Africa’s biggest modern art gallery opens in Cape Town

Africa’s largest gallery for contemporary art from the continent and its diaspora has opened in the South African city of Cape Town.

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa) is set inside old grain silos on the V&A Waterfront.

The building has been converted by UK architect Thomas Heatherwick into a maze of rooms with bulbous windows.

An installation by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA).
The work of South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga is influenced by his background in fashion design

 

Visitors are greeted by a giant flying dragon made of rubber, created by South African artist Nicholas Hlobo.

This file photo taken on September 15, 2017 shows a sculpture by South African artist Nicholas Hlobo dominating the main hall in The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town.
A sculpture by South African artist Nicholas Hlobo dominates the main hall

Much of the work on display comes from the private collection of the museum’s patron, former Puma chief executive Jochen Zeitz, who is German.

“Africans need to come on board,” he says. “It’s not my museum or the Waterfront’s – it’s for Africa.”

Photographic art by artist Cyrus Kabiru from Kenya at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
Cyrus Kabiru, a 32-year-old visual artist from Kenya, was named one of Quartz’s Africa Innovators for 2016
An installation by South African artist Nandipha Mntambo using cow hides on exhibit at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
Cow hides are fashioned to resemble the human form by South African artist Nandipha Mntambo

One of the biggest draws is a selection of work by the Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, who won the prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award last week.

This piece by El Anatsui, called Dissolving Continents, is made of interlinking pieces of aluminium and copper

Critics say the collection is missing some important African artists.

“The absence of works by Cameroonians Samuel Fosso, Pascale Martine Tayou and Barthélémy Toguo, as well as South Africans Robin Rhode, Tracey Rose and Berni Searle – all esteemed, pace-setting artists – hints at crucial blind spots,” says one reviewer in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper.

A visitor takes photos of an artwork by South African artist Kendell Geers, during the media opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa on September 15, 2017 in Cape Town.
Kendell Geers’ Hanging Piece (1993) alludes to acts of violence carried out during apartheid in South Africa
Exterior of Zeitz Mocaa

Source: BBC

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