Spotlight: These Leading Contemporary Artists From Benin Are Set to Earn Acclaim at Paris’s AKAA Art Fair This Weekend

Galerie Vallois's presentation will be on view in Paris, October 20–22, 2023.

Dominique Zinkpè, L'œil de la Tentation (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

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What You Need to Know: Galerie Vallois Modern and Contemporary Art was established in 1983 by Robert Vallois, and today is situated across two spaces in the Saint-Germain des Prés neighborhood of Paris. Earlier, in 1971, Robert and Cheska Vallois founded Art Deco, which continues to operate as an extension to the gallery’s portfolio. Though initially dedicated to showing modern and contemporary sculpture, over time this expanded to include a diverse array of art mediums, periods, and regions. From 2012 on, Galerie Vallois has maintained a commitment to fostering and promoting the work of a new generation of African artists, with a distinct focus on Beninese artists. From October 20 through October 22, Galerie Vallois will be participating in the Also Known As Africa art fair, held in Paris’s 3rd arrondissement, with a presentation of work by eight artists at different career stages—from emerging to established—and working across a variety of mediums and styles.

Why We Like It: The forthcoming presentation by Galerie Vallois at the AKAA art fair promises to be as dynamic and engaging as the gallery’s presentations. Many of the artists being shown have experienced recent international interest through their inclusion in the 2022 exhibition “Benin Art: Yesterday and Today” held at the Palais de la Marina in Contonou, followed by the Mohamed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat, Morocco. Together, the exhibition highlights the diverse and compelling art scene of Benin and Beninese artists today. From Ponce Zannou’s dynamic and monumental works that synthesize painting and bas-relief to rising star Julien Sinzogan’s chromatic figurative paintings, Galerie Vallois’ presentation is not to be missed.

According to the Gallery: “This 2023 edition will be an opportunity to unveil the very latest creations by artists that have been supported by the gallery for a long period of time: Charly D’Almeida, Epaphras Toihen, Nathanaël Vodouhè, and Dominique Zinkpè, but also to discover new talents: Youss Atacora, Julien Sinzogan, and Ponce Zannou, that Galerie Vallois is happy to welcome this year… Beyond their differences, all these artists have one thing in common: powerful inspiration, which they find in the cultural richness of Benin, its history, its traditions, and of course voodoo whose symbols punctuate the most contemporary creations.”

See featured works from the presentation below.

Ponce Ek Zannou, Circuit (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

Nathanaël Vodouhè, Sans titre (Série Dréesses) (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

Youss Atacora, Chasseur d’oiseaux (2022). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

Epaphras Toihen, Méduse I (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

Julien Sinzogan, Les voiles Tembé (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Vallois.

Galerie Vallois‘s presentation at AKAA is on view at stand C3 from October 20–22, 2023.

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