CONF: Pioneers of African Contemporary Art / Pionniers de l’art africain contemporain (INHA, Paris, 11&12 April 2022)

Malangatana at his easel, Matalana, early 1960s. Carlos Carvalho et al, Malangatana Valente Ngwenya (Lisboa: Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, 1989)

At the invitation of the National Institute of Art History, Riason Naidoo offers a meeting dedicated to the pioneering figures of contemporary African art. Designed as conversations with multiple voices, this symposium will focus on African artists of the 1960s and 1970s, the collectives and festivals that marked the dynamics of art in these decades and will bring together witnesses, artists, curators, critics, art historians and historians specialising in this period.

From the 1960s – following one or two generations of African artists influenced by modernist traditions before them – many artists, such as Alexander Boghossian (Ethiopia) and Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan), began to interpret the specificity of their local contexts and their personal journeys in the face of an international art scene. Others, such as self-taught artists such as Malangatana Ngwenya, from Mozambique, and Chéri Samba, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, shaped non-conformist artistic visions. Uche Okeke from Nigeria was one of the iconic artists and theoreticians of this pioneering generation, along with fellow countryman Twins Seven Seven. Vincent Kofi from Ghana, Joe Ouakam and Iba N’Diaye from Senegal, Sydney Kumalo, Gladys Mgudlandlu, Helen Sebidi, Dumile Feni, David Koloane from South Africa, Thomas Mukarobgwa and Joseph Ndandarika from Zimbabwe, are just some of the other great icons of this generation on which the speakers will reflect.

This plurality of perspectives and experiences will make it possible to trace singular trajectories and collective movements at a time when, with the end of the Cold War and the evolution of world politics, contemporary African art began to be the subject of increased international attention.

For more information / French version, see:
INHA, Galerie Colbert, auditorium Jacqueline Lichtenstein
2 rue Vivienne – 75002 Paris