Contemporary African art. A new museum in Cannes

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Cheri Samba, ”College de la sagesse”. Photo: Profimedia

A museum dedicated to contemporary African art will be created in Cannes, exhibiting works from the Jean Pigozzi collection, which since 1989 has brought together more than 10,000 creations by artists from sub-Saharan Africa, announced Monday the Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard.

The announcement was made during the opening of an exhibition of a hundred works from this collection, visible until August 21 at the Gare Maritime.

The town hall of Cannes “has undertaken an ambitious process of promotion and enhancement of modern and contemporary art”, explained Mr. Lisnard, also president of the Association of Mayors of France.

“This work is materialized today by the creation of the first museum in the world devoted to the prestigious collection of contemporary African art of Jean Pigozzi”, added the mayor LR of the city of the Riviera known worldwide thanks to its international film festival.

The museum of contemporary African art, whose opening date has not been specified, will offer over more than 600 m2 a permanent exhibition and a temporary exhibition space, in the former Saint-Roch chapel in Cannes.

Son and heir of the Italian boss of the car brand Simca, sold to Chrysler in 1963, Jean Pigozzi, who grew up between Antibes, Geneva and Paris, first devoted himself to photography.

Then, in 1989, after visiting the “Magiciens de la terre” exhibition at the Center Georges-Pompidou in Paris, he developed a passion for contemporary African art.

contemporary african art
Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo, born 1956), J’aime la Couleur. Photo: Profimedia

Since then, it has brought together more than 10,000 works by artists from across the African continent, from Senegal to Mali, from Congo to South Africa, covering a period from the 1950s to the present day.

Its collection, currently stored in Geneva but regularly exhibited in major museums around the world, brings together, among other things, works by Malian photographer Seydou Keïta, considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the 20th century, creations by Congolese Bodys Isek Kingelez or sculptures by the Tanzanian George Lilanga, all deceased.

It also includes the famous masks made from gasoline cans by Beninese Romuald Hazoumé and numerous paintings by Senegalese Soly Cissé and Mor Faye as well as Congolese Chéri Samba. AFP

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