Since the beginning of the summer, we have welcomed several big groups of visitors (up to 30 people at once) looking to learn about African Art Beats, our artists and their work. We feel boosted by the positive energy of our visitors - their interest, curiosity, comments, and feedback - and are elated to share our passion for contemporary African art and the stories of the artists we represent. The gallery is not synonymous with contemplating artworks on a wall - although that is an important part of being there. It is a dynamic place for interaction, discovering, learning, growing, both for visitors and for us. So if you've been hesitant about visiting, please come see us!
Now some news about the art. In case you missed it, Haitian artist Elizabeth Martineau’s exhibit Un Moment de Silence dans le Bruit des Couleurs (A moment of silence in the noise of colors) opened on May 12 at the gallery. Created in late 2022 and early 2023 during an emotionally intense time for the artist who expressed through her art what she could not express with words, this series of magnificent artworks brim with the energy, emotions, and maturity of the artist. There is a rawness that is new and confirms this statement by the artist “I always have the feeling that I paint for the first time. Even when painting previous themes, I paint with a different energy. Art renews itself each time”. The paintings are on paper, cardboard, and canvas. If you are in the area, come and visit. No photograph can render the majesty and beauty of the artworks. Until September 15, 2023.
Elizabeth Martineau, Les Masques chez Matisse (2022), Acrylic on paper
We received several new pieces by 3-D (Wainwright Dawson III). Three-dimensional and made with recycled material, they showcase the endless imagination and sense of humor of their author. According to one visitor who acquired two of them “They belong in MoMa”.
3-D, Take A Long Holiday (2023), mixed media
Senegalese artist Saadio created a new series of paintings on paper, where he muses on the human-animal bond. This series was born from an incident which happened last October. Saadio had been working on several paintings on paper for the gallery in his terrace studio, when a few sheep - kept in a gated space nearby - were left unenclosed one night. The next morning, Saadio discovered a scene of desolation: pieces of chewed up paintings were scattered all over the place. It was clear that the sheep had ingested his art. The artist was not even angry or frustrated when he told us what had happened : “They are animals. They don’t know. My next paintings will be even better”. Although we leave that to your judgment, we find these paintings quite amazing. There is something in Saadio's lines, colors and compositions that connects us to his art immediately, and that might be the reason why we found a home for all his artworks (more than 30), but the two largest ones, since his last exhibit.
Saadio, A Mon Tour sur le Vélo (2023), acrylic on paper
Mark Your Calendar: Our next exhibit will open on September 22. Pascal Konan, one of Côte d’Ivoire’s leading artists, will show his latest work. It will be a premiere - his first exhibit in the United Sates -,and he will be there, so mark your calendar and come meet him at the gallery. You will love to converse with this fascinating artist about his path, his work and life in general.
Pascal Konan, The Equilibrist (2017), mixed media
The above mixed-media artwork, composed mainly of recycled electronic circuit boards, was sold last March to a collector in New York City, and he loves it.