Congolese art: the growing interest

It is in 2015 that Congolese painting has been in the spotlight for the first time by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. The exhibition “Beauté Congo, 1926-2015, Congo Kitoko”, brought together three hundred and fifty works of art from the 1920’s to the present day.

During the 1960’s, Democratic Republic of the Congo is filled with full effervescence. The so-called popular painting, more political than naive settles its accounts with colonialism. So many paintings dare what contemporary artworks have put aside: figurative painting, eroticism, political satire and even humor.

Today, a constellation of talents that has long remained in the shadow of stars like Cheri Samba draws attention. Driven by a talented new generation, Congolese artists among which Bouvy Enkobo, Baudouin Mouanda are taking over European museums and private collections…

In parallel, ratings go up, we are far, far away from paintings sold in Kinshasa in the 70’s by the artists themselves… In 2018, Congolese art shined at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art Sale. Work by artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) performed particularly well, selling 12 out of the 14 lots on offer and accounting for £331,875 GBP.