Henri Kalama Akulez, professional Congolese artist: Abstract art and new vision of art (Cosmic vibrations)
I first saw this artist’s abstract oil painting work back in 2010 and loved the explosion of colour in his work at that time. Also liked his abstract sketches.
African Modernism: what they don’t teach in Western art schools (my 2013 presentation):
What they don’t teach in Western art schools – not mentioned in Western art ‘timelines’: Modernism in Africa. When I did this presentation in 2013 as a student at art College no-one had heard about the history of African Modernism – yet we hear all the time about European Modernism (started by Europeans who were inspired by African ritual masks). Why is African Modernism not as recognized?
Modernism spread across Africa from Senegal through the influence of Iba N’Diaye, a painter who had been taught at the Ecole de Paris – Iba N’Diaye founded the Ecole de Dakar in Senegal, yet in art education in the West we are not taught about Modernism in Africa.
The Cry, 1987, Iba N’Diaye
N’Diaye and Papa Ibra Tall were the two best-known French-educated Senegalese fine artists of their time. They founded the Ecole de Dakar to give an African voice to the arts. N’Diaye taught the fundamentals and techniques of Western art/Papa Ibra Tall felt that African artists should “unlearn” western habits and find their own African creativity.
Untitled, medium gouache, Mor Faye.
Only considered an important contemporary painter after his death in 1984.
He was against the Ecole du Dakar and Leopold Senghor’s art programs although he owed his skill and style to these programs.
Thiam often arranges his photographs set against canvas, as if to give a giant “Ha!” to anyone who would deny the status of photography as art.
In Senegal only painting and sculpture were seen as art. Because of his interest in photographs he wanted to study at Ecole Nationale des Arts de Dakar, but found that photography was not an option (in 2008).
He was chosen for the Dak’Art Biennale 2012. [Dak’Art since 1992 has been a platform for contemporary art with cultural roots in Africa].
AABRU Art: who represented West African contemporary artists:
The last art exhibition I really enjoyed going to was ‘Transcending Boundaries 2014’ held by AABRU Art in London. Many beautiful, richly coloured works of modern & contemporary art, mainly by Nigerian artists.
This is some of the artists’ work I saw at the 2014 exhibition of ‘Transcending Boundaries 2014’:
SAM OVRAITI (b.1961), Zaria, Nigeria. Member of Guild of Fine Artists, Nigeria: Untitled 8, 66 x 71.1 cm, 2009, Oil on canvas, Sam Ovraiti; Reclining Figure, 71.1 x 71.1 cm, 2011, Oil on canvas, Sam Ovraiti.
KOLADE OSHINOWO – Nigerian: My Style, 101 x 127 cm, 2011, Mixed media, Kolade Oshinowo; The Red Beads, 61 x 91 cm, 2012, Mixed media, Kolade Oshinowo.