Art

4000 years at the Wall House Museum, with Destinee Ross-Sutton

L'Officiel St Barth met with Destinee Ross-Sutton, curator of the exhibtion "4000 ANS" at the Wall House Museum, Saint Barthélemy, for an exclusive photoshoot. Photographer Camellia Ménard
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Blouse and skirt by Valentino

Until May 31st 2022 the Collectivité of Saint Barthélemy organizes at the Wall House Museum the first exhibition entirely dedicated to the arts of Africa, from the stone age until today.

Realized thanks to the contribution of the Ross-Sutton gallery of New York this presentation will allow the public to discover the extraordinary artistic wealth of the African patrimony and to learn a little bit more about a continent that has always fascinated art lovers. From prehistoric flint tools to contemporary oil paintings, through archeological pieces from West Africa, Congolese nail fetishes or a wide selection of masks of diverse origins this exhibition is the first to bring to Saint Barthélemy ancient works of art, intrinsically fragile and unique, to offer visitors an experience usually reserved to the people of Paris or New York.

The exhibition, built around the two axes of: Before and Now benefits from the major help of Mr Marc Léo Félix, internationally recognized expert of Congolese art and famous Belgian collector who volunteered with great generosity to loan over a hundred pieces from his private collection to this project. Among these we can highlight a few of them like the very important Luba chief stool that was exhibited at MOMA in 1935 in the first show about African art on US soil. A Djenne horse and rider from the 12th century, a 16th century bronze from the famous kingdom of Edo in present day Nigeria, powerful Songye or Bembe fetiches, delicate Teke neckrest, a beautiful Bisa figure from Zambia and other fascinating works of art and ethnography will be present. Another group of objects are on loan from the gallery of Patrick Mestdagh a renowned Bruxelles address, in particular a spectacular Kikuyu shield from Kenya along with some South African dolls and other beauties. A few American collectors, eager to participate will send some major works, like a very delicate Dogon maternity from Mali or a royal Ashanti throne. But works from Angola, Madagascar, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Sudan, Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mauritania, Liberia, etc. will be here too to give a full idea of the continent’s production over the centuries.

But you cannot talk about African art today without mentioning the wonderful renaissance of creativity that has been bringing record prices in contemporary auction rooms, along a frenzy of collectors, that would make the creators of yesterday proud. Today painters like Amoako Boafo (born in 1983) are stars. Jeff Bezos sent three of his paintings into space, Dior has collaborated with him, the Rubell museum of Miami made him their first artist in residence et every minute sees the waiting list to buy one of his works getting longer and longer. His 2017 self-portrait, that will be exhibited at the Wall House Museum is an ode to the history of Ghana by blending past and present through the representation of the Golden Stool, sacred and mysterious object from the Ashanti kingdom.

Other major contemporary artists like Romuald Hazoumé (Benin), who reinterprets traditional masks with an upcycling method, Otis Quaicoe (Ghana) and Oluwole Omofemi (Nigeria) will be represented by their huge portraits. The Nigerian Victor Ehikhamenor has made a piece specifically for the show. Three artists from South Africa working in photography and mixed media will be present. Overall, there will be 19 artists from eight different countries showing their works at the Wall House.
 
Complete list of contemporary artists:
From Ghana: Painting: Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Amoako Boafo, Isshaq Ismail, Mixed media: Rufai Zakari (using upcycled plastic to create painting like work)
Tanzania: Sungi Mlengeya (painting)
 Nigeria: Yinka Shonibare (sculpture), mixed media: Victor Ehikhamenor, Joshua Michael Adokuru, painting: Oluwole Omofemi, Johnson Eziefula
South Africa: Zanele Muholi (photography), Turiya Magadlela (mixed media, nylon stockings), Neo Matloga (mixed media, collage & painting)
Uganda: Stacey Gillian Abe (painting), Leilah Babirye (sculpture)
Kenya: Nedia Were (painting)
Benin: Romuald Hazoumè (sculpture, "upcycled art")
Mali: Malick Sidibé (photography)
 
Curator: Destinee Ross-Sutton @desti.knee @rosssuttongallery
Director Wall House Museum: Charles Moreau


Musée Territorial du Wall House
97133 Saint Barthélemy

This exhibition is open with no charge.
Tours and guides will be organized with schools so that every local child will have an opportunity to visit.
 

 

Blouse, skirt and shoes by Valentino
Blouse and skirt by Valentino
Shirt and shorts by Valentino, shoes by Verace
Dress and belt by Valentino
Dress and belt by Valentino

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