By Nii B. Andrews.

A gift of 45 works of CAA by Jean Pigozzi to MOMA will serve to reconfigure the whole collection of the New York City landmark.

Pigozzi’s gift has been described as “transformative”. It is expected to catapult MOMA into a “unique institutional leader” in the field.


The works in the gift include sculptures by Romuald Hazoumè, paintings by Moké and Cheri Samba, and photographs by Seydou Keïta, Ambroise Ngaimoko/Studio 3Z, and Jean Depara. 

Other highlights are drawings by Gedewon and Abu Bakarr Mansaray, and a pictographic alphabet of 449 syllables by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré.

Happily, it also includes four pieces by Bodys Isek Kingelez – an African artist who was featured in groundbreaking MOMA retrospective last year….but whose work is not part of the MOMA collection!?!

UN: Bodys Isek Kingelez, 1995.

Glenn D. Lowry, the museum’s director, said in a statement that Pigozzi’s gift will certainly play an important role in the ambitious re-installation of MoMA’s permanent collection, which is taking shape as the institution prepares to reopen on 21 October in expanded galleries. 

The museum has cast the rehanging as an opportunity to rethink and recalibrate the entire history of Modern and contemporary art, highlighting and juxtaposing artists of more diverse backgrounds and geographic origins; thus making its collection more inclusive, accurate and representative.

Jean Pigozzi – Harvard alumnus, photographer, fashion designer and art collector-  started collecting CAA in 1989 after viewing the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre; it featured the work of 50 artists from all over the world at the Center Pompidou in Paris.

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