Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition 1st Edition

Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition 1st Edition

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Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition 1st Edition – Digital Download
by Wole Soyinka (Foreword), El Anatsui (Contributor), Youssouf Bath (Contributor), Ablade Glover (Contributor), Tapfuma Gutsa (Contributor), Rosemary Karuya (Contributor), Souleymane Keita (Contributor), Nicholas Mukomberanwa (Contributor), Henry Munyaradzi (Contributor), Bruce Onobrakpeya (Contributor)

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The poet Langston Hughes asks the question, ‘What is Africa to me?’ It is a question that might be considered as a starting point of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s approach to its exhibition, ‘Contemporary African Artists: Changing Traditions.” For much of Africa and its rich and complex history and culture has remained virtually unknown to many Americans and other westerners. It is also a very large question and even when posed somewhat less ambitiously – ‘What is contemporary African art?’ – answers remain elusive. This exhibition becomes a point of entry in exploring this question.

The exhibit concentrates only on artists currently working in Africa, selecting art only from the past ten years, and is not considered a comprehensive survey of the entire continent. The focus is chiefly on the sub-Saharan Africa, and those countries with a history and current activity in the visual arts.

After three years of research in African and in the U.S., Studio Museum Curator Grace Stanislaus identified nine artists from six countries whose work, in her words ‘represent some of the more compelling examples of the art of modern expression, technique, and medium produced in their countries.’ She also found in these artists a commitment to their profession under conditions that many western artists are not asked to face. Most of the artists are relatively well known in their countries, but virtually unknown outside of them, and have created works that challenge our notions of contemporary and African art.

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