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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ruskell

Exhibition: Pigozzi Collection in Cannes

12 July to 21 August, 2022

Renowned collector of African Contemporary Art, Jean Pigozzi has amassed thousands of works of art, 135 of which are on display at the Gare Maritime in Cannes.

Part of the new international cooperation titled “Cannes Dakar”, two cities who are members of UNESCO’s ‘Creative City’ list, the “Collection Pigozzi” is a wonderful look into Contemporary African art. 135 pieces of the collection are on display at the Gare Maritime, a selection exclusively made of Senegalese artists, including paintings by Sony Cissé and More Faye, sculptures by Seen Awe Camara and videos by Mbaye Diop.

The curation of the exhibition was entrusted to Marco Palmieri, who has curated many exhibitions from the Pigozzi Collection, including “Art/Afrique” at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in 2017, “Why Africa?” at the Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin in 2008 and “100% Africa” at the Guggenheim of Bilbao in 2007.

The City of Cannes is very motivated to connect to the two cities with art and shining a light on the talented artists creating fresh and new works of art. Together with Jean Pigozzi, the city has much bigger plans to support African art, including a very generous donation from the collector.

The mayor, David Lisnard, stated:

“In three decades, Jean Pigozzi has brought together over ten thousand pieces from artists across the continent, from Senegal to Mali, from Congo to South Africa. Among them, we are presenting at the Gare Maritime 130 works of art from the 1960s to present day. This is a unique opportunity to unite modernity with ancient tradition.
This exhibition precedes something much bigger, a plan to create a museum dedicated to African art, part of the programme ‘Suquet des Artistes.’ For this, the emblematic Jean Pigozzi has given the city a donation of 4,000 works which will be displayed and conserved.”

An incredibly generous donation that proves Pigozzi’s dedication to the advancement and visibility of African artists.

The Collection

With over 11,000 pieces, La Collection Pigozzi is one of the most important private art collections in the world for contemporary African art, encompasses artists from all generations, genres, styles and mediums who work and live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Many of the artists included in the collection have exhibited at the top museums and galleries in the world, including the Museum of Fine Art Houston, the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporaine, the Guggenheim Bilbao, Tate Modern, National Museum of African Art in Washington, MoMA, Centre Pompidou, Grimaldi Forum and more. They have also been a part of the Biennials of Venice, São Paulo, Gwangju, and Taipei.

“My collection is living, organic, because I regularly continue to purchase. I adore the ‘discovery’ period, which started 30 years ago, and I am still as enthusiastic to discover new talent. Today, many galleries are representing African artists, along with several art fairs and Biennials both in Africa and the West…
If I was a young collector, I would pack my bag and head to the big African cities. There is a growing interest in art from the continent and there are surely new talents emerging and new vocations being born.” -Jean Pigozzi, from the Feb 2022 exposition catalogue.

Based in Geneva, Jean Pigozzi's impressive collection began in 1989, after a meeting between Pigozzi and André Magnin, the co-comissioner of the "Magicians of the Earth" exhibition at the Georges Pompidou Centre and the Grande Halle de la Villette. Magnin was the artistic director of the collection until 2008, during which time he brought numerous specialists in non-western art, particularly from central Africa.

Exhibition: La Collection Pigozzi

As with all cultural events in Cannes, the city keeps prices low and within reach for everyone. Tickets are €4 (€2 for reduced fare) and free for children under 5 years.

Guided visits of one hour are available every Wednesday at 3 pm until 17 August, for an additional €1. Reservations are recommended.

Open every day from 2 to 10 pm.


Tel: +33 0497064263





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