Alpha Crucis – African Contemporary Art

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Exhibition catalogue for Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art (2020).

Gunnar B. Kvaran: Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art
André Magnin: The entire planet, at last!
Babacar Mbaye Diop: The Promotion of Contemporary African Art in Sub-Saharan Africa
Franck Hermann Ekra: A Season of Stars - A Transafrican Story
Sean O’Toole: Notes Towards a Lexicon of Art and Place
Ayodeji Rotinwa: There Was (and Might Still be) a National Art: An abridged diagnosis of the Nigerian art industry

Pages: 272


This publication presents images of all the works in the exhibition Alpha Crucis – African Contemporary Art, together with writings by intellectuals and connoisseurs of contemporary art in Africa: Sean O’Toole (South Africa), Franck Hermann Ekra (Ivory Coast), Ayodeji Rotinwa (Nigeria) and Babacar Mbaye Diop (Senegal). With introductions by Gunnar B. Kvaran and guest curator of the exhibition André Magnin.

This publication highlights the originality and diversity of African artists who live and work in sub-Saharan Africa.

The exhibition tok place in 2020 and gathered seventeen artists from seven African countries. The artists originate from numerous countries, belong to different generations and have diverse practices. The exhibition thus shows an impressive diversity in terms of materials, techniques and narratives.

Artists: Seyni Awa Camara (1945, Senegal), Omar Victor Diop (1980, Senegal), John Goba (1944-2019, Sierra Leone), Kay Hassan (1956, South-Africa), Romuald Hazoumè (1962, Benin), Nicholas Hlobo (1975, South-Africa), Lebohang Kganye (1990, South-Africa), Houston Maludi (1978, DR Congo), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (1970, Sierra Leone), Senzeni Marasela (1977, South-Africa), JP Mika (1980, DR Congo), Fabrice Monteiro (1972, Benin/Senegal), Rigobert Nimi (1965, DR Congo), Wura-Natasha Ogunji (1970, Nigeria), Chéri Samba (1956, DR Congo), Amadou Sanogo (1977, Mali), Billie Zangewa (1973, South-Africa).

About André Magnin (guest curator): he has a long-standing relationship with Africa, knowledge and experience regarding various local art scenes on the African continent. Magnin was one of the main curators behind the legendary Magiciens de la Terre at Centre Pompidou and Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris in 1989, which was the first exhibition to simultaneously display art works by contemporary artists from all of the world’s continents in one place.

Alpha Crucis is the brightest star in the constellation of the Southern Cross, located in the Milky Way. It is one of the most visible in the night sky and indicates the direction of the South. It is often used by navigators, but the star is only visible from the southern hemisphere. For that reason, it was not mentioned in European antique astronomy. The title Alpha Crucis makes a statement advocating a reorientation of the polarised art world towards the south, in order to fight the ignorance that has endured too long and to shed new light on contemporary African art.

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