July 16, 2015
French jeweler Cartier’s Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is highlighting modern art in an exhibit focusing on the work created by artists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Fondation’s “Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko” exhibit will be on display in its Paris gallery from July 11 until Nov. 15. Pieces featured explore Congolese modern art from the 1920s to contemporary artworks created in the country today.
The art of the Congo
Support of the arts is incredibly important to luxury brands as they see themselves as conservationists and historians of craftsmanship and design on all levels.
Cartier’s exhibit was curated by Andre Magnin and aims to capture the “extraordinary cultural vitality” and “the creative spirit” of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using artworks from nearly a century, the exhibit traces the DRC’s artistic production and aesthetics through a focus on painting.
Other artworks on view at the exhibit include sculpture, photography, comics and music, giving attendees a unique experience to explore and witness the “diverse and vibrant” art scene of the country.
Poster for Cartier's Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko exhibit
Artists featured include Albert and Antoinette Lubaki and Djilatendo, who are the first known Congolese works put on paper during the development of the modern art movement as early as the mid-1920s when the country was still under Belgian rule.
Others include Pierre Romain-Desfossés, Bela Sara, Mwenze Kibwanga and Pili Pili Mulongoy. Contemporary art is represented by Chéri Samba, Chéri Chérin, and Moke as well as Papa Mfumu’eto and younger artists of day such as J.P. Mika and Monsengo Shula.
Others have celebrated African culture as the continent continues to evolve and its countries become players in the luxury market.
For instance, Canadian department store chain Holt Renfrew celebrated African culture and artisans by featuring the continent at its annual H Project in-store shop.
The H Project allows Holt Renfrew to work with nonprofit organizations and support socially and environmentally responsible fashion. This year the boutique will be called “Uncrate Africa,” and it will focus on brands that work with African artisans or donate proceeds to African charities, emphasizing Holt Renfrew’s commitment to charity on a global scale (see story).