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African art is commanding increased attention on the international stage. We highlight 6 new generation African artists to know, who through their thought-provoking work are helping to shape contemporary art across the African continent, whilst making their mark internationally.

Fally Sene Sow – Senegal

Glass Painting by Fally Sene Sow Contemporary African Art
[Image credits: Main, My House B; and above Louma by Fally Sene Sow courtesy SBK]

Fally Sene Sow is a Senegalese artist who produces intricate artworks using glass panels as his canvas. Sow’s work is inspired by the vibrancy, colours and bustle of Dakar’s city life. Created on the underside of the glass Sow’s mix of multimedia collage made with a variety of found objects, inks and paints is a modern take on the Senegalese art form Sous-verre, which means ‘under glass’. The reflection of the glass serves to give his work luminosity and depth.

Nelsa Guambe – Mozambique

Novocomeço Nelsa Guambe Abstract painting
[Image credit: Nelsa Guambe, Novo Começo 2015 courtesy the artist]

Nelsa Guambe is a Mozambican artist who lives and works in Maputo. Guambe is a sAelf-taught artist. Painting and photography are the main mediums she uses to explore local and wider African vibrations her detailed compositions drawing inspiration from the things that inspire and awaken people in a social context.

Eddy Kamuanga iLunga – DRC

Painting by Eddy Kamuanga ILunga Contemporary African Art
[Image credit: Eddy Kamuanga ILunga, Reconnaissance 2, 2016 courtesy October Gallery]

Eddy Kamuanga iLunga hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He studied at the Institute of Fine Art in Kinshasa, the city where he lives and works. iLunga’s artworks are visually commanding, majestic pieces characterised by bold vibrant colour, detailed patterns and texture. He draw on influences from contemporary culture including fashion, music and digital imagery combining this with references from traditional culture. iLunga is the founder of M’Pongo, collective of young artists in the city whose work seeks to explore and find a unique creative voice and style of expression.

Kudzanai Chiurai – Zimbabwe

Digital Art Kudzanai Chiurai Zimabwbean artist
[Image credit: Kudzanai Chiurai, Untitled VIII, 2011 courtesy Goodman Gallery]

Kudzanai Chiurai is a Zimbabwean artist and activisti living and working in South Africa. He graduated in Fine Art from the University of Pretoria. Chiurai’s work is characterised by his use of mixed media that sees collages combining drawings, paintings, photography and the use of video to create films. The vivid depictions telling the stories of the issues close to his heart and impacting a generation. He mainly uses his work to comment on the social, political and cultural issues affecting his home country, with power and corruption across the continent in general a recurring them

Ndidi Emefiele – Nigeria

Ndidi Emefiele Mixed Media Contemporary African Art
[Image credit: Ndidi Emefiele Into the Wall II courtesy Omenka Gallery]

Ndidi Emefiele uses her artwork to protest social issues, mainly the consumption and discard culture that pervades her home country of Nigeria, where she earned a BA in Painting from Delta State University in Abraka Emefiele uses found materials and scraps of fabric – link to her interest in fashion. Emefiele also uses her work to comment on culture with women being a main focus as she explores and observes the cultural pressures of family, society, economic and religious constraints so often put on women in various parts of her country

Paul Onditi – Kenya

Paul Onditi Alien Blot Contemporary African Art
[Image credit: Paul Onditi, Alien Blot courtesy ARTLabAfrica]

Kenyan artist Paul Onditi, trained in Germany. His studio is at the Kuona Trust, a centre for visual arts in Nairobi. Onditi works with a range of mediums ranging from acrylic, oil paint to film strips and digital print. His mixed media artworks are reflections on life explorations of the human condition and the conflicts within, presented in a dream-like vision of mysterious shadowy figures, symbols and graphic, and abstract elements and imagery drawn from nature.

Abdelaziz Haounati – Morocco

Abdelaziz Haounati Dentiste Contemporary African Art
[Image credit: Abdelaziz Haounati, Dentiste courtesy Saatchi Art]

The work of Moroccan artist Abdelaziz Haounati depicts everyday life situations, and portraits of Moroccan personalities. Often whimsical and humorous in nature Haounati’s artworks are characterised by geometric shapes in a style reminiscent of cubism, the shapes juxtaposed to reveal the subjects of his focus. Bright vivid colours add drama and energy to his painted compositions

I hope you enjoyed and are inspired by the selections that provide a glimpse into what is a dynamic and flourishing art scene with so many more amazing African artists to get to know and support.

– Tapiwa 

[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from main: Nelsa Guambe, SBK Kunstuitleen & Galerie, October Gallery, Omenka Gallery, ART LabAfrica, Saatchi Art. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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