For the third edition, the contemporary art fair has been enhanced by the arrival of new galleries and young artists.
On both sides of the channel, with regard to contemporary African art, the market does not develop at the same pace. In London, Fair 1:54 experienced, in just five years, a rising growth, growing in New York and Marrakech. In Paris, AKAA (also known as Africa), which opens its doors to Carreau du Temple on November 9, is rather low. Canceled in 2015 after the attack, the show failed to go since it was launched in 2016. " In Paris, development takes longeradmits founder Victoria Mann. French collectors must be sure that this is not a flash of fire, a passing grace. The Paris market is more complex to work. "
This also applies to auctions. Only 30% of the customers of contemporary African art sales organized by Pias are French. " You really have to do pedagogical work, says Parisian gallerist Anne de Villepoix, who first participates in AKAA. Many French do not make the difference between African artists or African Americans! "
For Marc Stanesa, co-founder of the South African ebony gallery, French collectors can be more conservative, but solid. "These solid collectors, the Ela Espaço Luanda Arte gallery really do not exceed 2017. But for this Angolan brand, AKAA has a great advantage: its cost." The fair costs half by 1:54, and we have to make the elections because our currency is devalued by 60% in one year ", His director, Dominik Maia Tanner, justifies." Even if London is the capital of collectors, Paris remains an obvious destination for the West African gallery, Nicole Louis-Sidney, LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery Manager, is finally watching. We want to give another chance for the fair. "
Without re-competing with the fair 1:54, this third edition of AKAA has clearly improved with the arrival of new galleries. Watch Didier Claes! Great glittering arbor – is this really necessary? – serves as a showcase for some very beautiful subjects of classical African art in interaction with the drawings and sculptures of South African Kendell Geers. " We must show that African art is not limited to classical subjects. It continues to date, and present artists also look to the past "Says Didier Claes, who notes the porosity between two clients of classical and contemporary art.
Big names such as Kendell Geers and his colleague Roger Ballen, whose international market is still outstanding in a show that favors particularly younger artists such as Ivory Choana or Moroccan Safaa Erruas and some new discoveries such as Adjaratou Ouedraogo, presented by Anne de Villepoix. In the small, gentle and fake naive drawings exploring the issue of childhood, the 37-year-old Burkinabé is perfectly suited to these shifting bodies and minds. Another heart attack, in Magnin-A, the images of Malian Amadou Sanogua that mock African rulers and, more importantly, ruling. Delivered with musical instruments, but with a deaf head, they appear as good-looking speakers unable to think.
AKAA also does not forget the figures that have been established but unknown in France as Ivorian Ernest Dükü whose latest drawings schematize DNA nucleotides to better cope with other determinisms that gravitate to us. Among the re-discoveries, do not miss Jean Brolly in the Adam Adams Kouyaté, a malinois photographer who opened his first photo studio in 1949. If he did not live in Bamako, he did not know the same recognition as Malik Sidibé, which was too much to compare. However, black and white photographs are free from canonical studio photography with their lighting, shadows, sometimes very spontaneous shots, reflecting the rare complications between photographers and their models.
Another interesting discovery, Mozambol Ernesto Shikhani, known for his work at the time of decolonization, but whose art gallery is the most modern, opaque, with light palettes. So, AKAA gets on the right track. Slowly or, on the contrary, at your own pace.
Akaa, from 9 to 11 November at Carreau du Temple, 4, rue Eugène-Spuller, 75003 Paris. www.akaafair.com