Art/Africa Exhibition at Fondation Louis Vuitton

WORDS Palesa Kgasane

Fondation Louis Vuitton is synonymous with celebrating art around the world, while also providing a platform for emerging artists.

This time around, the Fondation shifts the narrative into Africa. Art/Africa, Le Nouvel Atelier is a three-tiered group exhibition, featuring both well-known and up-and-coming artists from Africa and South Africa.

The diverse exhibition works in three parts: The Insiders, Being There, and alongside these shows, Africa, a new hanging of selected works by the Fondation with a broader scope of African art and art within the diaspora.

Art collector Jean Pigozzi’s personal collection of artworks will be curated by the Fondation’s director Suzanne Pagé to introduce The Insiders. Jean collaborates with well-travelled pioneer André Magnin for the collection that will showcase the myriad of cultural and religious landscapes within Africa. This unique and strong collection, curated through years of travel and interaction with many Sub-Saharan artists, is aimed at celebrating the artworks of 15 artists, including photographers Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibe.

Complemented by Jean’s collection, Being There is a mirror of the inter-generational differences and similarities that exist between artists born and living within South Africa’s post-Apartheid landscape. Being the first of its kind, this show is about the dynamic vitality of the local art scene. The collection is curated by Suzanne, amongst others, and will feature the works of Jane Alexander, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, Zanele Muholi, Moshekewa Langa and the new-generation of artists whose work confronts the reality of the post-Apartheid landscape: Athi-Patra Ruga, Buhlebezwe Siwani, and more. This selection of artists represents the diverse and complex web that ties and separates generations. Their art speaks to the personal and often misunderstood experience of identity and belonging, of artists having the difficult job of being activists through their work. The show space About a Generation continues the narrative and features photographic works from millennial artists like Musa Nxumalo, Kristin-Lee Moolman and Graeme Williams, who embody the space of the born-free youth of South Africa.

Beyond the exhibition, guests can expect a multi-disciplinary experience of music, poetry and literature, with a bilingual catalogue featuring texts from African writers.

This exhibition has set the tone for what can be done when global giants collaborate with artists, providing an excellent platform for nurturing and a deeper understanding of the artistic African narrative from different perspectives.

Art/Africa, Le Nouvel Atelier runs until 28 August 2017. For more information, visit