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SEE: This new book is putting Pan African Art in the spotlight

African Artists: From 1882 to Now explores the work of underrated and unacknowledged contemporary & modern African artists

By Amy Saunders  | November 16, 2021 | Category

Picture: African Artists: From 1882 to Now. Photo by Gabrielle Guy, gabrielleguy.com
Picture: African Artists: From 1882 to Now. Photo by Gabrielle Guy, gabrielleguy.com

Global publishing house Phaidon recently released African Artists: From 1882 to Now.

The title, which was released in late October 2021, couldn’t be more vital and relevant to the creative industry as a whole right now. As well as where we’re headed.

African Artists: From 1882 to Now features the work of more than 300 artists, including Nandipha Mntambo, El Anatsui, Marlene Dumas, David Goldblatt, Lubaina Himid, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu and Robin Rhode.

In addition to the heavyweight talent we expect to see in the book, another exciting detail is that the artists are listed in alphabetical order and features upcoming artists and creatives who are not as well known.

Each artist’s page includes their most prolific work paired with insightful commentary by art authorities. Renowned Nigerian artist, historian and professor Chika Okeke-Agulu and scholar and curator Joseph L. Underwood contributed to the African Artists: From 1882 to Now introduction and commentary.

According to Okeke-Agulu’s introduction, the book hopes to elicit vigorous conversation about the idea of art, Africa and modernity and showcase how pioneering and assertive postcolonial African culture was over forty years ago.

The African Artists: From 1822 to Now cover was designed by Cape Town-based designer Gabrielle Guy and drew inspiration from Ndebele painter Esther Mahlangu and cultural colour palettes of Mozambican textiles.

What we love about African Artists: From 1882 to Now is that it explores contemporary and modern art from Africa as a whole and showcases the innovation and unmatched creativity of an entire continent. This is a definite must read.