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Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1925; died 1988.

Sculptor, painter. Animals.

Salah Abdel Kerim studied at Cairo's faculty of art, continuing his studies in Italy and in Paris. He was appointed Professor of Decorative Art at the same faculty in Cairo and was later appointed Dean of Fine Arts in the city....

Article

Regenia Perry, Christina Knight, dele jegede, Bridget R. Cooks, Camara Dia Holloway and Jenifer P. Borum

Term used to describe art made by Americans of African descent. While the crafts of African Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries continued largely to reflect African artistic traditions (see Africa, §VIII), the earliest fine art made by professional African American artists was in an academic Western style (...

Article

Theresa Leininger-Miller

Group of African American artists active in France in the 1920s and 1930s. Between the world wars Paris became a Mecca for a “lost generation” of Americans. Hundreds of artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world flocked to the French capital in search of a sense of community and freedom to be creative. For African Americans, the lure of Paris was enhanced by fear of and disgust with widespread racial discrimination experienced in the United States. They sought a more nurturing environment where their work would receive serious attention, as well as the chance to study many of the world’s greatest cultural achievements. France offered this along with an active black diasporal community with a growing sense of Pan-Africanism. Painters, sculptors, and printmakers thrived there, studying at the finest art academies, exhibiting at respected salons, winning awards, seeing choice art collections, mingling with people of diverse ethnic origins, dancing to jazz, and fervently discussing art, race, literature, philosophy, and politics. Although their individual experiences differed widely, they had much in common, including exposure to traditional European art, African art, modern art, and proto-Negritude ideas. As a result of their stay in Paris, all were affected artistically, socially, and politically in positive ways and most went on to have distinguished careers....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Aldine  

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1917, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor.

Aldine received a doctorate in science and from 1953 to 1960, he was cultural advisor at the Egyptian embassy in Paris. Although he began painting in 1948, he only took it up as a full-time activity after his retirement from the administrative service in ...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; ...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (...

Article

Chika Okeke

Nigerian painter and sculptor. He was schooled at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu (1978–82), and taught at Oyo State College of Education, Ilesha. In 1983 he joined the staff at the Umoka Technical Secondary School, and he has taught sculpture in the art department of IMT, Enugu. He had several solo shows in the mid-1980s and showed with AKA, an artists’ group in Nsukka of which he was a founding member, from ...

Article

Algerian, 20th century, male.

Active since 1982 active in France.

Sculptor, painter, engraver.

From 1978 to 1982 he studied at the school of fine arts in Algiers, where he graduated in visual communications. He then went on to study at the Institut d'Arts Visuels in Orléans ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Kitwe, Zambia.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, video artist, land artist, watercolourist, curator.

Clive van den Berg came to South Africa in 1966, and trained at the University of Natal. He taught fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg ...

Article

Ethiopian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active since 1971 active in France.

Born 15 February 1951, in Dire Dawa.

Sculptor, painter (including gouache). Allegorical subjects, figures, circus scenes.

Micaël Béthé-Sélassié did not become involved in fine arts until he was 30. He produces figures, groups and deities painted in gouache or 'sculpted' in papier-mâché, painted in variegated colours and frequently mounted on a wood base. Témi Hirsch has said that Béthé-Sélassié produces a 'riot of giant figures in an admixture of cross-bred styles ranging from the formally ritual and to the unfettered spontaneous'. Since ...

Article

Simon Njami

Cameroonian painter, sculptor and installation artist, active in France. He moved to Paris in 1974 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; he began exhibiting in the late 1980s, showing in France, Switzerland, Spain and Greece, among other places. Unlike many African artists living in Europe, he never felt dislocated. His sculptures, canvases and installation pieces combine all manner of found objects and other material that he manufactures himself. With these he comments on issues of representation and artistic practice in the Western world, at the same time evoking the presence and/or absence of humans, and therefore memory. The objects he uses are symbolic as well: eggs signify renewal, for instance. His compositions are simple and striking, as is his use of colour. In one work, for example, a ‘mummified’ figure appears on each side panel in the same thick white paint as the ground, holding a red rose against a metal plate. Against the black centre panel is an orange dress, under which are white flowers....

Article

Joanna Grabski

Senegalese sculptor and painter. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dakar (1993). As a student, he was inspired by the popular social movement Set Setal, which emphasized the role of Dakar’s citizens in cleaning up their surroundings and transforming used objects rather than abandoning them. His work focuses on the aesthetic interplay of recovered materials, as exemplified in Environnement 2 (...

Article

El Hadji Sy

Senegalese painter and sculptor. After graduating from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dakar (1977–81), he attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (1987–9). Characterized as an abstract realist, his extensive training is exemplified by his skill at combining visual elements from painting, sculpture and decorative art. Throughout his career he has explored themes of local life in urban Dakar, including ...

Article

El Hadji Sy

Senegalese painter, sculptor and teacher. After graduating from the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, in Dakar (1972–7), he attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure, Cachan, in France (1988). He took a position as a professor at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Dakar, in ...

Article

Algerian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 5 March 1948, in Oran.

Painter.

The grandson of a wood sculptor, Cherfaoui was a student at the fine arts school in Oran from 1962 before leaving for France in 1966. Here he attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Tourcoing, followed by the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes where he was awarded a diploma in decorative art. He returned to Algeria in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1974.

Born 27 October 1949, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor, engraver. Figures.

Sayed Darwiche learnt painting from his father, a calligrapher. He left Egypt after the two Egyptian-Israeli wars. His drawings and paintings show the figures of men, women and children, but through a violent form of expressionist deformation which approaches the work of the Abstract Expressionist artist Wilhem De Kooning, though his chosen blend of colours gives a sense of softness and luxury. Sayed Darwiche's sculptures, carved from old wood or quarried stone, come close to abstraction. They consist of curved, taut volumes whose sensual fullness contrasts with the ruggedness of his drawings and paintings....

Article

dele jegede

Nigerian sculptor, painter, and film maker, active in England. Born in Nigeria, Douglas Camp grew up in England but continued to visit Nigeria regularly. She was educated at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA, (1979–80) and the Central School of Art and Design, London (...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940.

Painter, sculptor, ceramicist.

Abdel El Dawakhli studied at Cairo's higher academy of art, then qualified as an art teacher from the San Fernando academy in Madrid and as a master potter and ceramicist from Madrid's central school. He was appointed professor at the higher academy of art in Cairo and, from ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in France.

Born 1950, in Casablanca.

Painter, sculptor, sculptor of assemblages, draughtswoman, illustrator.

Sylvia Elharar-Lemberg studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the art teachers training college in Tel Aviv. Her paintings and drawings create the effect of transparency and obliteration, often starting from the square design of a tetragram. She also creates assemblages, such as mysterious grills, iron rods placed alongside labels and photographic plates. Sylvia Elharar-Lemberg has shown at group exhibitions in France since ...