Baku's Museum of Modern Art in Baku hosted the launch of an exhibition called “Afrovision – Contemporary Art from Africa” exhibition on May 17th. Attending the opening were Azerbaijan’s First Lady & President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, and the Foundation`s Vice-President Mrs Leyla Aliyeva.
Welcoming attendees to the event, the Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mrs Leyla Aliyeva said:
“African art is extraordinary - every work here is has great sense and strong energy.
This exhibition is titled AfroVision, and features samples of contemporary art by 11 artists. Some of these artists are already famous and established, while others are young and promising.
I'm delighted the exhibition is being held here in this museum. I believe the role of African artists is growing in the modern world of art. The number of African artists has considerably increased in the past 20 years.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which promotes Azerbaijani culture worldwide, has always showed great respect for other cultures.
African art has a special importance for me – perhaps because African artists portray human emotions & real lives.
I would like to express my gratitude to all the participants in the exhibition.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has always supported artists. We organized the 'Fly to Baku' exhibition in Paris and London, affording twenty-one artists from Azerbaijan the opportunity to show their works to the wider world.
And we have not finished that exhibition yet - we plan to exhibit it in Rome, New York, Moscow and other cities.
I want to thank Doctor Bernd Kleine-Gunk, the initiator of this exhibition - all the works displayed here are from his personal collection. I also want to thank Mr Hazoume, who is a major sculptor and the author of one of the works here.
This exhibition gives residents of Azerbaijan the opportunity to discover African culture. What is especially important is that this exhibition is taking place at a very exciting time - because we are hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in a few days.
I hope that through the eyes of artists Afrovision will give us the opportunity to discover a part of the world that we do not know much about.
Thank you so much.
X X X
The exhibition shows selected masterpieces from the collection of Bernd Kleine-Gunk, a German collector who possesses one of the leading collections of contemporary art of Africa. Addressing the event, Bernd Kleine-Gunk said he had been collecting African art for a long time, and gave the participants his impressions of African art. He expressed gratitude to Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s Vice-President Leyla Aliyeva: “There are a lot of people that I have to thank. But I especially want to thank two ladies. One of them is Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva and another is Mrs Leyla Aliyeva. They made it possible that this exhibition came here. I think there is a lot Azerbaijan can be proud of, but having a First Lady like this with this beauty, with this charm, with this intelligence, I think it is something exceptional. You know that when the First Lady decides to do something, she does it on the high level. And these words can be said also about Mrs Leyla Aliyeva.”
Mrs Leyla Aliyeva cut the ribbon symbolizing the launch of the exhibition.
The audience then proceeded to view the works displayed. The exhibition features 63 works by 11 artists from 7 African countries. The works exhibited are dedicated to themes such as the fight for values of truth, fashion icons, varied ceremonies, African folklore. Rich in color and interesting characters, the works carry the visitors into different aspects of the African life.
The event featured a performance by an African national dance group.
State and Government officials, MPs, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to Azerbaijan, representatives of art and the public attended the opening.