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Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List

Major Group Exhibitions

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Major Group Exhibitions
Western Africa
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Dak’art (Exhibition (11th : 2014 : Dakar, Senegal). 11e biennale de l’art africain contemporain = 11th biennial of contemporary African art. Dakar: Secrétariat général de la biennale des l’arts, 2014. 375pp. illus. (chiefly color), portraits. N5090.D13D35 2014 AFA. OCLC 880133205.

Growing in size and still struggling for autonomy, Dak’art 2014 successfully presented 131 artists, not counting the ‘Off’ exhibitions. There were five official exhibitions: international artists (62); guest artists both African and non-African (32); a sculpture salon (17); “green art” outdoor environmental-themed art (7); and homage to three elder artists. Also includes short essays by the “commissioners” (curators) and other art critics and writers.

Dak’art 2010 (9th : 2010 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak’art 2010: 9ème biennale de l’art africain contemporain = 9th Biennial of contemporary African art. Dakar: Secrétariat general de la biennale des arts, 2010. 190pp. illus. (color), bibl. refs. Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2010 AFA. OCLC 640112702

Although well established in the firmament of global biennales, Dak’art reveals its existential angst in the self-reflexive essays by curators and critics. “To exist or perish,” “a gamble with the future,” “stakes and challenges,” “transplant or adaptation of a model?” Twenty-six artists featured in the main exhibition, all new to Dak’art. With tribute to the past, nine previous Dak’art grand prize winners were given an exhibition, following the theme of retrospection - - Fatma Charfi, Mansour Ciss Kanakassy, Viyé Diba, Moustapha Dime, Mounir Fatmi, Abdoulaye Konaté, Ndary Lo, Michèle Magema, and Zerihun Yetmegeta.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (9th : 2011 : Bamako, Mali). For a sustainable world: Rencontres de Bamako, African photography biennial, 9th edition. Paris: Institute français; Bamako, Mali: Malian Ministry of Culture; Arles: Actes Sud, 2011. 389pp. illus. (some color). OCLC 780937988. TR115.R43 2011 AFA.

Now established as Africa’s photography biennale, Rencontres africaines de la photographie in 2011 chose the theme “For a sustainable world.” The heart of the encounters was “The Pan-African Exhibition,” featuring 55 photographers. Seven monographic exhibitions showcased: David Goldblatt, Abdoulaye Barry, Kiripi Katembo, Nii Obodai, George Osodi, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, and Philippe Bordas. Additional sections pay tribute to Tunisian artists and Egyptian actors of the Arab Spring; a memorial to Goddy Leye; photographs in the Sindika Dokolo Collection; and several adjunct photo workshops.

The Divine Comedy: heaven, purgatory and hell revisited by contemporary African artists / editor, Simon Njami. Bielefeld: Kerber, 2014. 375pp. illus. (chiefly color), bibl. refs. N7380.5.G68813 2014 AFA. OCLC 876006935.

An overly curated exhibition by Simon Njami based superficially on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory of Dante's Divine Comedy. The 14th-century Catholic Italian poet has little in common with 21st-century secular African artists.

Who knows tomorrow / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, nationalgalerie ; edited by Udo Kittlemann, Chika Okeke-Agulu and Britta Schmitz. Cologne; London: Walther Königm 2010, 629pp. illus. (pt. color), maps, bibl. refs. N7380.W46 2010 AFA. OCLC 646401385.

This catalog was published to accompany the exhibition held at the Berlin National Gallery, June 4-September 26, 2010. Richly illustrated, the catalog reflects on contemporary Africa and its cultural landscape through the lens of colonial history, using literary and scientific texts and essays. The exhibition included installations at four locations of the Nationalgalerie by five African artists: El Anatsui, Zarina Bhimji, António Ole, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and Pascale Marthine Tayou.