“Ivory Coast”

Virginia Ryan’s Available Space

Cécile Fakhoury presents an exhibition dedicated to Virginia Ryan. Entitled “Espace à louer” (“Available Space”), it is to continue until 21 June in the gallery space in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). On display at the exhibition are paintings, collages, photographs, and installations by the artist. The visitor is invited to wander amongst large works which seem to float in the gallery space. Virginia Ryan principally uses materials from Abidjan’s urban landscape, such as advertising billboards and posters from 1960-1990 films, taken from a former cinema space in Grand-Bassam. Virginia Ryan, born in Australia in 1956, works between Trevi (Italy) and Bassam (Ivory Coast). She is the co-founder of the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Ghana, of which she was also the director between 2003 and...

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Death of artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Abidjan, 29 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Frédéric Bruly Bouabré died on 28 January 2014 in Abidjan, at the age of 91. The news was announced by Parisian gallerist André Magning, who had closely followed the artist’s career. Bouabré was predominantly known for his graphic and pictorial images. The artist first began to receive international recognition following his participation in the 1989 exhibition “Magiciens de la terre”, which was held at Paris’s Pompidou Centre and the city’s Grande Halle de la Villette. His work became increasingly visible after this event, with Bouabré featuring in shows such as: “World Envisioned: Alighieroe Boetti and Frédéric Bruly Bouabré” at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994-95); Cassel’s Documenta 11 (2002); and the 55th Venice Biennale. Frédéric Bruly Bouabré was born around 1923 in Zéprégühé, the Ivory Coast. A multi-faceted artist, he was at the same time a philosopher, poet and storyteller. Driven by an encyclopaedic ambition, he sought to catalogue and explain everything, engaging in a variety of schools of thought. He notably created his own unique alphabet – the “alphabet bété”, designed as a means of communicating knowledge to his people – an endeavour which would later capture the attention of celebrated scientist Théodore...

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Cécile Fakhoury gallery to celebrate first anniversary

Abidjan, 29 July 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, is to celebrate its first anniversary in September 2013. Though the space is to be closed in August, it will re-open in September with “Mécaniques des fluides (naviguer, transporter, filmer)” (Fluid Mechanics – navigation, transportation, filming). Past exhibitions to have featured at the gallery include Aboudia’s “Aujourd’hui je travaille avec mon petit fils, Aboudia” (Today, I am working with my grandson Aboudia), “Collection II: L’appel de Lilian” (Collection II: Lilian’s Call) by Paul Sika, Cheikh Ndiaye’s “(l)n(f)ormal visitation” and Nestor Da’s “Ondes de Perturbation” (Tumultuous...

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Interview with Cécile Fakhoury

Abidjan, 19 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). In September 2012, Cécile Fakhoury will open her first gallery in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s economic capital. Having spent around ten years travelling across Africa, she discovered on this continent an exceptional cultural richness and her meetings with African artists eventually inspired her to develop this project. Ivory Coast, formerly known for its thriving economy and political stability, has been going through periods of social and political crises for about ten years. The Cécile Fakhoury Gallery is an excellent project, having the potential to contribute to the development of the cultural sector in Ivory Coast. Art Media Agency was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Cécile Fakhoury, talking about her project and the role of art in Africa. Art Media Agency: Can you introduce yourself in a few words? Cécile Fakhoury: I was born in Paris and studied there in a business school and studied art trade at the Institut d’études superieures des arts. These studies were punctuated with professional experiences and internships in France and the United States in galleries and auction houses. I have been travelling across Ivory Coast for ten years, and the meetings the artists and my settling down in Abidjan urged me to develop a project in this framework. The gallery’s structure quickly imposed itself. AMA: Where does your passion for African art, and particularly for Ivorian art, come from? CF: I have had a real interest in art for years. My parents have a modern art gallery in Paris, I have always been sensitised to creation. Then I discovered contemporary art and when I travelled to Africa I had the opportunity to meet artists and to discover a very strong cultural richness. I lived my first years there as a succession of shocks, I have...

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Where does contemporary African art stand in today’s world?

Africa, 26 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The African continent enjoys a spectacular cultural wealth – especially for arts. But is such wealth recognised on an international level and throughout the continent itself? To what degree is African contemporary art valued in today’s world? Not until the 1980s did the West begin to discover contemporary African art. Only over the past thirty years have steps been taken to develop and reassert the value of contemporary African art both in Africa and at an international level. Some Western exhibition curators such as Jean-Hubert Martin, John Picton, Clementine Delisse, Hans Obrist and Susan Vogel, who contributed to the international acknowledgement of African art, are at the roots of this change. Jean-Hubert Martin, art historian and former director of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, played a pivotal role when he organised the first major exhibition of non-Western art, “Magiciens de la terre” in 1989. Having sparked a debate on contemporary African art in Africa and around the globe, the exhibition is considered to have been a decisive turning point for African art, as it gained visibility in museums and on the art market. According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, two other notable events contributed to the change in Western views on African art, “Art from South Africa”, a 1990 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, and “Art contemporain arabe” (Contemporary Middle Eastern Art), a 1988 exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. In 2004, Jean-Hubert Martin organised the touring exhibition “Africa Remix”, which gave an overview of the art scene of all African nations throughout the entire continent. First shown in Düsseldorf in Germany, “Africa Remix” later moved on to Paris, London, and Tokyo. A number of key figures from the Western art world may also...

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