Contemporary African art

Knowledge Tahwa proudly presenting Couples (Black serpentine) at Tengenenge, Zimbabwe

Africa is home to a great and thriving contemporary art culture. This has been sadly understudied until recently, due to scholars' and art collectors' emphasis on traditional art. Notable modern artists include Marlene Dumas,William Kentridge, Kendell Geers, Yinka Shonibare, Zerihun Yetmgeta, Odhiambo Siangla, Olu Oguibe, Lubaina Himid, and Bernard Matemera. Art biennials are held in Dakar, Senegal, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Many contemporary African artists are represented in museum collections, and their art may sell for high prices at art auctions. Despite this, many contemporary African artists tend to have difficult times finding a market for their work. Many contemporary African arts borrow heavily from traditional predecessors. Ironically, this emphasis on abstraction is seen by Westerners as an imitation of European and American cubist and totemic artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Matisse, who, in actuality were heavily influenced by traditional African art. This became the first step of evolution in Western art where people started becoming more open-minded and came out of their shell to explore the different aspects of art.

Contemporary African art was pioneered in the 1950s and 1960s in South Africa by artists like
Irma Stern, Cyril Fradan, Walter Battiss and through galleries like the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. More recently European galleries like the October Gallery in London and collectors like Jean Pigozzi and Gianni Baiocchi in Rome have helped expand the interest in the subject. Exhibitions like the African Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale that showcased the Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art have gone a long way to countering many of the myths and prejudices that haunt Contemporary African Art. The appointment of Nigerian Okwui Enwezor as artistic director of Documenta 11 and his African centred vision of art jettisoned the careers of countless African artists into the international headlights.

The TingaTinga galery at At Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Working on a painting for one of our customers

We, at BANY, just love the many items we encountered during our many trips in Africa Sub Sahara. Art or no Art, for us that is of no importancy. Many of the items are "just" handtools or musical instruments. Some are "just" and item used during a dance, a ceremony or to prepare food. But many items, we dare to say, are a TOP class Art product with capitols! We hope you enjoy them aswell...........................