Supporters, donors, and friends of the National Museum of African Art gathered in April to celebrate the opening of a groundbreaking new exhibition, The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists. Over 250 joined artists Joel Andrianomearisoa, Bili Bidjocka, Dimitri Fagbohoun, Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny, Pélagie Gbaguidi, Jems Koko Bi, Aida Muleneh, and Moataz Nasr for the opening. The exhibition spans all four levels of the museum, covering nearly 22,000 square feet. The artwork featured in heaven, purgatory, and hell provides a modern twist to this classic epic. Through inspirational paintings, sculptures, textiles, films, and photography, more than 40 world-renowned and emerging contemporary artists from the African and the African diaspora respond to what is good, bad, and in between in the world today.
The Divine Comedy is the vision of internationally acclaimed critic, scholar, and guest curator Simon Njami, with assistance by National Museum of African Art curator Karen E. Milbourne. The goal of the exhibition is to “take heaven, purgatory, and hell out of the cradle of the church and to make them something everybody can live with,” said curator Simon Njami.
“This dramatic exhibition has transformed the museum from top to bottom to reveal some of the most compelling topics and approaches in contemporary art today,” said Milbourne.
The exhibition has been extended through Nov 1.
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