The Female African Artists Rocking The Contemporary Art World: Part III

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Here is the final chapter of Collectionair‘s three-part exploration of the female African artists currently making waves in the contemporary art scene.


It is skill and impeccable technique that has Lynette Yiadom-Boakye lauded as an artist. Known for working very quickly – she can complete a painting in a day – her subjects are figments of her imagination that she brings so vividly to life with nothing but a paintbrush and her canvas. In a contemporary art world where everyone is pushing boundaries via installations and conceptual art, it is rather refreshing to see the simplicity of her works that have no gadgets or gimmicks – she is just a fascinating painter!

Above: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Any Number of Preoccupations”.
Left: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “A Passion Like No Other”.
Right: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “Switcher”. (Images courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery)


Sometimes art is done not just for self- expression, but for an awareness to real issues and real conditions. Adejoke Tugbiyele is an artist that doesn’t just create, she advocates. Identity and sexuality are common themes in her work influenced by her cultural, political and emotional experiences. Her sculptures are delicate yet complex weaves of intertwining materials – from skeletons to palm trees – often symbolising the transformation of the artist herself; and she creates work that one might see as unorthodox, yet innovative.

Left: ADEJOKE TUGBIYELE, “Kidnapped”.
Right: ADEJOKE TUGBIYELE, “Flight to Revelation”.
Below: ADEJOKE TUGBIYELE, “Homeless Hungry Homo”. (Images courtesy of October Gallery)


Lebohang Kganye’s works are more than photography – they are performances, they are narratives, they are collages and they are interactive. It is not surprising to occasionally see the artist herself within her visual project. Lebohang vocalises race, identity and social issues witnessed often in South Africa as well as incorporating themes of family (often using images of her own family members).  With her 3-dimensional pieces, her solo show at this year’s Amory in New York created quite the buzz. Definitely one to watch.

LEBOHANG KGANYE, “The Alarm”. (Images courtesy of Afronova)
LEBOHANG KGANYE, “The Last Super”. (Images courtesy of Afronova)

Adora Mba

Since obtaining her MA at Columbia University, New York, Adora has worked within the luxury, arts, and culture markets. She has a passion for contemporary African art and has filmed, produced and written on this topic for various publications, as well as appeared on air to discuss the contemporary African art market. Her blog is also a reflection of her love of the African art industry which she aims to use as a vehicle to promote talented artists