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Chéri Samba

Back to Chéri Samba work Version francaise

Born 1956, Kinto M'Vuila, Belgian Congo
Lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 1972 Chéri Samba left school in order to apprentice himself to the sign painters on Kasa Vubu Avenue in Kinshasa; from this circle of artists (which included Moke, Bodo, and later Samba’s younger brother Cheik Ledy among others) arose one of the most vibrant schools of popular painting in the twentieth century. Working both as a billboard painter and a comic strip artist, Samba employed the conventions of both genres when he began making paintings on sacking cloth (canvas being too expensive) in 1975; most importantly, he borrowed from comic art the device of “word bubbles,” which allowed him to interject not only narrative but also commentary into his compositions. Samba has recalled how he came to use text in this paintings: “I had noticed that people in the street would walk by paintings, glance at them and keep going. I thought that if I added a bit of text, people would have to stop and take time to read it, to get more into the painting and admire it. That’s what I called the ‘Samba signature.’ From then on I put text in all my paintings.” In the early 1980s he began signing his paintings “Chéri Samba: Artiste Populaire.” Indeed, the popularity of his paintings soon went beyond Kinshasa’s city limits; by the mid 1980s his work was gaining an international audience.

Samba’s paintings of this period reveal his perception of the social, political, economic and cultural realities of Zaïre (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), exposing all facets of everyday life in Kinshasa. His canvases offer a running commentary on popular customs, sexuality, AIDS and other illnesses, social inequalities, and corruption. Samba has explained, “My painting is concerned with people’s lives. I’m not interested in myths or beliefs. That’s not my goal. I want to change our mentality that keeps us isolated from the world. I appeal to people’s consciences. Artists must make people think.” From the late 1980s on, he himself became the main subject of his paintings. For Samba, this is not an act of narcissism; rather, like an anchor on TV news broadcasts, he places himself in his work to report on what it means to be a successful African artist on the world stage.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2007/2008
04 Décembre 2007 – 31 Janvier 08
Chéri Samba
Corsoveneziatto Arte Contemporanea
Milano, Italy

2005
5 mars – 8 mai
Les débuts de Chéri Samba
Kunstverein
Braunschweig - Germany

2005
28 jan – 8 mai
J’aime Chéri Samba
A selection of paintings from the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier
Texas Southern University
Houston - USA

2004
J’aime Chéri Samba
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
Paris – France

Interview of Chéri Samba at the Cartier Foundation :

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbzu9a_jaime-cheri-samba-janvier-y-mai-200_creation

2003
Chéri Samba moto na Tervuren
Musée Royal de l’Afrique
Tervuren – Belgique

2000
Chéri Samba une fois encore à Kinshasa
Centre Culturel du Zoo
Kinshasa - République Démocratique du Congo

1999
Ludwig Forum fur internationale Kunst.
Aachen - Germany.

1998
Cheri Samba. MAMCO.
Geneva, Switzerland.

1997
Chéri Samba, Übersee Museum, Bremen, Germany

1996
National Museum of Oceanian and Africain Arts
Paris - France.

1991
Portikus Kunsthalle
Francfurt - Germany.

1991
ICA -Institut of Contemporary Art.
London- Great Britain.

1991
Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago - U.S.A.

1990
Cheri Samba, le peintre populaire du Zaïre.
Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst
Ostende - Belgium.

1990 - 1989
La grande exposition publique Cheri Samba
Kinshasa -Democratic Republic of Congo, formely Zaïre.

1984
Chéri Samba, Centre Culturel Français, Lubumbashi, République Démocratique du Congo

1980
Cultural French Center
Kinshasa -Democratic Republic of Congo, formely Zaïre.

1975 -1978
La Grande exposition publique Cheri Samba
Kinshasa -Democratic Republic of Congo, formely Zaïre.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York, USA

2015
Une brève histoire de l’avenir, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

2015
Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier, Paris, France

2015
Picasso in Contemporary Art, Deichtorhallen Hamburg

FIAC OFFICIELLE, Paris, France

Picasso Mania, Grand-Palais, Paris, France

1:54, Contemporary African Art Fair, London

1:54, Contemporary African Art Fair, New-York, USA

Art Genève, Switzerland

2014
Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

2014
Ici l’Afrique/Here Africa - L’Afrique contemporaine à travers le regard de ses artistes,
Musée des Suisses dans le Monde
Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, Switzerland

2014
Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions, Museu Picasso, Barcelona

