Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cartier Foundation Celebrates Almost a Century of Congolese Art

The Cartier Foundation in Paris is featuring the works of 41 artists from the Democratic Republic of Congo in a pioneering exhibition entitled Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko.

Running from July 11 through November 15, 2015, the show focuses on painting but also includes sculpture, photography, comics, and music dating from 1926 to present.

Following a series of other projects held at the Foundation that featured Congolese artists (solo shows Bodys Isek Kingelez [1999] and J’aime Chéri Samba [2004] and the thematic exhibitions Un Art Populaire [2001] and Histoires de voir, Show and Tell [2012]), Beauté Congo traces almost a century of the DRC's artistic production.

The story begins with the painted huts of Albert Lukabi and his wife, Antoinette, which were located in Katanga. In 1926, a Belgian administrator named Georges Thiry met the couple while visiting their village. He so admired their work that he provided them with paper and watercolors so they could reproduce their art. He did the same for a man named Djilatendo, who lived in the province of Western Kasai.

Lukabi and Djilatendo were the forefathers of modern art in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their works were shown in European salons, galleries, and museums through 1941, after which time there is no further trace of them.

The exhibition goes on to document the founding of the Academy of Indigenous Art (aka the "Atelier du Hangar") in 1946, the rise in popularity of photography in the 1950s, the era of the "popular painters" in the 1970s, and the emergence of a new generation of artists - graduates of the Académie des Beaux Arts in Kinshasa - in the new millenium.

The musical program for the exhibition was conceived "to illustrate the synergy of spirit and energy between the worlds of music and art" and connections between songs and works of art were often inspired through similarities in titles and themes. As an example, the painting La SAPE (2014) by JP Mika was inspired by the sapeur style of dress popularized by Papa Wemba, who is one of the continent's best-known musicians.

Papa Wemba
Screenshot from video "Yolele"

To view an image of La SAPE and other works on display, click HERE

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain
261, boulevard Raspail
75014 Paris
Tel.: +33 (0)1 42 18 56 50

Open every day, except Monday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Open Tuesday evenings until 10 p.m.
Everyday at 6:30 pm, visitors with an admission ticket can attend a free guided tour of the exhibition.
Subject to availability.

Entrance fee: 10.5 euros
Reduced rate: 7 euros
(Students, visitors under 25, "carte Senior" holders, unemployed and visitors receiving benefits, "Maison des Artistes", ministère de la Culture, Amis des Musées)
Free (except Nomadic Nights): Children under 13, Visitors under 18 on Wednesdays, "Laissez-passer pass" holders, ICOM members, press card, and disabled visitors.

Métro: lines 4 et 6, stations Raspail ou Denfert-Rochereau
RER: Denfert-Rochereau


Entrée to Black Paris!™ is a Discover Paris! blog.

If you like this posting, share it with your friends by using one of the social media links below!

No comments: