In 2019 we pushed forward with our mission to promote African contemporary art around the world. In this update, we look back at the year and highlight some accomplishments achieved via acquisitions, collaborations, new initiatives and other forms of artist support.
At a glance, in 2019 Africa First has:
- Acquired 100+ artworks by 40+ artists from 15 different countries
- Made 9 institutional loans
- Provided major support to 2 exhibitions
- Hosted 2 artist residencies
- Collaborated with 2 art fairs via art prizes and sponsorships
- Contributed to an artist’s first monograph
- Donated 1 work to a major North American museum
- Introduced numerous artists to new audiences via gallery exhibitions, social media and press, art fairs, auction consignments and museum loans.
In this 2nd half report we focus on 6 artists new to the collection by whom we’ve added several works: Julien Creuzet, Lunga Ntila, Wendimagegn Belete, Tuli Mekondjo, Kelechi Nwaneri and Mashudu Nevhutalu.
We also update on a number of collaborations and sponsorships with various galleries, artists, museums, researchers, art fairs and auction houses. Most importantly we are proud to announce our first museum donation of a work produced during the Africa First residency.
In some exciting news, the Africa First Collection has donated Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude's magnificent work, "The Coronation will be Televised" to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. The artwork was produced by Nyaude during the Africa First Residency in 2018, and is now officially part of the Smithsonian's African Art Collection. This marks the first artwork donated by the collection and is arguably the most significant 2019 milestone for the artist.
In November/December, it was a pleasure to host the artist and winner of the Africa First Award at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair - Mongezi Ncaphayi (b. 1983, South Africa). The residency culminated with a preview exhibition at my Jaffa home of the works produced. The same body of work will be featured in the VIP Lounge of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in February 2020. Ncaphayi's stay encouraged him to be audacious and resulted in a significant new direction for his practice, which will be publicly revealed for the first time at the Inaugural Stellenbosch Triennale’s main “Curators’ Exhibition”, running from February to April 2020.
In December, we were also pleased to collaborate with De Buck Gallery by lending works for their booth at the Untitled Art Fair in Miami, with stunning works by Wycliffe Mundopa produced during his Africa First residency in 2018. Mundopa's works were exhibited alongside the highly sought after African American artist Devan Shimoyama and rising star Amani Lewis.
As 2020 commences, we are continuing to promote contemporary African art through some exciting new collaborations with museums, auction houses, galleries, artists, and art fairs. More on these developments in the next “Vision” newsletter in July.
Please stay in touch and up to date by following the Africa First website and facebook page, as well as Serge Tiroche’s Instagram and new website sergetiroche.com
Wishing you an amazing start to the 2020s. Let’s keep the African contemporary market moving and the smiles going, even if (and when) global economic confidence falters. Art and artists will guide us to a better future, may the African voices be heard loud and clear everywhere we go.
Founder of the Africa First Collection