The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

Kingelez Bodys Isek

Born in 1948, Kimbembele Ihunga, Democratic Republic of Congo
Died in 2015 in Kinshasa

In the hands of Bodys Isek Kingelez, the African metropolis becomes an urban utopia. After graduating from secondary school, Kingelez made Kinshasa his home in 1970. Over the next seven years he studied part time, supporting himself through teaching. During these years, Kinshasa had become a sprawling, chaotic, anarchic city that was falling apart. Kingelez, highly aware of this, dedicated himself aesthetically, politically, and poetically to questioning the human condition, and after 1977, he began to experiment with assembling fantastic structures that offered a redemptive vision for the city. Since 1985, Kingelez has dedicated himself entirely to what he calls “Architectural Modelism.” For Kingelez, this project is one of regeneration; he has stated, “Art is superior knowledge, a vehicle for individual renewal in improving the general well-being.”

He has created hundreds of models from found materials in which paper, cardboard, and plastic are used to construct the present, the future, and the hopes of an African renewal. After 1992, he started imagining entire cities. These colossal works are made up of buildings—some playful, some imposing, some utterly fantastic—that are incorporated into a carefully conceived urban grid. Avenues, parks, waterways, stadiums, and monuments are also part of Kingelez’s meticulous vision. Together these elements fulfill all the functions of an ideal metropolis that the artist would like to see built. His first city was called Kimbembele Ihunga, to honour his native village, his dead father and his mother, who still lives there. About these works—Ville Fantôme (1995), Kinshasa: Project for the Third Millennium (1997), the City of the Future (2000), he noted: “I wanted my art to serve the community that is being reborn to create a new world, because the pleasures of our earthly world depend on the people who live in it. I created these cities so there would be lasting peace, justice and universal freedom. They will function like small secular states with their own political structure, and will not need policemen or an army.”


Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, MoMA, New York, USA from 05/26/18 to 01/01/19

Perspectives 145 : Bodys Isek Kingelez, Nina and Michael Zilkha Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, United States

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Centre culturel Wolu-Culture, La Médiatine, Brussels, Belgium

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Munich Villa Stuck, Germany.

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Kunstverein Hambourg, Germany.

D'autres Ajouts d'Eté, Bodys Isek Kingelez, MAMCO Contemporary and Modern Art Museum, Geneva, Switzerland.

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Cartier Fondation for Contemporary Art, Paris, France.

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Berlin, Germany.


Christian Louboutin: l'Exhibition[niste], Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris, France (0/26/20 - 07/26/20)

Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier. Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (04/26/17 to 09/04/17)

Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
(from 12/09/16 to 05/27/17)

Making Africa - A Continent of Contemporary Design, CCCB, Barcelona, Spain

2050. A Brief History of the Future, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy

2050 Une brève histoire de l'avenir, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

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

AFRIKA, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark

Making Africa : A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

(im)possible! Artists as Architects, Marta Herford (Gehry galleries), Herford, Germany

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

Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Vivid Memories, Fondation Cartier pour l'Art contemporain, Paris

The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London, UK

Jan 29 - May 6
Six Yards Guaranteed Dutch Design, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, The Netherlands

Postmodernism, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

2011 - 2012
Mondes inventés, Mondes habités, MUDAM, Luxembourg

JAPANCONGO: Carsten Höller’s double-take on Jean Pigozzi’s collection,
Le Magasin, Centre national d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France

JAPANCONGO: Carsten Höller’s double-take on Jean Pigozzi’s collection,
Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia

Dreamlands, Pompidou Center, Paris, France

African Stories , Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech, Morocco

2009 - 2010
Africa? Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

2007 - 2008
Why Africa? Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy

2006 - 2007
100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum , Bilbao, Spain

Aller / retour. L’Afrique, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, United States

Arts of Africa, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Houston, United States

Arti & Architettura 1900/2000, Genova Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy

Africa Remix
Art contemporain d’un continent (travelling exhibition)
* 24 July 2004 - 7 Nov 2004
Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
* 10 Feb 2005 - 17 April 2005
Hayward Gallery, London, UK
* 15 May 2005 - 20 Aug 2005
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
* Feb - May 2006
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
* 24 June – 30 Sept 2007
Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Les Afriques, Tri Postal , Lille, France

Je m’installe aux abattoirs, La collection d’art contemporain d’agnès b., Les Abattoirs , Toulouse - France

The American Effect, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, United Sates

Transferts, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium

2002 – 2003
Afrikanische Reklamekunst (L’art et la pub en Afrique), Iwalewa-Haus, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany.

Sao-Paulo Biennal, Sao-Paulo, Brazil.

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Ludwig Museum. Cologne, Germany

Musée International des Arts Modestes, Sète, France.

Sydney Biennal. Sydney, Australia

Vision du Futur, Grand Palais. Paris, France

Zeitwenden, Kunsterhaus.Vienna, Austria

Zeitwenden, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Art-Worlds in Dialogue, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany

1 Monde Réel, Cartier Fondation for Contemporary Art. Paris, France

The 1999 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, United States

Unfinished Story, Walker Art Center. Minneapolis, United States.
Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Chicago, United States

Africa Africa, Tobu Museum of Art., Tokyo, Japan.

Africus, Johannesburg Biennal. Johannesburg, South-Africa

Projects 59 : Architecture as Metaphor, Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States.

