Congo Art Works – Popular painting

BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussel, Belgium
07 Oct 2016 - 22 Jan 2017

Congo Art Works – Popular painting

Chéri Chérin, Le chemin de l'exil, Kinshasa 2004 © MRAC, Tervuren

This exhibition reveals, for the first time in Belgium, part of the collection of historian Bogumil Jewsiewicki (Université Laval, Canada). Recently acquired by the RMCA, the collection was assembled between 1968 and 2011.

Just like music and dance, popular painting is inextricably linked to daily life; and this is also the case in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It gives us an impression of the collective memory and this is clear to see in this exhibition of paintings from 1968-2012. Portraits, landscapes and allegorical paintings alternate with urban scenes, historical figures and critical reflections on religion, politics and social problems. Humour is never far away. Historical objects, photos, drawings and archive footage provide a broader perspective and similarities to older art and other genres from Congo are clearly visible. The meaning behind popular paintings doesn’t seem to be fundamentally different from the role which older art forms played in Congolese society.

Curators: Bambi Ceuppens (anthropologist) and Sammy Baloji (artist)

An exhibition of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels.





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