Thursday, March 28, 2013

Africa Unlimited at the Cloître des Billettes

Nomadic galeriste Aude Minart has once again mounted a spectacular exposition of African and African Diaspora art at the Cloître des Billettes. This one is called Africa Unlimited.

Guadeloupan artist Marie B’s Tango greets visitors at the entrance to the cloister, while her Totems duo stands against the southern wall. She is the only artist from the Americas whose work is represented. The other artists come from this side of the Atlantic.

Africa Unlimited – View from Entryway
© Discover Paris!

Totems (detail)
Marie B
© Discover Paris!

Wooden sculptures by Niko (France-Benin) once again dominate the open air patio of this medieval cloister,

Sculptures by Niko
© Discover Paris!

while bronze sculptures made using the lost wax casting technique are a prominent component of the smaller pieces displayed throughout the ambulatory.

Bronze sculpture (lost wax casting technique)
Hippolyte Congo – Burkina Faso
© Discover Paris!

By far, the most fascinating and colorful works in this exposition are the paintings and palettes created by Sudan’s Islam Zian-Alabdeen.

Islam Zian-Alabdeen with two of his paintings
© Discover Paris!

The works are incredibly intricate. All include images of and inspiration drawn from women, which I found to be an interesting coincidence since this exposition is being shown during Women’s History Month. Indeed, Zian-Alabdeen is deeply inspired by the persona of his mother, a person who he describes as being the ever-present nurturer, surveyor, and disciplinarian (indirectly through his father) of the family.

Vie de Femme (Woman’s Life)
Islam Zian-Alabdeen
© Discover Paris!

Palette by Islam Zian-Alabdeen
© Discover Paris!

Zian-Alabdeen also uses the symbolism of animals to weave narratives through his art. The fish symbolizes continuity and movement; the cat, love… His representations of everyday activities are bolstered by the power of ancient legends and customs of Nubia and each one has the ability to mesmerize those who gaze upon it.

Visitors to the exposition were intrigued by the works and generally enjoyed themselves.

Millie Cherfils, her child, and Tracye Matthews
© Discover Paris!

Visitors in west corridor of ambulatory
© Discover Paris!

Engrossed in art
© Discover Paris!

Africa Unlimited runs through Easter Sunday, March 31.

Cloître des Billettes
24, rue des Archives
75004 Paris
Metro: Hôtel de Ville (Lines 1, 11)
Weekdays and Saturdays: 11 AM to 7 PM
Sunday: 2 PM to 6 PM

Visit our Pinterest page to see more images of the works shown at this exposition. For information about the works and the artists, contact Aude Minart by e-mail at audeminart[at]hotmail[dot]com.


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