Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier

From April to August 2017, Fondation Louis Vuitton will present Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier.

Alongside monographic exhibitions, the Fondation presents group shows bringing to light recent work from lesser known art scenes. After Bentu, Chinese Artists in a Time of Turbulence and Transformation (January–May 2016), Art/Africa, le nouvel atelier will include two exhibitions, along with a selection of works from the permanent collection.

  1. The Insiders, a selection of works (1989 to 2009) from the Jean Pigozzi collection of African art

Galleries 1 and 2 (basement)

  1. Being There, South Africa, a contemporary scene

Galleries 4 (level 0), 5, 6, and 7 (level 1)

  1. Africa in the collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton

Galleries 8, 9, 10, 11 (level 2)


I. The Insiders brings together works by fifteen iconic artists from the Jean Pigozzi collection of African art, displayed for the first time in Paris. Businessman Jean Pigozzi began collecting contemporary African art in 1989. He relied on the advice of André Magnin, a pioneer who travelled extensively, visiting artists living and working in sub-Saharan Africa, in French-, English-, and Portuguese-speaking countries. Without the assistance of cell phones, Internet, or social media, Jean Pigozzi and André Magnin were able to forge genuine connections with the artists they encountered, coming to a deep understanding of the freedom and originality of their work. This commitment guided them in assembling a unique collection of works that express strong political positions, representative of the diversity of the contemporary African scene from 1989 to 2009.
The artists included in the exhibition, each deeply influenced by the spiritual, scientific, and technical lore of their country of origin, use different means to create unique worlds.
Asserting its openness and eclecticism, the Jean Pigozzi collection includes a representative group of each artist’s work. In this way, it brings a new awareness to a scene unknown to a larger public until now, thus playing a key role in developing its international audience and impact.
The exhibition includes works by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Seni Awa Camara, Calixte Dakpogan, John Goba, Romuald Hazoumè, Seydou Keïta, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Moke, Rigobert Nimi, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Chéri Samba, Malick Sidibé, and Barthélémy Toguo.
Pascale Martine Thayou will create a site-specific work for the exhibition.

The exhibition was conceived by the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s artistic direction in close collaboration with Jean Pigozzi.
Curator: Suzanne Pagé
Advisor: André Magnin
Assistant curators: Angéline Scherf and Ludovic Delalande.


II. To complement The Insiders, the Fondation Vuitton will present Being There, an exhibition of works by South African artists. First becoming known internationally around 1990, the South African art scene is today one of the most dynamic, its vitality deriving in part from the fact that it functions along an alternative model, relying on a network of strongly engaged galleries, institutions, and universities.

The exhibition focuses on the particular space and time of today, while also placing itself within broader themes and historical continuity. It does not claim to be an exhaustive panorama and includes works by sixteen artists:

- The South African leading figures, such as Jane Alexander, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, David Koloane, and Sue Williamson, who have achieved international renown and exert a powerful influence on younger artists.
- As well as a generation born during the 1970s, represented by important figures such as Nicholas Hlobo, Zanele Muholi, and Moshekwa Langa.
- And finally, artists born during the 1980s, whose works confront the legacy of apartheid twenty years after its end, such as Jody Brand, Kudzanai Chiurai, Lawrence Lemaoana, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Athi-Patra Ruga, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Buhlebezwe Siwani, and Kemang Wa Lehulere,

The artists included in this selection each participate actively in their country’s economic and social life, with the conviction that they can play the role of catalysts through their work. They each rely on a range of different media (installations, photography, painting, textile and video works, etc.) to critically revisit their country’s past and confirm their own subjectivity. These social activists take advantage of their country’s new position in the international art world to affirm their South-African identity as they define it.

To continue the exhibition the space About a generation presents work by photographers Graeme Williams, Kristin-Lee Moolman and Musa Nxumalo, revealing contrasting portraits of South-African youth, notably those “born-free”.

The catalogue (bilingual, French/English) will include texts by Achille Mbembe, Okwui Enwezor, and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, as well as Rory Bester, Hlonipha Mokoena, and Sean O’Toole.

Curators: Suzanne Pagé and Angéline Scherf with Ludovic Delalande and Claire Staebler.


III. These two new exhibitions are presented alongside a new hanging of the collection of Fondation Vuitton on the entire top floor of the museum. Emphasizing the collection’s international outlook, it will include works by African artists as well as perspectives turned towards this continent.

A multidisciplinary program of events around music, poetry, literature, and cinema will be organized in conjunction with these exhibitions.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Grand Halle de La Villette will be offering combined-admission tickets to their exhibitions Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier and Afriques Capitales.

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Contact presse

Isabella Capece Galeota, Head of Communications for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Brunswick Arts
Roya Nasser / Andréa Azéma
+33 (0) 6 20 26 33 28 / +33 (0) 7 76 80 75 03

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