2014
Vivid Memories, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris

2014
African way, Chapelle de la Visitation, Thonon-les-bains

FIAC OFFICIELLE, Paris, France

1:54 Foire d'art contemporain africain, London

Art Genève, Switzerland

2013
Raw Vision, 25 ans d'Art Brut, La Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London

Art Paris Art Fair, Paris, France

Peintres reporters de l’urbanité, à Kinshasa, Latitude 21, Dijon, France

Focus sur la collection, Musée de la Fondation Zinsou, Ouidah, Benin

Mehr Licht, Galerie Michel Rein, Paris, France

2012
Afrovision, L’art moderne d’Afrique, Modern Art Museum, Bakou, Azerbaïdjan

Africa/Africa, Abbaye Saint-André, Centre d’art contemporain, Meymac, France

2011/2012
The Global Contemporary Art Worlds After 1989, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany

2011
JAPANCONGO: Carsten Höllerʼs double-take on Jean Pigozziʼs collection, Le Magasin,Centre national d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France. The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow

Riad Al Maaden, MAGNIN-A, Marrakech, Maroc

2010
Kinshasa Pop, Galerie Pangée, Montreal, Canada

2010
African Stories
Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech

2009 - 2010
Africa? Una nuova storia
Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

2009
Against Exclusion, 3rd Moscow Biennial, The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow


2007/2008
Why Africa?
Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Turin, Italy

2007/2008
Intrusions
Petit Palais Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Paris, France

2007
June – November 07
Venice Biennale
Italian Pavillon
Venice – Italia

2007/2008
"Popular Painting" from Kinshasa
Tate Modern, (Room 10)
London – U.K.

2007
Black Paris
Museum der Weltkulturen
Frankfurt, Germany

2006/2007
100% Africa
Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Spain

2006
Collection de la Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, MOT, Tokyo, Japan

2005
Arts of Africa
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco - France

2005
African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Art Houston
Houston - USA

2004 (travelling exhibition)
Africa Remix
Art contemporain d’un continent

* 24 July 2004 – 7 Nov 2004
Museum Kunst Palast
Düsseldorf - Germany
* 10 Feb 2005 – 17 April 2005
Hayward Gallery
London – England
* 15 May 2005 – 20 Aug 2005
Centre Georges Pompidou
Paris – France
* Feb – May 2006
Mori Art Museum
Tokyo

2004
Le Salon du Mai
Atheliers Berthier
Opera National de Paris
Paris - France

2004
Peinture populaire congolaise
ADEIAO – Centre d’Etudes Africaines
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme
Paris - France

2004
Je m’installe aux abattoirs
La collection d’art contemporain d’agnès b.
Les Abattoirs
Toulouse - France

2004
Les Afriques
Tri Postal
Lille - France

2003
Der Rest der Welt
Neuffer am Park
Pirmasens, Allemagne

2003
Kin Moto na Bruxelles
Hôtel de Ville
Brussels – Belgium

2002 – 2003
Afrikanische Reklamekunst (L’art et la pub en Afrique)
Iwalewa-Haus, Universität Bayreuth
Bayreuth - Germany

2003
Sexuality and death, AIDS in Contemporary African Art, Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, Germany

2002
Espace Croise "Kin Service"
Contemporary Art Center. Roubaix, France.

2002
Swiss National Exhibition - EXPO 02: "Money & Value"
Lake of Biel, Switzerland.

2002
Sao Paulo Biennal
Sao-Paulo, Brazil.

Kinshasa Congo. Fabien Rigobert / Moke, Chéri Samba, Espace Croisé, Centre d’art contemporain, Roubaix, France

Painting on the Move, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland

2001
An/Sichten: Malerei aus dem Kongo 1990-2000, Museum für Volkerkunde, Vienna, Austria

1999-2000
Kustwelten im Dialog
Museum Ludwig
Cologne, Germany.

1998
Africa Africa Vibrant New Art from a Dynamic Continent.
Tobu Museum.
Tokyo, Japan.

Dak’Art 98, Biennale de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal

1996
Neue Kunst aus Afrika, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

1995-1996
An Inside Story : African Art of our Time Beyong Art
Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo.
The Tokushima Modern Art Museum.
Himeji City Museum of Art.
Koriyama City Museum of Art.
Marugame Inokuma-Genichiro Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Museum of fine Art, Gifu.
JAPAN.

