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Algerian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949, in Constantine.

Painter, miniaturist. Local scenes, scenes with figures, landscapes.

Nasreddine Abbassi was a student at the Algiers school of art. After doing a number of different jobs, he decided to take up painting as a full-time profession. Since ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1929.

Engraver.

Mariam Abdel Aleem studied at the institute of art in 1954, and also studied engraving and printing in the USA. She was subsequently appointed professor at Alexandria's faculty of fine art.

She has taken part in a number of important group exhibitions, including the Biennale of engraving at Ljubljana and ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1916, in Mallawi; died July 2004.

Sculptor. Animals.

Abdel Badi Abdel Hay studied sculpture in the free section of Cairo University's arts faculty. He often worked with hard stone such as granite, sometimes sculpting animal-like figures, elongating the surface area of his works to create work reminiscent of Pompon and Brancusi....

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

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1932.

Painter.

Raouf Abdel Méguid studied at the arts faculty in Cairo in 1955, continuing his studies in Rome in 1959. He was later appointed Professor at the faculty where he had studied as a young man. His painting incorporates traditional motifs from Arabic architectural design which he reworks, often in a playful manner....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Alexandria.

Painter.

Moustapha Abdel Mooti studied at the fine arts faculty in Alexandria and was later appointed Professor there.

He paints monumental geometric forms, spheres on top of pyramids or pyramids on top of spheres or cubes, for example, which sometimes appear to punctuate dreamlike spaces, as in his work ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 3 October 1890, in Mehdia, Algeria.

Painter, draughtsman. Nudes, portraits, landscapes.

Gilani Abdul-Wahab worked mainly in France. He began his artistic education in 1921 at the free academies of Montparnasse in Paris and at the Académie Julian....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1944, in Menoufia.

Painter. Figures.

Abou Chadi has taken part in a number of local group exhibitions. He was selected to participate in the exhibition entitled Aspects of Contemporary Egyptian Art ( Visages de l'art contemporain égyptien) at the Musée Galliera in Paris in ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th century, female.

Born 13 July 1911, in Jerusalem.

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist. Portraits.

Maïa Abourisk studied initially at Casablanca's school of fine art and then under the guidance of the orientalist painter, Lucien Mainssieux. She mainly paints portraits of famous Moroccan figures. Her works include ...

Article

Simon Njami

(b Contou, 1942).

Beninois installation artist. He studied law in France, and it was not until he returned to Benin in 1971 that he became an artist, by accident. Considered mad by his family, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital a few times before encountering Jean Michel Rousset, a young Frenchman who reassured him about his talent. In his compound Adaeagbo creates an ever-changing assemblage of found materials: sculptures, stones, clothing, newspapers. New materials are added, and old objects are rearranged. These creations function as historical documents of his times, as well as of particular days, as he works each day after his walks. His work has been described as reflecting and evoking the ‘madness in words’: the inability to understand words, and the conflicts that arise from this lack of understanding. It can also be seen as a comment on his own life and the suffering of a misunderstood artist. In Adaeagbo’s smaller pieces, objects are combined with a greater emphasis on symbolic intent than aesthetic concerns. He has exhibited at the Institut Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (...

Article

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

Born 23 June 1929, in Johannesburg; died 31 December 2006, in London.

Painter, printmaker, draughtsman.

Albert Adams moved to Cape Town with his mother and sister at the age of four. After high school he studied at Hewat College, and attended art classes with Peter Clarke; he was refused entrance to the Michaelis School of Fine Art because of the colour of his skin....

Article

Beninese, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Cotonou.

Installation artist.

Adéagbo formerly studied law in France. On the death of his father, he returned to Benin in 1971. He has not followed the traditional 'head of the family' role by choosing a dependable profession, but rather spends his time creating what the art milieux in the West call installations. He has been sectioned on several occasions at the request of his family. It has taken him several years to be able to assert his way of living....

Article

Nigerian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1954, in Idanre.

Painter. Genre scenes, scenes with figures.

Tayo Adenaike studied under the painter Udechukwu, who influenced many artists. He paints Nigerian society in the uli style, which takes its inspiration from the traditional forms of expression used by women and in particular old decorative motifs of an abstract nature. He participated in ...

