Contemporary African Art Collection by Jean Pigozzi


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Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
from 12/09/16 to 05/27/17
Musclemen Series, 2012, by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou

This large-scale group exhibition presents art being made today in, or about, Africa, from an Afro-futurist perspective that challenges traditional divisions: fantasy, imagination and cosmology, usually associated with past mythology, are incarnated into science fiction and futurist representation. The various narratives span between colonialism and its ramifications to a re-examination of the African body, landscape and culture—through utterances that shatter the usual distinction between truth and fiction, between myth and science, between technology and spirituality.

Ruth Direktor

Lilly & Yoel Moshe Elstein Multi-Purpose Gallery Herta and Paul Amir Building

South Africa the art of a nation, The British Museum, London, UK
from 10/27/16 to 02/26/17
Discover the history of South Africa through an incredible 100,000 years of art.

Your journey starts with examples of some of the earliest examples of human creativity – from rock art to perhaps the world’s oldest necklace. From there, be amazed by 800-year-old gold treasures from the kingdom of Mapungubwe, be moved by powerful anti-apartheid pieces, and be inspired by cutting-edge contemporary works. See the history of a nation from a new perspective and celebrate the diverse art created by the many people who have helped shape South Africa’s story.

Exhibition highlights

Willie Bester (b. 1956), Transition, 1994. © Willie Bester.

In his work, Bester is concerned with the post-apartheid persistence of racism, inequality and violence. He created Transition around the time of the first democratic elections. It refers specifically to an incident in KwaZulu-Natal in 1994 when security police attacked a house, wrongly believing it to contain insurgents, and killed seven children.

Esther Mahlangu (b. 1935), detail of BMW Art Car 12, 1991. © Esther Mahlangu. Photo © BMW Group Archives.

In 1991 South African artist Esther Mahlangu was invited to create BMW’s 12th Art Car to mark the end of apartheid. The design is based on traditional Ndebele house painting designs. These designs express Ndebele cultural identity and may also be read as a form of protest against racial segregation and marginalisation that Ndebele experienced in the 20th century.

Esther Mahlangu 80, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
from 11/11/15 to 12/02/15
On 11 November 2015, internationally renowned artist, Esther Mahlangu, will celebrate her 80th birthday with a solo exhibition, Esther Mahlangu 80, at the UCT Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. The exhibition will comprise of recent paintings and three-dimensional works. Mahlangu’s first solo exhibition at the Museum was in 2003 and her return to the former residence of one of South Africa’s most famous female artists, Irma Stern, is especially apt given the inspiration Stern drew from South Africa and its people.

Traditional African Murals, The Museum of African Art, Belgrade
from 12/30/14 to 08/30/15
The “Traditional African Murals” exhibition presents photographs of painted, relief and mosaic decorations that appear on architecture – elements of house exteriors and interiors, and whole compounds from different parts of the continent. Murals as an artistic form are a centuries-old tradition, with examples of exceptional visual solutions that distinguish the works of artists of the Igbo (Nigeria), Gurunsi (Burkina Faso and Ghana), Ndebele and Basotho (South Africa) peoples.

África. Objetos y Sujetos, Teatro Fernán Gómez. Centro de Arte, Madrid, Spain
from 01/28/11 to 05/01/11
Un análisis antropológico de este continente enigmático a través del Arte.

AFRICA? Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy
from 11/19/09 to 01/17/10

Roma.Africa? Una nuova storia: dal 19 novembre 2009 al 17 gennaio 2010 il Complesso del Vittoriano ospita per la prima volta nella capitale una grande mostra che vuole far conoscere larte contemporanea africana attraverso 80 opere tra dipinti, sculture, istallazioni, video di 30 artisti di diverse generazioni nati nei Paesi dellAfrica Sub-Sahariana. Lesposizione, a cura di André Magnin, è divisa in due sezioni: La Collezione Pigozzi di Arte Contemporanea Africana presenta le opere di artisti provenienti dalla celebre Collezione di Jean Pigozzi, il più importante collezionista di arte contemporanea africana; la sezione ArtistiAfricani è costituita dalle opere di artisti indicati da diverse Ambasciate di Paesi africani.


Press articles: La Repubblica Roma,, Global Project, Roma Beni Culturali, Eclipse Magazine, Cultura Italia, UnDo.Net, Cultura Lazio


In this exhibition dedicated to contemporary African art, the Caac is showing works by 20 artists from the collection

3 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia
from 09/25/09 to 11/01/09

Garage was proud to host the Third Moscow Biennale: Against Exclusion by French curator Jean-Hubert Martin and Commissioner of the Moscow Biennale Joseph Backstein.

