Museums have also had to close their doors to avoid becoming hotbeds of propagation. As a result, many exhibitions had to be cancelled. Unfortunately, several galleries and places of African art have been able to adapt to the situation and now offer virtual exhibitions. The African visual arts remain in the spotlight during this atypical period and you can continue to experience them through these 10 exhibitions:
1. The galerie Addis Fine Art
Addis Fine Art is an Ethiopian gallery which very often hosts exhibitions organized by young artists of the country such as Yohannes Tesfaye, Girma Berta or Michael Tsegaye. It currently offers a virtual tour of the works of the ADISKIDAN Ambaye’s FREEDOM collection. They are essentially wooden sculptures with visualized emotions that tell life stories. They give the impression of being made from a single block, but are in fact the result of the assembly of 60 small slices of plywood from the craft industry. By directing a jet of light on each sculpture, one really has the impression of being in front of the bark of a tree.
2. The Sulger Buel Gallery
The exhibition of Collin Sekajugo, a Ugandan artist, is available online on the website of Sulger Buel, a London gallery specializing in contemporary African art. The artist, a budding citizen of the world, describes in a dynamic way the social mechanisms specific to his country.
His works are mainly made from empty quilted food bags to highlight the dependence of poor countries like Uganda on international humanitarian aid. Several objects commonly used in Uganda, such as jerry cans and colored plastic cups, can be seen in the form of collages. Collin Sekajugo is the winner of the 2019 Uganda Human Rights Award.
3. The Cécile Fakhoury Gallery
This gallery presents in Abidjan and Dakar offers the possibility to visit by appointment in one of its many spaces, but above all to make a 100% online visit of its exhibitions. Among the most outstanding ones, there are :
- Vincent Michéa’s “Toi seulement”: this multidimensional solo exhibition is composed of numerous photomontages that relate the artist’s journey in Paris, Dakar and Abidjan. We find through the different works the cultural traits of these metropolises that marked the artist. The pop and colorful touch of the artist is very present;
- “Parables of a wild kingdom” by Serigne Ibrahima Dieye: this first solo exhibition of the Senegalese artist takes the visitor into a universe where characters in animal masks compete for power. Without naming them explicitly, Serigne highlights the selfish ambitions of many world leaders and the hostile universe in which we all live. It is also a call for personal reflection about our role in this society on the brink of the abyss.
The Cécile Fakhoury gallery also organizes several other African exhibitions with artists such as Dimitri Fagbohoun from Benin or Aboudia from Ivory Coast.
4. The Fridman Gallery
Fridman Gallery presents until the end of May Nate Lewis’ first solo exhibition in New York City, Latent Tapestries. It includes elements of sculpture, photography, frottage and drawing. This former African-American nurse treats paper as an organism on which he sculpts various patterns and textures with the appearance of cellular tissue. These black and white works were strongly influenced by his many years of working in hospitals, but also by music and rhythms such as jazz.
The New York gallery also offers the possibility to discover the exhibition of Wura-Natasha Ogundji online. Through her beautiful hand-stitched colorful drawings, this Nigerian artist offers you a real journey in the heart of the bustling megalopolis of Lagos and highlights the role of women in the society of her country.
5. The Afikaris Gallery
The site of this young gallery physically installed in Paris presents the works of many African artists, such as the Nigerian Asiko, the Senegalese Aliou Diack, the Burkinabe Nyaba Ouédraogo, the South African Bruce Clarke or the Kenyan Evans Mbuga. The “Dialogues” exhibition, which brings together the creations of several great names in contemporary African art, is particularly highlighted. The works made on paper take the visitor into a world of psychedelic dreams and socio-political claims.
6. Loft Art Gallery
The site of the Loft Art Gallery of Casablanca allows you to discover from the comfort of your home the works of several internationally renowned Moroccan artists such as Mohamed Melehi, Mohamed Lekleti, Farid Belkahia, etc… “Melehi and the Flood” is one of the most famous exhibitions of the gallery. The Moroccan gallery also hosts the works of several artists from sub-Saharan Africa such as the Burkinabe Saidou Dicko who uses painting, drawing, photography and even video to show the customs and way of life of the Peulhs of the Sahel.
Due to the current health situation, the 1-54 fair planned in New York from May 8 to 10 to showcase contemporary African art will not take place. However, the team is preparing a virtual exhibition on the Artsy platform from May 6 to 30. It will also showcase several African creators through interviews, visits to their studios, biographies, presentations of works, etc…
8. The Magnin-A gallery
After being a headhunter for great collectors like Jean Pigozzi, André Magnin opened a gallery. There he showcases great names in African art such as Senegalese Omar Victor Diop, Mozambican Filipe Branquinho, Beninese Romuald Hazoumè, Congolese Chéri Samba, Malagasy Joël Andrianomearisoa and many other artists from the continent. His site offers the possibility to discover some of their works. The exhibition “Figures of Power” which brings together several African artists is particularly highlighted.
9. Contemporary And (C&)
Contemporary And Com is quite well known to the enthusiasts of contemporary African art. In order to help artists to make themselves known despite the current closure of museums, the platform offers a virtual tour of exhibitions that were planned for the period from March to May. Several choices are therefore offered. Among the most interesting, you have the photo exhibition of Ghanaian James Barnor, one of the pioneers of photography in Ghana, famous for having immortalized in photos, luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah. He has also handled several campaigns for Drum magazine, South Africa’s anti-apartheid magazine. His exhibition is a true journey into the past, with totally unique photographs. Contemporary And (C&) also offers the opportunity to make further discoveries through articles and exhibition reviews.
10. Ed Cross Fine Art
This London gallery currently offers the possibility to make a 3D visit in its premises to discover the exhibition “Seeds of Light” by Tiffanie Delune, an artist of Belgian-Congolese origin born in 1988 in Paris.
Her works are very close to the realities she experienced during her childhood. They address very specific themes such as sexuality, femininity, motherhood, monogamy, etc.. More particularly, Seeds of Light presents a world rich in vivid and bright colors with abstract forms for a true “inception” in the spirit of the artist.