Article

Bolaji V. Campbell

[Adenake, A. O.]

(b Idanre, April 27, 1954).

Nigerian painter. He received his BA from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1974), and his MFA from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1982), where he trained with Uche Okeke and Obiora Udechukwu. Udechukwu's influence can be seen in Adenaika's use of uli, akika and nsibidi motifs (see under Ejagham and Africa §V 3.). He inflected these designs with Yoruba characteristics and used them to reflect current issues as well as depict folktales. He is a third-generation Nsukka painter (see Nigeria, Federal Republic of §V) and one of the first non-Igbo uli artists. The watercolours he uses are an ideal medium because their fluidity matches the flow of uli line. In the 1990s he was artistic director of an advertising agency in Enugu, and he has served as art editor for the journal Okike, as well as designing book covers.

‘The Influence of Uli Art on Contemporary Nsukka School Painting’, ...

Article

Kristina Borrman

(b Dar es Salaam, Sept 22, 1966).

British architect of Tanzanian birth and Ghanaian descent. David Adjaye’s projects span a wide range of architectural categories including residential buildings, retail spaces, civic buildings, and art installations. After establishing his own practice in 2000, Adjaye’s work inspired critics and historians to consider his buildings in terms of their carefully considered spatial relationships to their sites, the intense multi-sensory experiences they offer users, and their interrogation of architecture’s ability to communicate ideas concerning place, identity, and symbolic value.

David Adjaye was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1966. As the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, Adjaye was already well travelled by the age of 13, having resided in the Middle East and Africa before moving to London. In 1986 Adjaye received his diploma in art and design from Middlesex College. Two years later he secured a job with the offices of Chassay Architects in London while concurrently studying for his architecture BA at Southbank University. The programme at Southbank structured Adjaye’s studies to prepare him for the three-part Royal Institute of British Architects Examinations, the successful completion of which officially deemed Adjaye a fully qualified architect in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born in Constantinople.

Painter. Genre scenes.

Suzanne Adly exhibited some genre paintings of the Near East at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1931.

Article

Nigerian, 20th century, male.

Painter.

Afolabi is one of the representatives of Oshogbo art, which explores 'the Yoruba myths using modern pictorial techniques' and which is characterised by 'its expressivity, its sensual colours and fantastical or surreal compositions' (Jutta Stöter-Bender).

Stöter-Bender, Jutta: L'Art contemporain dans les pays du "tiers-monde"...

Article

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

[Afro-American; Black American]

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 (see fig.).

Regenia Perry, revised by Christina Knight

The first African American artist to be documented was Joshua Johnson, a portrait painter who practised in and around Baltimore, MD. Possibly a former slave in the West Indies, he executed plain, linear portraits for middle-class families (e.g. Sarah Ogden Gustin, c. 1798–1802; Washington, DC, N.G.A.). Only one of the approximately 83 portraits attributed to Johnson is signed, and none is dated. There are only two African American sitters among Johnson’s attributions. Among the second generation of prominent 19th-century African American artists were the portrait-painter ...

Article

Theresa Leininger-Miller

[Negro Colony]

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

David Murphy

African film refers to a corpus of work whose geographical and historical range remains ambiguous. African film criticism emerged in the late 1980s–early 1990s as a distinct body of research within the Anglophone academy. Landmark early texts, such as Manthia Diawara’s African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992) and Frank Ukadike’s Black African Cinema (1994) defined the parameters of the field, which largely remained in place until quite recently: African cinema came to refer to work from sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from the former French colonies, and a template for the appreciation of these movies was established, focusing either on their ‘political’ qualities as ideologically motivated works of ‘Third Cinema’ or on their ability to develop a distinctively African aesthetic. North Africa’s rich film heritage was excluded due to the perceived socio-cultural differences between ‘black’ and ‘Arab’ Africa, and the diverse body of film-making from South Africa was understandably approached with caution as the continent’s sleeping cinematic giant was only just emerging from the nightmare of apartheid. This left Francophone Africa as the main player in the field of film-making, for the former French colonial masters had begun to invest in film production, initially in West Africa, almost immediately after independence. As a result of this self-conscious filtering of the available material, it soon became a received critical idea that (black) African cinema had been born in Senegal when ...