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Contemporary African Art Collection by Jean Pigozzi

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Moke

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Born 1950, Ibe, Bandundu Province, Belgian Congo
Died in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2001

Seen rightly as a “painter reporter” of city life, Moke was among the leading artists of the school of popular painting that sprung up in Kinshasa in the first decade of Zaïre’s independence. He arrived in Kinshasa at the age of ten, living hand to mouth and day by day. Discovering that there was a market for paintings, he taught himself how to render landscapes on discarded pieces of cardboard. In 1965 he painted a picture representing General Mobutu waving to the crowds as he led the parade commemorating Independence Day; this composition, which he returned to many times in later years, launched Moke’s career. He set up a studio at the crossroads of Kasa Vubu and Bolobo avenues, the district where many billboard and advertising artists worked, and immersed himself in the daily life of the city from which he drew his inspiration.

Moke adopted the conventions of commercial art, boldly outlining his robust figures without concern for likeness or perspective. Instead, he celebrated the painterly aspects of his art, using a rich palette and vividly animated compositions. Unlike Chéri Samba or Cheik Ledy, who were to follow in his footsteps, Moke rarely depicted social conflict. Rather, his sympathetic and vivaciously humorous paintings were grounded in his observation of daily life in Kinshasa: street scenes, bars, the local dandies known as sapeurs, the powerful Miziki (associations of financially independent women), all-night parties, neighborhood disputes, and public ceremonies all found their way into his canvases.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014
Moké, une collection particulière 1991-1992, Galerie Espace Lorraine, Brussels

2002
Afrique dans les murs
Les Naufragés du Temps
St Malo - France

2002
Monsenguro Kejwamfi dit Peitre Moke « Grand maître de la peinture zaïroise »
MAMCO - Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain
Geneva - Switzerland

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
The Great Animal Orchestra, Fondation Cartier Paris, France

2015
Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier, Paris, France

2014
Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

2013
Peintres reporters de l’urbanité, à Kinshasa, Latitude 21, Dijon, France

2011
JapanCongo
Magasin Grenoble, France
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia

2010
African Stories
Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech

Africa 2.0, Is there a contemporary african art?, Influx Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal

2007/ 2008
Popular Painting from Kinshasa, Tate Modern, London

Why Africa?, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy

2007
Tohu Bohu à Kinshasa. Peintures populaires et installations, Musée de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

2006
100% Africa
Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Spain

2005
Arts of Africa
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco - France

2005
African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Art Houston
Houston - USA

15 ans de transition, Memling Hotel, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

2004
Peinture populaire congolaise
ADEIAO – Centre d’Etudes Africaines
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme
Paris – France

2003
Kin Moto na Bruxelles
Hôtel de Ville
Brussels – Belgium

2003
Regards Croisés
La Galerie d’Art de Creteil
Créteil - France

2003
Der Rest der Welt
Neuffer am Park
Pirmasens, Germany

2002
"MOKE"
MAMCO, Geneva.

2002
"Kinshasa, Congo" Moke, Cheri Samba, Rigobert.
Espace Croisé, Conntemporary Art Center. Roubais, France.

2001
Un Art Populaire
Cartier Fondation for Contemporary Art.
Paris, France.

1995-1996
An Inside Story : African Art of our Time Beyong Art.
Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo.
The Tokushima Modern Art Museum.
Himeji City Museum of Art.
Koriyama City Museum of Art.
Marugame Inokuma-Genichiro Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Museum of fine Art, Gifu.
JAPAN.

1993-1994
Skizzen eines Projektes
Afrika Im Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst.
Ludwig, Germany.

1992
Out of Africa
Saatchi Gallery.
London, Great Britain.

1991-1992
Africa Hoy / Africa Now
Atlantic Center of Modern Art.
Las Palmas -Gran Canary,
Cultural Center of Contemporary Art
Mexico City.
Groningen Museum.
Groningen, Holland.

1991
Ny Afrikansk Billedkunst Rundetarn.
Copenhagen, Danemark.

1985
Peintre Populaires du Zaire
L'art vivant d'Afrique Centrale
Montreal University
Marius-Barbeau Museum.
Gallery Trompe-l'oeil - Media Center.
Quebec.

1979
Moderne Kunst aus Afrika, Horizante'79
Stautliche Kunsthalle Berlin, Germany.

1978
Art Partout
Fine Art Academy, CIAF, Kinshasa.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2015
Beauté Congo 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko, Fondation Cartier, Exhibition catalogue

2015
Krause-Wahl, Antje, Schütze, Irene, Aspekte Künstlerischen Schaffens Der Gegenwart, Weima, 2015

2006
100% Africa
Exhibition catalogue. Published by TF Editores & FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

2005
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.

2004
Moke, Chéri Samba: peinture populaire congolaise, Volume 21 des Cahiers de l'ADEIAO, Éditeur ADEIAO ; Centre d'Études Africaines (EHESS-CNRS) ; Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 2004

2003
Kin Moto na Bruxelles
Exhibition catalogue. Edited by Bruxelles-Musées-Expositions. Published by Ville de Bruxelles.

2003
Der Rest der Welt
Exhibition catalogue. Pirmasens, Germany.

2002
Titouan, Congo, Kinshasa.
Moke: Peintre reporter de l'urbanité -André Magnin.
Text in French.
Edition Gallimard.

2001
Un Art Populaire
Exhibition catalogue, texts in French.
Cartier Fondation for Contemporary Art.
Edited by Acte Sud, France.

2001
An / Sichten. Malerei aus dem Kongo 1990-2000.
Kinshasa - Kin Kiese by Bogumil Jewsiewicki.
Edition : Springer-Verlag/Wien und Museum für Volkerkunde.
Vienna, Austria.

2001
A History of Art in Africa
Contemporary Urban and International Art, Moke p.408-411.
Edition Prentice Hall/ Abraams.

1996
Contemporary Art of Africa,
Moke p.164-167 by Jacques Soulillou.
Edited by André Magnin and Jacques Soulillou.
Publisher Harry N. Abraams.

1991
Africa Hoy / Africa Now
Exhibition catalogue.
Moke p.169-177.
Atlantic Center of Modern Arte.
Las Palmas Gran Canary, Spain.


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