Kwangju Biennal. Unmapping the Earth, "Becoming", Kwangju, South-Korea

Wall and Space. Reality and Utopia. Bodys Isek Kingelez Architectural Visions. Oksnehallen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Neue Kunst Aus Africa, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany

Big City, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK

Home and the World Architectural Sculpture by two African Artists, The Museum for African Art, New York, United States

Out of Africa, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

Africa Hoy-Africa Now, Moderno Art Center, Las Palmas Gran Canary Island, Spain.
Groningen Museum, The Netherland
Contemporary Art Center. Mexico City, Mexico

Magiciens de la Terre, Georges Pompidou Center
La Grande Halle de la Villette.
Paris, France.


Contemporary African Art
Sidney Littlefield Kasfir
Collection World of Art (2nd Edition), Thames&Hudson, London

1-54 New York
Art Africa Ltd. Fair Catalogue p.41

Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Editions Dilecta, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France. Catalogue d’exposition.

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

2050. Une brève histoire de l'avenir, Exhibition catalogue, Musées des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Editions Snoek

Ma première histoire de l'art, Béatrice Fontanel, Editions Palette, pg 114.

Mémoires Vives, 30 ans Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Exhibition catalogue, Fondation Cartier

Hohe Luft Magazine, Issue 4/2014, pgs 70-1.

Skycraper : Art and Architecture Against Gravity Michael Darling, Joanna Szupinska
Publié à l'occasion de l'exposition "Skycraper : Art and Architecture Against Gravity" au Musée d'Art Contemporain de Chicago.Préface de Madeleine Grynsztejn. Commissaires : Michael Darling, Joanna Szupinska. 112 pages -21 x 34 cm. Editions MCA Chicago, Août 2012. Relié

2011 - 2012
Postmodernism, Style and Subversion, 1970-1990, Exhibition catalogue, Victoria & Albert Museum, edited by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt, page 93

Dreamlands, des parcs d'attraction aux cités du futur
Exhibition catalogue. Pp 132-133 Published by Editions Centre Pompidou.

Edited by Richard Noble. Published by Whitechapel Hallery Ventures & The MIT Press.

Africa? una nuova storia
Exhibition catalogue, published by Gangemi Editore
The Global Art World
Edited by Hans Belting & Andrea Buddensieg.

Jahresting 49, Herausgegeben im Auftrag des Kulturkreises des Deutschen Wirtschaft, Der Hund ist fûr die Hyane eine Kolanuss, Zeitgenössische Kunst und Kultur aus Afrika. K ̈ln Skulptur“, Aufzeichnungen des künstlers, texte : Bodys Isek Kingelez, Köln.Phantasie und Forschergeist, Mit Kindren kûnstlerische Wege entdecken, auteur : Thomas Heyl, Kôsel-Verlag, 2008, Munich.

Atlas de l'art contemporain à l'usage de tous
Denis Gielen, préface de Laurent Busine
Musée des Arts Contemporains au Grand-Hornu

Why Africa?
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Electa & Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli.

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

Art Works : Place
By Tacita Dean & Jeremy Millar. Published by Thames & Hudson.

Perspectives 145: Bodys Isek Kingelez
Exhibition catalogue. Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Skira Edition & Grimaldi Forum Monaco.

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

Africa Remix
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Hatje Cantz.

FILM “Kingelez: Kinshasa, une ville repensée…”
Un film de Dirk Dumon. Production : Piksa. 29’40” mins.

GAGARIN, Volume 04 # May 2003
Published by GAGA vzw, Antwerp, Belgium

The American Effect
Global Perspectives on the United States, 1990-2003
P. 45 – 47. Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, United States
Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc, New York.

Africalia in collaboration with the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

Bodys Isek Kingelez
Exhibition Catalogue, Médiatine, Bruxelles - Belgium. Textes par André Magnin. Edition : Wolu-Culture, Centre culturel de Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.

Documenta 11_Platform 5
Exhibition Catalogue. Editions Hatje Cantz.

Bodys Isek Kingelez
Kunstverein in Hamburg.
Texts in German, French and English by Bodys Isek Kingelez, André Magnin, Okwui Enwezor
Yilmaz Dziewior. Editor : Hatje Cantz.

Kunst-Welten im Dialog Von Gaugin zur Globalen Gegenwart
Global Art Rheinland 2000 Museum Ludwig Cologne.
Edition Dumont. -Kingelez, texts: André Magnin.

Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum of art Pennsylvania -Kingelez : Ville Fantôme 1996
Exhibition catalogue.

Reading the contemporary
African Art from Theory to the Market place
1999 -IVA. Institut of International Visual Art. -Bodys Isek Kingelez.

Unmapping the Earth
97 Kwangu Biennale
Becoming Bodys I. Kingelez p. 414 - p.415, biography p.473.

Art & Design N°50
Art & The City, A dream of Urbanity
"Bodys Isek Kingelez : Kimbeville - City of Tomorrow"
Pages 32-35.

Contemporary Art of Africa
Bodys Isek Kingelez by Ettore Sottsass, p.170-174
Edited by André Magnin with Jacques Soulillou -
Published by Harry N. Abraams.

Bodys Isek Kingelez
Exhibition catalogue by André Magnin
Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris.

Africahoy Africa Now
Gran Canary Island, Las Palmas Spain.
Groningen, Holland.
Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Mexico
Exhibition catalogue, bilingual texts: Spanish, French.

Magiciens de le Terre
Exhibition catalogue, Georges Pompidou Center.
Paris, France.