View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015. © Bodys Isek Kingelez © Moke. Photo © Luc Boegly.
Loading...

Exhibition overview

A place of extraordinary cultural vitality, the creative spirit of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be honored in the exhibition Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko presented at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain with André Magnin, Chief Curator.

With works by:
  • Albert Lubaki,
  • Antoinette Lubaki,
  • Djilatendo,
  • Paul Mampinda,
  • Ngoma,
  • Bela,
  • Buya,
  • Gregory,
  • Norbert Ilunga,
  • Kabeya,
  • Kayembe,
  • Raphaël Kalela,
  • Oscar Kilima,
  • Lukanga,
  • Pili Pili Mulongoy,
  • Mwema,
  • N’kulu,
  • Yumba,
  • Mwenze Kibwanga,
  • Sylvestre Kaballa,
  • Jean-Bosco Kamba,
  • Mode Muntu,
  • Moke,
  • Chéri Samba,
  • Cheik Ledy,
  • Pierre Bodo,
  • Chéri Chérin,
  • Monsengo Shula,
  • JP Mika,
  • Mega Mingiedi Tunga,
  • Kura Shomali,
  • Pathy Tshindele Kapinga,
  • Steve Bandoma,
  • Bodys Isek Kingelez,
  • Rigobert Nimi,
  • Papa Mfumu’eto Ier,
  • Jean Depara,
  • Ambroise Ngaimoko,
  • Kiripi Katembo,
  • Sammy Baloji

The exhibition in detail

Taking as its point of departure the birth of modern painting in the Congo in the 1920s, this ambitious exhibition will trace almost a century of the country’s artistic production. While specifically focusing on painting, it will also include music, sculpture, photography, and comics, providing the public with the unique opportunity to discover the diverse and vibrant art scene of the region.

As early as the mid-1920s, when the Congo was still a Belgian colony, precursors such as Albert and Antoinette Lubaki and Djilatendo painted the first known Congolese works on paper, anticipating the development of modern and contemporary art. Figurative or geometric in style, their works represent village life, the natural world, dreams and legends with great poetry and imagination. Following World War II, the French painter Pierre Romain-Desfossés moved to the Congo and founded an art workshop called the Atelier du Hangar. In this workshop, active until the death of Desfossés in 1954, painters such as Bela Sara, Mwenze Kibwanga and Pili Pili Mulongoy learned to freely exercize their imaginations, creating colorful and enchanting works in their own highly inventive and distinctive styles.

Views of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015. © Sammy Baloji © Pierre Bodo © Bodys Isek Kingelez. Photo © Luc Boegly.

Twenty years later, the exhibition Art Partout, presented in Kinshasa in 1978, revealed to the public the painters Chéri Samba, Chéri Chérin, and Moke and other artists, many of whom are still active today. Fascinated by their urban environment and collective memory, they would call themselves “popular painters.” They developed a new approach to figurative painting, inspired by daily, political or social events that were easily recognizable by their fellow citizens. Papa Mfumu’eto, known for his independent prolific comic book production and distribution throughout Kinshasa in the 1990s, also explored daily life and common struggles throughout his work. Today younger artists like JP Mika and Monsengo Shula, tuned-in to current events on a global scale, carry on the approach of their elders.

Image gallery

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.

© Chéri Chérin

. Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.

© Chéri Samba

. Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.

© Chéri Samba

. Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.

View of the exhibition Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2015

.
Photo

© Luc Boegly

.