Contemporary African Artists Get Center Stage
Europeans embraced traditional African art early, but they have been cool to modern-day creations. An unprecedented auction in Paris on Oct. 24 could change minds -- and lift prices.
Iba N'Diaye (1928-2008), Le Poet. N'Diaye was a French-Senegalese artist who worked mostly in Paris. Opposed to the primitivist art movement that newly independent African nations favored, he became one of the pioneers of contemporary African art. For more on his work, go here.
Captions by Joel Dreyfuss
Diagne Chanel, La Fin d'un Primitif, 1997. Chanel, who was born in Paris, studied in Italy and has lived and worked in her father's homeland of Senegal. More on her life and work here.
Saïdou Dicko (1979- ), Tapis Peul (estimated price: 2,500-3,000 euros). Dicko was born in Burkina Faso and lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. He is a contemporary artist who has focused on using digital photography in recent years.
Jean-Paul Ahyi (1930-2010), Reste Avec Moi (Stay With Me), 1973 (estimated price: 8,000-10,000 euros). Ahyi was born in Benin and studied in Senegal before going to France. A prolific artist who worked in many media, Ahyi took time out to design the flag of Togo when that country gained its independence.
René de Jesús Peña Gonzáles (1957- ), Tutu Rouge (estimated price: 2,500-3,000 euros). Born in Havana in 1957, Peña studied foreign languages at Havana University. His photography is aesthetic rather than journalistic. "I basically try to please myself," he says. "My work is basically my idea of fun." Here is a video interview.
Barthélémy Toguo (1967- ), Tiny Flower in a Fashion Day (estimated price: 12,000-15,000 euros). This artist was born in Cameroon and studied arts in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, before furthering his studies in France and Germany. More on his work is available at his website.
(1954- ), Signe du Dogon II, 1991 (estimated price: 5,000-7,000 euros). Keita, who was born on Goree Island in Senegal, studied with renowned Senegalese master Iba N'Diaye. He lived in New York for a number of years before returning to Senegal, where he currently lives and works.
Santiago Olazabal (1958- ), Oshumare (The Rainbow Serpent). Olazabal was born in Havana, and Afro-Cuban themes are central to his work. He maintains a MySpace page.
Mohammed Omar KhalilArtcurial
Mohammed Omar Khalil
(1936- ), Fragment, 2003. He was born in the Sudan, studied in Italy and now lives in New York. More on the artist here.