The City Hall of Cannes announces a museum dedicated to contemporary African art that will present the works of the collection of Jean Pigozzi, which has gathered since 1989, more than 10,000 works and nearly 160 artists who approach the variety and richness of creation in sub-Saharan Africa.
From Senegal to Mali, through the Congo, South Africa, covering a period from the 1950s, the Pigozzi collection is based on drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and video.
The statement was made at the opening of the exhibition « Bande-annonce » which offers to see a hundred works from this collection, apparent until August 21 at the Gare Maritime in Cannes.
The museum, whose initial date has not been specified, will offer a permanent exhibition circuit of 380 m2 that will constantly change and present a scene of contemporary African art; a temporary circuit of 240 m2 with a standard spotlight on an artist or a theme; a multifunctional space of 100 m2 open to all to organize conferences, artistic and cultural education activities, screenings, etc.
This last space also has an educational aspect and will offer a real framework around chronicles, paper documents and various supports on contemporary African art and on the historical context of the Pigozzi collection in the former Saint-Roch chapel of Cannes.
The desire is to propose another type of museum, more fluid, where things move and change constantly, to propel the arrival of visitors.
The successor of the car company Simca, Jean Pigozzi, who grew up with Renoir and Sisley on the walls of the family apartment and who, as an adult, mingles with the traits of his age and background, Andy Warhol and pop art, without much conviction, Until he found the exhibition « Les Magiciens de la Terre », in 1989, he was captivated by contemporary African art and subsequently developed a reference collection, marked by a propensity for the Kinshasa school and the Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, of whom he owns some 150 drawings.
From then on, he collected more than 10,000 works by artists from all over the African continent, and from about 1991 onwards, this collection went around the world. In 2019, he donated 45 works to the prestigious MoMA in New York, which is organizing an exhibition of the futuristic cities of sculptor Bodys Isek Kingelez.
His collection includes works by Malian photographer Seydou Keita, considered one of the best portrait artists of the 20th century, sculptures by Tanzanian George Lilanga, the folk masks of Beninese Romuald Hazoumé, paintings by Senegalese Soly Cissé and Congolese Chéri Samba, and many others.