Invited by Art Basel for Non-Profit Visual Arts Organisations, the lettera27 Foundation launched its first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on April 27th in order to host the sixth chapter of AtWork, this time in Addis Ababa. Conceived by the Italian non-profit foundation lettera27 and Simon Njami, AtWork is an itinerant educational artistic format that contributes to building a new generation of thinkers, using the creative process to stimulate critical thinking and debate amongst its participants.
As the Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Oussama Rifahi has played an integral role in the development of the arts and culture sector worldwide, including the development of Abu Dhabi's ever expanding business model for tourism and culture. During this interview he speaks to arts academic and enthusiast Sophia Olivia Sanan about the successes and challenges faced by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and the role that art plays in re-aligning 'outsiders' perceptions of life in the Middle East, following the migration crisis and the ongoing conflict in places like Syria.
In Faith47’s exhibition ‘Aqua Regalia – Chapter II’ at Jonathan LeVine Gallery – her debut solo show in New York – the artist’s signature grisaille renderings of animals, figures and intimate gestures mingle with an expansive collection of objects gathered in her home country of South Africa as well as during travels throughout Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.
Strauss & Co's upcoming auction 'Important South African and International Art' - set to take place on Monday 23rd May at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg - will be headlined by a striking portrait, returning from Australia, of one of Irma Stern’s closest friends. Irma Stern’s captivating 1943 painting, Portrait of Freda Feldman in Basuto Hat, is back in South Africa. The work is being offered at Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg auction on 23 May 2016. It is expected to fetch between R5 000 000 and R7 000 000. The portrait is accompanied by the original Basotho hat (or mokorotlo) worn by the sitter.
"It is very tempting to get lost in the surface of MJ Lourens’ paintings, to dwell there, to remain floating among the glistening city lights and sweeping sunset hues. And why not?" asked curator Charis de Kock at the opening of MJ Lourens' exhibition 'Proximity by Proxy' at the Barnard Gallery in Cape Town.
For the last fourteen years Readers Den, a Cape Town-based comic shop founded by Mahdi and Nizar Abrahams, have organised an open and animated event known as the Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). In response to the event’s explosive growth and popularity over the last five years, last weekend saw the first iteration of FanCon: Cape Town Comic Con, an extension of the original event held at The Lookout, a larger (but not large enough) venue at the V&A Waterfront.
Nearly thirty artists from across the continent have already come on board by donating artworks for auction at the Amref Health Africa ArtBall to be held in New York on Wednesday the 8th of June 2016. The works have been donated to the #AmrefArtBall in order to help raise funds for Amref Health Africa's innovative grassroot programmes that span across thirty-five countries and touch millions of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa every year. In this article curator Atim Annette Oton tells us about the curatorial framework for the event, and what we can expect to see.
In February 2016, we welcomed artist Malala Andrialavidrazana to Cape Town for the second iteration of THAT ART FAIR, an initiative of ART AFRICA magazine. As one of our Featured Artists, she exhibited her dreamy cartographical compositions, inspiring viewers to question the mercurial nature of official narratives and categorical documentation, like maps, anthropological and scientific texts, and even currency. Critic and arts journalist, Ashraf Jamal, explores the nuances of Andrialavidrazana's vivid work.
Over the passed weekend, South Africa experienced its first ever FanCon: Cape Town Comic Con at the V & A Waterfront (7 - 8 May 2016). The inaugural event for South African comic fans and self-confessed 'geeks' clearly indicates the growth in the local comic industry over the last few years, and for every artist that is seen, there are twice as many (if not more) who remain unseen apart from a core following.
In this vein, Su Opperman spoke to underground art activist kEda Gomes about her influences, her practice and her crossover interests between comic art, street art and illustration.
Initiated in 1996 by the Republic of Senegal and the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Dak’Art, the Dakar Biennale, is the first major international art event dedicated to the Contemporary African creation. This year marks the 12th edition of the event, and will take place from May 3 to July 11, 2016 under the title ‘The City in the Blue Daylight’, a name given to it by the Artistic Director Simon Njami.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, a leading transnational platform dedicated to promoting Africa and African-related art practices and projects, will return to New York from May 6 - 8, 2016, with press and collector previews on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The second U.S. iteration of the fair will take place at the 25,000 square-foot manufacturing warehouse Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the New York edition of 1:54 launched in 2015, and will coincide with Frieze Art Week.
This edition, hosted at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town, follows on previous such exhibitions, where Skattie presented the works of then largely unknown artists Laura Windvogel, Unathi Mkonto and Thania Petersen, all of who have gone on to become acclaimed artists in their own right.
Patricia Caille teaches in the Information-Communication department a the University of Strasbourg. As an academic she has coordinated multiple research projects in relation to Maghreb cinema, co-organised two conferences for Panorama de cinémas du Maghreb et du Moyen Orient and recently took part in a roundtable at Carthage Film Festival. ART AFRICA spoke to Patricia about the history of cinema in North Africa, the European lens, and the importance of festivals such as Carthage.
