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Article

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

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

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

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...

Article

Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 12 February 1977, in Lomé.

Painter (mixed media).

Félix Agbokou studied under Sokey Edoth between 1996 and 1999. He abandoned realism in favour of depicting a fantasy world, and his paintings are spontaneous to the extent that they have no predefined theme. Painted at night and by candlelight, each series of paintings is directly inspired by its immediate surroundings: Lomé, Kouma, Abouri or Ghana. Agbokou uses materials that come readily to hand - leaves of indigenous plants or the bark of local trees - and mixes them with acrylic paint, outlining his forms and individual colours with a black line obtained from a mixture of coconut milk and old nails. His work has featured at group exhibitions, including the ...

Article

Beninese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1964.

Painter (mixed media).

Simplice Ahouansou is self-taught. In a manner that shows affinities with Surrealism, some of his paintings comment with irony on certain aspects of modern Western civilisation, such as communication, or protection of private property, while other works seem more firmly anchored in the artistic traditions of his native country of Benin....

Article

Tanzanian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950.

Painter. Scenes with figures, animals.

Abdallah Ajaba's work is reminiscent of that of Tinga Tinga and Linda to the extent that his square-format paintings depict animals, village scenes and ornamental elements derived from the traditional decorations applied to house façades and walls in his native Tanzania....

Article

Tunisian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1952, in Tunisia.

Calligrapher, painter.

Abdallah Akar was born in southern Tunisia and arrived in Paris at the end of the 1960s. He studied drawing, painting and, in particular, calligraphy with the Iranian master Ghani Alani. He has taught calligraphy at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris since ...

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

Angolan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Belgium from 1987.

Born 8 August 1963, in Luanda, Angola, of Portuguese origin.

Painter, collage artist, installation artist.

Fernando Alvim has lived and worked in Luanda, Brussels and Johannesburg. In Brussels he founded Camouflage, Europe's first centre of contemporary African art, the counterpart of the centre in Johannesburg. His work derives from memory, particularly of the war liberating Angola from colonialism, a war whose horror and misery he lived through. A particular vision of African tradition expresses itself through his painting....

Article

Egyptian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 1963, in Cairo.

Draughtswoman, embroiderer.

Ghada Amer grew up in Paris. She studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nice before travelling to the USA where she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She lives and works in both New York and Paris. In 2005 she was Artist in Residence at Kansas City Art Institute....

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

Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 4 July 1970, in Lomé.

Painter (mixed media).

Bethel Aniaku has shown his work at group exhibitions since 1993, including at the Goethe institute in Lomé (1994); the Salon International des Arts Plastiques (Sarakawa Hotel, Lomé, 1996...

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 – 21st century, male.

Active in France since 1977.

Born 1955, in Ittourar.

Installation artist, painter. Urban landscapes, Still-lifes.

Aoun Arezki studied at the schools of fine art in Algiers and Paris, and worked in the studio of Jean Clos in Paris.

In his early work, he painted large, abstract canvases and created installations that featured reproductions of devastated nomadic Arab encampments. He then spent an increasing amount of time on his painting, developing a deliberately limited artistic vocabulary. Paper that has been left in the sun is then glued to the canvas (using the technique of marouflage). The range of colours employed has also been reduced: ashy greys and rusty reds now contrast with large white surfaces divided into diptychs. Space and material are thus juxtaposed in large-scale works, usually with no title, featuring sketches of geometrical shapes....

Article

Carol Magee

Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in ...

Article

Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 11 November 1968, in Lomé.

Painter (mixed media).

A self-taught artist, Tetevi Azankpo works with recycled materials such as rusting receptacles, lengths of metal wire and rubber to produce fantasy figurines.

He has exhibited at group exhibitions, among them ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France since 1970.

Born c. 1946, in Casablanca.

Painter.

Mohammed Azouzi lives and works in Paris. He studied at Casablanca's school of fine art from 1967 to 1970, at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1970 to 1971...

Article

Tunisian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 20 February 1949, in Mjaz-El-Bab.

Painter.

Brahim Azzabi studied at the Technology and Art Institute in Tunis from 1975 to 1979. In 1976 and 1977, he spent a period of study at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris....

Article

El Hadji Sy

Senegalese painter. Primarily an autodidact, he also learnt engraving at the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, Dakar, in 1975. His early work was often rendered in china ink, but he later worked mainly with oil or acrylic paint. In the 1980s and 1990s his canvases focused on the world of Fulani cow herders, as seen in Vache (...