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The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris is honoring the unique artistic history of the Democratic Republic of Congo with an exhibition that opened last month and will run through November 15, 2015. The art displayed dates from 1926, which is cited as the beginning of modern Congolese painting, until the present. While the art primarily focuses on painting, it includes various sculpture, photography, and comics. Additionally, to highlight the influence of rumba in the 1950s in Sub-Sahara Africa, the music is audible throughout parts of the exhibition. Rumba is a conjunction of jazz, soul and rap that is largely exclusive to Africa. Vincent Kenis of Crammed Discs and Césarine Bolya are featured in a video of interviews of people involved with Kinshasha’s 1960s music scene.
Fourty-one artists have work on display, including JP Mika, Moke, Chéri Samba, Monsengo Shula, and Mode Muntu. The show has pleased art admirers and received great press reviews around the world. The New York Times stated, “[it] offers a window into a dynamic art scene not often showcased in Western museums.”
The Cartier Foundation proudly celebrates Congolese art, and has exhibited it in previous shows, such as “Bodys Isek Kingelez” in 1999 and “J’aime Chéri Samba” in 2004. To continue to display the magic of Congolese art, the foundation’s Nomadic Nights program will have events focusing on Congolese contemporary music and dance throughout the months that the show is open.