Contemporary African Art: History, Theory, and Practice

"Contemporary African Art" addressed several pointed commissions in art historical scholarship regarding modern and contemporary African art. It also included scholars working on key artists and art movements from Egypt to South Africa, from Senegal to Kenya. Many exhibitions and accompanying catalogues have largely focused on Nigerian and/or South African artists and have largely ignored the prolific and important contributions of African artists of Arab descent and/or African artists of South Asian descent, for example. This project addressed a diversity of under-explored ethnic and geographical areas of scholarship. In addition, it presented the work of scholars focused on a broad range of oft-neglected African artists, art movements, and collectives such as the Dakar Biennales and Morocco’s L’appartment 22. A selection of participant presentations is available on Radioapartment 22.


Participants included: Meskerem Assegued, Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Allan de Souza, San Francisco Art Institute; Elizabeth Harney, University of Toronto; Salah Hassan, Cornell University; Abdellah Karroum, L’appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco; David Koloane, artist; Yacouba Konate, University of Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Gabi Ngcobo, independent curator, Cape Town, South Africa; Steven Nelson, University of California, Los Angeles; Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University; Colin Richards, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Sunanda K. Sanyal, Art Institute of Boston and Jessica Winegar, Temple University.

Workshop session topics: "Pedagogy: Art and Art History in Africa"; "Patronage: State, Private, Museology, and Publications"; "Curatorial Practices and the Politics of Representation in Contemporary African Art"; "Art and Post-Apartheid South Africa"; "The Transnational Issues"; "Gender: New Frontiers, Imperatives, and Scholarship"; "Comparative Issues"; and "New Directions in the Field: A Roundtable."