'Human labour seems to be mutating into a service industry, as does love in an age of overt sexualisation. Are labour and love, generous and dangerous as they can be, virtues? Or are they out of fashion?' writes Marie-Hélène Gutberlet on the current exhibition, 'A Labour of Love' at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt.
Admirers of Irma Stern living in Cape Town will have a rare opportunity to view the important painting, Portrait of Freda Feldman in Basotho Hat, before it goes under the hammer at a Strauss & Co auction in Johannesburg on 23 May 2016. The painting will be on view at the artist’s former Cape Town home, The Firs, now the UCT Irma Stern Museum, on 4 and 5 May (Wednesday and Thursday) between 10am and 5pm.
In conjunction with this preview, Strauss & Co Art Specialists are running an Art Valuation Day at the Museum, to raise funds for the museum. Members of the public are invited to bring their artworks to the museum to be valued.
Nearly thirty artists from across the continent have already come on board by donating artworks for auction at the Amref Health Africa ArtBall to be held in New York on Wednesday the 8th of June 2016. The works have been donated to the #AmrefArtBall in order to help raise funds for Amref Health Africa's innovative grassroot programmes that span across thirty-five countries and touch millions of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa every year.
Two concurrent, intersecting exhibitions are set to open this evening at the Njelele Art Station in Harare, Zimbabwe: 'Indlovukazi,' by Buhlebezwe Siwani, and Sikhumbuzo Makandula's 'In Search of a Nation,' in collaboration with Moffat Takadiwa. ART AFRICA spoke to Makandula about his performance, the origins of the exhibition, and the personal and post-colonial narratives that connect these artists and their respective practices.
Anna Roussillon is a filmmaker and academic. Born in Beirut and raised in Cairo, she currently teaches in Lyon, translates literary texts and participates in radio programmes while working on various film projects related to Egypt. Je Suis Le Peuple, her first feature documentary, follows the story of Farraj and his family, and was given the top award at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. It also received the Grand Prix Janine Bazin for Best Feature Film at Entrevues Belfort Film Festival and is part of the ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) programme at Cannes.
"Specialisation, while allowing for focus and the acquisition of knowledge, comes at a price. One loses a holistic sensibility. One loses the sense of the interconnectedness of disciplines and indeed, of knowledge itself. In this light, the innovative art, design, technical know-how and educational potential that ‘African Robots’ offers is pertinent, not simply conceptual," writes Danny Shorkend, following the exhibition 'African Robots' at the MUTI Gallery earlier this year.
The Inaugural Amref Health Africa ArtBall is a premier contemporary African art auction and philanthropic event being held on Wednesday, 8th June, 2016 from 7-10PM at 159 Bleecker Street in New York City. To date nearly thirty artists, including the likes of Solly Cissé (Senegal), Michael Soi (Kenya), Paa Joe (Ghana), Tahir Carl Karmali (Kenya), George Lilanga (Tanzania) Wiz Kudowor (Ghana) and Saidou Dicko (Burkina Faso) have generously donated their artwork to the #AmrefArtBall in an attempt to raise funds for Amref Health Africa's innovative grassroot programmes, which span across thirty-five countries and touch millions of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa every year. If you're a South African artist and would like to be a part of this breakthrough event, this is your opportunity.
Cynthia Becker reviews Hassan Hajjaj's recent exhibition, 'My Rock Stars,' which ran until 6 March 2016 at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. 'The commercial feel of his work should not detract from the seriousness of his artistic mission,' writes Becker, 'His photographs can be characterised as a reflection on transnational diaspora communities, capturing the innovative cultural and aesthetic forms immigrants have created in their new homes.'
After the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, artist Kai Lossgott reflects on experimental communal practices, social art projects and effective mobilisation in defiance of disaster fatigue.
In 1960, Mali gained its independence, but photographer Malick Sidibé (1936-2016) maintained that music was the real revolution of the era. Across the capital of Bamako, young men and women went out of their way to energetically and radically redefine themselves by embracing world youth culture, especially rock 'n roll music, fashion and more liberal attitudes. In an interview with The Guardian in 2010, Sidibé explained, "We were entering a new era, and people wanted to dance. Music freed us." At this time, Sidibé emerged as the ‘eye of Bamako,’ capturing the youthful exuberance of his compatriots on his Kodak Brownie (crucially equipped with a flash) as they danced up close to each other, wore bell bottom trousers, rode motorbikes or posed with their Jimi Hendrix records. In so doing, Sidibé produced images of an Africa that hitherto did not ‘exist’ in the eyes of the west.
Buhlebezwe Siwani, Cape Town-based artist and member of the iQhiya collective spoke to ART AFRICA about her practice, the relationship between the individual and the collective, and the deeply liminal subtext that surrounds her work.