Strauss & Co highlights African talent at the 2024 Venice Biennale

Creative talent from the continent will contribute their knowledge and insight to the African Art in Venice Forum

By Your Luxury
Self Portrait by Gerard Sekoto

From a main exhibition featuring artists representing more than dozen African countries, to panel discussions with speakers such as curators such as Simon Njami, Akaye Kerunen and Beatrix Gassmann de Sousa, to the book launch of Globalisto: A Philosophy in Flux, Acts of an Imbizo with editor NtshepeBopape aka Mo Laudi; the African Art in Venice Forum (AAVF) will be a prestigious gathering of creative talent.

Established in 2017, the AAVF is a public and free discursive platform held biannually during the opening week of the Venice Biennale. Presented by African Art Dialogues in collaboration with Strauss & Co and Africa No Filter,   AAVF 2024 is presented by African Art Dialogues in collaboration with Strauss & Co and Africa No Filter, and will be held at the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, Venice. 


Participants in the forum include artists Euridice Zaituna, Emmanuel Ndefo and Tyna Adebowale. To mark the strong presence of African modernists at this year’s Venice Biennale, curator and writer Heba El Kayal will engage Frank Kilbourn, Executive Chairperson, Strauss & Co, in a conversation titled “What Should We Celebrate Now? Reimagining African Modernism”.

Additionally, works by 54 modern and contemporary artists – among them auction trailblazers Inji Efflatoun, Ben Enwonwu, George Pemba, Maggie Laubser, Gerard Sekoto and Irma Stern – will appear in curator Adriano Pedrosa’s main curated exhibition, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.” Kate Fellens, Head of International Business Development, Strauss & Co, says: “This is an auspicious year for African art, with a total of 13 African countries presenting official national pavilions at the 2024 Venice Biennale. It is the largest-ever participation by African nations in this acclaimed event’s 129-year history.”

The day will kick off with a breakfast reception hosted by Strauss & Co. RSVP is essential for this event. Other programme offerings include “Nomadic Voices: Asiko Art School and the Global Dialogue on Belonging”, which will be a panel with speakers  such as Igo Diarra (Founder and Director Galerie Médina) and Oyindamola Fakeye (Director Àsìkò Art School/ Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos). It will be moderated by  Dolly Kola Balogun (Founder & Creative Director Retro Africa). Another fascinating discussion will be on “The Missing Link: East Africa Modernism Reviewed”. This will feature MiftaZeleke (Curator & Scholar), Muhunyo Maina (Scholar), and George Kyeyune (Scholar).

Kate Fellens adds: “As Africa’s premier auction house, we are committed to providing the public with opportunities to discover, learn, discuss, explore and exchange information related to modern and contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas. The programme for AAVF 2024 perfectly fulfils this important educational role. Additionally, Strauss & Co has produced a handy downloadable visitor guide that aggregates details about all the art exhibitions featuring African and diasporic artists.”

For further information on AAVF 2024: www.aavforum.com / @aavforum 

For further information on Strauss & Co: www.straussart.co.za / @strauss_and_co

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