Ilunga, Untitled, n.d., oil on paper, 13 3/4 × 17 1/8". From “Beauté Congo, Congo Kitoko 1926–2015.”


“Beauté Congo, Congo Kitoko 1926–2015”

Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain
261 boulevard Raspail
July 11–November 15

Curated by André Magnin

This expansive and ambitious show will survey a century of modern and contemporary art in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Drawing upon the region’s rich legacy of painting, it will feature works by familiar names from the 1920s such as Albert Lubaki and Djilatendo; by Bela Sara and Pili Pili Mulongoy, members of the midcentury workshop Atelier du Hangar; and by post-’80s international stars Chéri Samba, Moke, and Chéri Cherin. While these will mingle with virtuosic street portraits by Kinshasa photographer Jean Depara, fantastic sculptural models by Bodys Isek Kingelez and Rigobert Nimi, and performances scheduled throughout the exhibition’s run, whether the show will do more than reiterate the already-prevalent notion that Congo art has been and is still dominated by so-called “popular” painting remains to be seen.