The show brought together over seventy international artists to illustrate the process of globalisation and national self-identification. It explored the idea that ‘it is no longer possible to live in isolation, ignoring your neighbors’ in today’s globalized world, as artists also drew on aesthetic and cultural references from different countries for their work, they could also be seen to share themes. Shared references and themes could be seen in the drawings of the African artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, as he told the myths of his tribe, the lubok pictures by the Ukrainian artist Stas Volyazlovsky and work by the Russian outsider artist Alexander Lobanov. All their work at Against Exclusion, explored variations on the theme of identity. Identity connected to national, social, gender, racial, ethnic, ecological, and political themes were also explored in the work of Marina Abramović, Vik Muniz, Pavel Pepperstein, Yinka Shonibare. Other artists examined the evolution of form within art through the work of Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg, Dmitry Gutov, Heinz Mack and Markus Raetz.

Works of the following Caac artists will be shown during the Moscow Biennale, at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, in the exhibiton entitled "Against Exclusion", curated by Jean Hubert Martin: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Chéri Chérin, Romuald Hazoumé, Kané Kwei, Esther Mahlangu, Chéri Samba, Cyprien Tokoudagba.

Why Africa? Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy
from 10/06/07 to 02/03/08

6 October 2007 – 3 February 2008
curated by André Magnin

The Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli is pleased to present Why Africa? The Pigozzi collection, as part of its new cultural programme dedicated to art collections.

The exhibition is having its Italian première, curated by André Magnin, Artistic Director of Contemporary African Art Collection (the Pigozzi collection), the world’s most important collection of contemporary African art.

Created in 1989 by the joint efforts of Jean Pigozzi and André Magnin, who was deputy curator of the exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre being held at the Pompidou Centre at the time, the collection is constantly evolving with the addition of works by artists of various generations from sub-Saharian Africa. It maintains strong links with the artists it supports, giving them visibility and recognition on the international art scene, and this was confirmed this year when the 52nd International Venice Biennale awarded a Golden Lion for lifetime achievements to 72 year old photographer Malick Sidibé, because no one is worthier than him to receive this honour (Robert Storr).

Jean Pigozzi reveals his passion and obsession for African art in about one hundred works selected from the collection, several of which have never been exhibited before. The exhibition includes drawings, paintings, sculpture, photographs, installations and site specific works as the one conceived by the South -African artist Esther Mahlangu for the new Fiat 500.

The great wealth of African contemporary artistic output is presented through the work of several artists -Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Chéri Samba and Malick Sidibé, George Lilanga and Keita Seydou, precursors of contemporary African art who died recently – who overcame the stereotype of folklore and decorative art of the postcolonial period and forged links with Western art, developing their own autonomous language.

The majority of these artists produce works that are figurative or inspired by current topics, depicting a reality that is both local and global.

One of the most obvious constants is the deep bond with the territory: the artists address the territory first and foremost, and they work with what is familiar to them; their art is inclusive, rooted in history and against division. Art that comes from the people, addresses the people and returns to the people, in the words of André Magnin.

The exhibition will be presented in a special setting created by Ettore Sottsass and Marco Palmieri.

A number of conferences and meetings and a film screening dedicated to Africa will be organised during the exhibition, supporting by ERSEL.

The guide to the exhibition has been realized by Fabrica, Benetton research centre on communications. Created to lead the visitor through the ‘itinerary’ of the show, the guide offers an insight to the artists and their work.

African Art Now, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA
from 01/29/05 to 06/05/05

Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Upper Brown Pavilion
Photos: ©Tom Dubrock

Major, lavishly illustrated study of contemporary art being produced by the leading artists working in sub-Saharan Africa Painters, photographers, sculptors and installation artists are represented from nineteen countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Togo Artists include Frederic Bruly Bouabre, Seydou Keita, Samuel Kane Kwei, Cheri Samba and Malik Sidibe, among many others A rare glimpse into the latest currents in contemporary African art, showing how artists share an awareness of both local and global cultures, thereby acknowledging the complex heritage that African artists face today

Biography (EN - FR) / Exhibitions

Please note that the artworks shown on this website are not for sale.

Untitled Mahlangu-Esther
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Art exhibitions featuring Esther Mahlangu - © 2010-2018 The Contemporary African Art Collection - Contact Caacart - Seydou Keita Photographer, the official website, new, click here