1994
Centre d’Art et de la plaisanterie, Galerie des Extravagances, Monbéliard, France

1994-1991
Africa Explores : 20th Century African Art
New Museum of Contemporary Art
New York - U.S.A.
Center for African Art.
New York - U.S.A.
Berkeley University Art Museum.
Bekerley- U.S.A
Prestel -Munich, Germany.
Dallas Museum of Art - U.S.A
Saint Louis Art Museum - U.S.A
Mint Museum of Art - U.S.A
Fundacio Antoni Tapies
Barcelona - Spain.
Ludwig Forum fur Internationale Kunst
Aachen - Germany.
The Center for Fine Arts
Miami - U.S.A.
The Carnegie Museum of Arts
Pittsburgh - U.S.A
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
Washington D.C. - U.S.A
Tate Gallery
Liverpool, Great Britain.

1993
Africa Art Now: Urban Culture from Africa, Setagaya Museum and The Japan Foundation, Tokyo

1992-1991
Africa hoy
Atlantic Center of Modern Art.
Las Palmas Gran Canary - Spain.
Contemporary Cultural Art Center
Mexico D.F. - Mexico.
Groningen Museum.
Groningen - Holland.

1991
60 ans de la peinture zairoise
German Cultural Center.
Kinshasa - RDC, formely Zaïre.

1990
Provincialo Museum voor Modern Kunst.
Gallery Annenie Dubron.
Ostende - Belgium.

1989
Magiciens de la Terre
Centre Georges Pompidou, Grande Halle de la Villette.
Paris, France.

1985
Peintres Populaires du Zaïre, l'Art Vivant d'Afrique Centrale
Laval University Department of History, Quebec.
Montreal University -Department of Anthropology, Canada.

1982
Visages et Racines du Zaïre
Decoratives Arts Museum
Paris - France.

1978
Art Partout
Fine Art Academy, CIAF
Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo, formely Zaïre.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2015
Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier, Exhibition catalogue

2015
Une brève histoire de l’avenir, Musée du Louvre, Louvre éditions, Exhibition catalogue

2015
Beaux-arts éditions, Picasso.mania, Paris, 2015

2015
Fiero, Gloria K., The Humanistic Tradition: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Global Perspective, Seventh Edition, McGraw Hill Education, pg 505

2014
Ma première histoire de l'art, Béatrice Fontanel, Editions Palette, pg 114.

2014
Ici L'Afrique/Here Africa, Contemporary Africa through the eyes of its artists, Exhibition catalogue, curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg, Art for the World, pgs 60-1.

2014
Apostrophe, Français 5è, Hachette Livre International, pg 27.

2014
Mémoires Vives, 30 ans Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Fondation Cartier

2014
Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions, Exhibition catalogue, Publised by Museu Picasso, Barcelona, pgs 52-57, 59,64,66,72,74,112.

2013
Collection Louis Vuitton Travel Book, Louis Vuitton Editions

2012
Collection Blachère 2003/2013, Fondation Blachère

2010
AFRICA. OBJETOS Y SUJETOS Exhibition catalogue, published by cajAstur

2009
The Making of Art Edited by Hans Belting & Andrea Buddensieg

2009
The Global Art World
Exhibition catalogue edited by Martina Weinhart & Max Hollein

2009
Africa? una nuova storia
Exhibition catalogue, published by Gangemi Editore

2008
ANGAZA AFRIKA African Art Now By Chris Spring, Published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

2008
High Quality, Advertising Art Design Photography Writing, Préface : Jûrgen Rautert, Achim Heine et al., published by Heidelberg. Germany.

2008 Swindle n°15

2007
Chéri Samba
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Silvana Editoriale Spa
Cinisello Balsamo, Milan

2007
Why Africa?
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Electa & Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli.

2006
100% Africa
TF Editores & FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

2005
Les débuts de Chéri Samba
Kunstverein Braunschweig
Verlag Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Cologne

2005
Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi
Skira Edition & Grimaldi Forum Monaco.

2005
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.

2004
J'aime Cheri Samba from the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain. Exhibition catalogue, André Magnin editor, André Magnin and Robert Storr, authors. Interviews with the artist by A. Magnin. Painter of Modern Life by R. Storr

2004
Living with Art
Seventh Edition by Mark Getlein. Published by McGraw Hill.

2004
Africa Remix
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.

2003
Mami Wata : la peinture urbaine au Congo
Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Paris, Gallimard, coll. Le temps des images.

