SBK Art voucher, art as a present

African Summer

15/07/2017 - 19/07/2017 @ SBK Galerie 23 Hedendaagse Afrikaanse Kunst KNSM

Prepare for sultry summer days with works of art from the collection of Galerie 23 Contemporary African Art.

Abou Sidibé, born in 1977 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, studied art there at the Bingerville academy. His family comes from Mali, a country with which he still has strong ties. He now lives in Burkina Faso, where he has a studio in the capital Ouagadougou. The sculptures of Abou Sidibé (1977) move at the interface between tradition and modernity. Traditional is the craftsmanship with which he knows how to shape and inspire the tropical hardwood like so many woodcarvers before him. The elements he adds are new and surprising: iron objects, rope, crushed tin cans. Also new are his assemblages from only old materials that have been used before. He himself calls these re-creations “manamako”, which means “to give life” in Bambara, the language in which he grew up. Abou Sidibé regularly exhibits in (West) Africa and in Europe. In the Netherlands, his work has been shown in the Huijs Basten Asbeck gallery in Groenlo and in the Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark. In Ouagadougou he took part in a workshop with Dutch sculptors and bronze casters. Self-taught Tété Azankpo (1968) has gone his own way with his assemblages and has found his own style. In his 2008 assemblages - the 'Mascerade' series - he uses colourful, existing material, but largely limits himself to photos and pictures from magazines and books. He sticks these on a surface of suitably sawn wood and with all those puzzle pieces together he forms a portrait. This is then 'sewn' on a wooden base with iron wire. The result is works that appear much brighter than his earlier assemblages. They are figurative, there can be no misunderstanding about that. They're headlines, that's for sure. In terms of content, however, these works are more complicated. The image suppliers are carefully chosen. They refer to the history and traditions of his country and they refer to political developments and events. For an outsider, however, these references are difficult to interpret. Moreover, together they produce portraits of people unknown to the uninitiated, but who can probably be identified effortlessly by the inhabitants of Togo. Gerald Chukwuma (1973) makes sculptures from materials he finds in his immediate environment. He combines weathered planks or panels of different sizes into one whole. He makes no effort to make them more beautiful than they are. He then applies strikingly colorful images to it. Sometimes they are figurative, at other times they resemble linguistic signs or abstract shapes. They refer to patterns and symbols that play a major role in traditional Igbo culture. Moreover, in their colorful and playful cheerfulness, they seem to anticipate a better future. In Chukwuma's eyes, colors say more than concepts and words. The fact that they convincingly seduce most viewers is a welcome side effect.