African art all over the world: current exhibitions

African artAfrican art
African artAfrican art

African art all over the world: current exhibitions

You don’t have to be in Africa to enjoy African art. Traditional and contemporary pieces of African art are on display all over the world and it’s definitely something Africa can be proud of. If you are only ever a tourist when in Africa or an African living away from Africa, there are places you can go around the world to remind you of your favourite tourist destination or your home country.

Smithsonian: National Museum of African Art

Starting in Washington DC in the United States of America, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is ready and waiting to show it’s African art off. Admission is free and there are great works of art for you to enjoy. Some of the exhibitions currently on show include:

  • Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts: There are over 300 artworks on display in this permanent exhibition, with items from wood, drawings, mixed media, paintings, sculptures, video and photography to name a few. There are seven viewpoints each depicted in their own rooms that are based on the perspectives through which African art is experienced. Namely through collectors, scholars, artists, sponsors, performers, museums and visitors’ viewpoints.
  • Jim Chuchu’s Invocations: This exhibition started in July 2017 and will end in July this year. It contains two multimedia artworks from Jim Chuchu in the form of video projection installations. The first is Invocation: The Severance of Ties and the second is Invocation: Release in which the artist himself features in both videos.

And an exhibition to look forward to, starting on 9 May, is World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean. In this exhibition, you can expect to see art pieces across different time periods and regions from the Swahili coast. Art in this World on the Horizon exhibition will be explored as “objects of mobility, outcomes of encounter, and as products of trade and imperialism.”


The Gallery of African Art

From the United States to the United Kingdom, we take to the streets of London, where one will find the Gallery of African Art. This gallery displays artworks of both new and established artists and offers them a global art market platform in which to do so. Its displays focus on 20th century to contemporary Africa (and surroundings) art pieces.

One of the current exhibitions at the Gallery of African Art is Awakening & Power: Artistic Expressions Transcending Time by Ethiopian sculptor Etiyé Dimma Poulsen and Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Stacey Ejiroghene Okparavero. Etiyé’s sculptures have themes of Afrocentricity, strength, dignity and pride. And Stacey’s artworks are displays of African awakenings to reclaim their history and dignity.

Other African artists whose works have been exhibited here in the past year include Evans Mbugua (Kenya), Rewa (Nigeria), Nelson Makamo (South Africa) and George Lilanga (Tanzania).


The Bode Museum

In Berlin, Germany, the Bode Museum is another gallery for where African art styles can be appreciated. And every German and tourist in Germany will be excited to know that the Beyond Compare: Art from Africa exhibition will be a permanent collection at the museum. That means that whenever you find yourself in Berlin, you will have the opportunity to view this integrated display of the Bode Museum sculptures and African artworks.

Having the two different styles viewed together creates a unique and thought-provoking interpretation session for viewers who get to see the differences and understand how context influences the making of an art piece.


Museum of the African Diaspora

Heading back to the United States, in San Francisco, California, we have the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD). It’s a place of cultural expression through contemporary African art that was founded in 2005 by Kim Johnson.

Starting on 28 March and running until 26 April, the MoAD will be exhibiting After the thrill is gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art by 14 different artists. Through these fashion pieces, the designers have captured the essence of identity, xenophobia, memory and other intense, nationally-derived themes. They use fashion as an expression of political opinion and reality of their home country, South Africa.   


Out of Africa Gallery

Sorella Acosta, an art gallerist, and Jacques Collaer, a tribal art collector, came together to establish the Out of Africa Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. With contemporary art exhibitions hosted five times a year, both emerging and established African artists’ works are promoted through this gallery.

An exhibition of theirs starting early March is African Dandy by Méderic Turay who was born in Ivory Coast and was elected as Best Young Artist of West Africa in 1999. His art pieces in this collection are colourful works of contemporary African Art. And his artworks, in general, have been and will continue to be showcased all around the world.

All kinds of African art styles are being exhibited in renowned galleries and events across the globe. It’s one way that the conforms of traditional African art are being conquered through the new, contemporary and impactful masterpieces.

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