2003
Der Rest der Welt
Exhibition catalogue. Pirmasens, Allemagne. Catalogue

2003
Kin moto na Bruxelles
Exhibition catalogue. Quand Kinshasa réchauffe Bruxelles, Bruxelles. P. 62 à 88, 177 à 186, 220 à 237.

2003
Afrikanische Reklamekunst
Exhibition catalogue. De Tobias Wendl. Edité par Peter Hammer et Iwalewa-Haus, Afrikazentrum der Universität Bayreuth.
Tobias Wendl. P. 84 - 85, 174.

2002
Autour de Chéri Samba
Exhibition catalogue. Coll. Galerie Marc Dengis, Bruxelles, Belgique.

2002
Painting on the Move
Exhibition catalogue. Bernhard Mendes Bürgi & Peter Pakesch. Kunstmuseum, Basel, P. 141.

2002
Africa apart. Afrikanisch Künstler konfrontieren Aids
Exhibition catalogue. Santu Papa. Berlin p. 98 - 101. Sabine Schlenker and Ingo Taubhorn.

2002
Une Fresque pour Matonge
Exhibition catalogue. Galerie Marc Dengis. Textes de Guy Forsbach et Jean-Pierre Jacquemin.

2002
The World of Art
400 peintres du 1200 - 2002. Prof. Robert Belton. Préface C. Rothko.
P. 65 & 431 (Mobali ya Monyato).

2002
Afrikanische Kunst
Dr. Stefan Eisenhofer & Karin Guggeis. P. 150, Munich, Deutscher Kunstverlag

2001
An / Sichten. Malerei aus dem Kongo 1990-2000.
Exhibition catalogue. Kinshasa – Kin Kiese par Bogumil Jewsiewicki.
Edition : Springer-Verlag/Wien und Museum für Volkerkunde. Wien, Autriche.

2001
Titouan Congo Kinshasa
Titouan Lamazou, Paris, Gallimard.

2000
A History of Art in Africa.
Monica Blackmu Visona, Robin Poynor, Herbert M ; Cole, Michael D. Harris, Suzanne Preston Blier, Rowland Abiodun.
Prentice Hall Inc et Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Londres. P. 409 (Mobali ya Monyato).

2000
Revue 02
Exhibition catalogue. Kinshasa, Congo.

2000
Expériences du Divers
Exhibition catalogue. « Chéri Samba – ‘Ambassadeur Universel’ » p. 63-69. Texte de Nathalie Le Gouill et Florence Marqueyrol. Entretien avec Jean-Hubert Martin p.109-116. Texte en français. Collection Métier de l’exposition. Presses Universitaires de Rennes 2000.

1999
Experiences du Divers. Cheri Samba- Universal Ambassador, p.63-69.
By Nathalie Le Gouill & Florence Marqueyrol.
Introduction : Jean-Hubert Martin p.109-116. Text in French.
Collection Metier de l'exposition. Rennes, University Press 2000.

1998
Africa Africa : Vibrant New Art from a Dynamic Continent, Tokyo.
Text by Toshio Shimuzu, collective exhibition catalogue, 146 pages.
Tobu Museum, Japan.

1997
Cheri Samba, Paris.
Hazan, Musee national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie.
Book of 95 pages, text in French by Jean-Hubert Martin & Philippe Garcia de
la Rosa.

1996
Contemporary Art of Africa, p.162-163. Text : Jacques Soulillou.
Edited by André Magnin and Jacques Soulillou.
Publisher Harry N. Abraams.

1995
Cheri Samba. The Hybridity of Art. L'hybridite d'un Art.
Bogumil Jewsiewicki. Bilingual texts : French, English. Book of 102 pages.
Contemporary African Artists, N1.

1992
Cheri Samba Opere recenti ottobre.
Exhibition Catalogue, 43 pages.
Trento : Raffaeli Studio d'arte.

1991
Cheri Samba.
Book, text in German, 103 pages.
Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Bender.
Trickster Verlag.

1991
Aka Soa, Udro-Nkpo, Srele...Art in Black Africa.
Text in English by Andre Magnin, p.15-24.
Africa Now. Groningen Museum.

1990
Saint Cheri, vie et oeuvres " im "pies.
Text in french : Jean-Pierre Jacquemin, 84 pages.
In Cheri Samba, le peintre populaire du Zaïre.
Exhibition catalogue, retrospective.
Ostende : Proviciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, (october/january).

1989
Magiciens de la terre.
Cheri Samba Text in French p.223.
Edited by The Georges Pompidou Center.


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