West African Stew
West Africa is one of Africa’s better sources of contemporary art. There may be many reasons for this, but certainly high among them, for some countries, is the French influence with the possibility of an art education in France, and an appreciation of French collectors. Much more than that there is an aesthetic flare and confident style in West Africa that gives it a special place on the continent. That style is evident in this exhibit. Quattara’s pastels are full of symbolic mystery and the confidence that the observer will draw his or her own conclusions, but will understand. Fode Camara’s riotous colors are so seductive that they transcend the visual to engage other senses. Viye Diba’s minimalist use of found materials requires one to search for the meaning in the subtleties. West African stews are rich and diverse. The title of the show was carefully chosen.