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Georges Adéagbo

Georges Adéagbo was born in 1942 Cotonou, Benin, where he lives. He is one of the most important artists form West Africa.

He becomes worldwide known after his partecipation to Venice Biennial in 1999 and Dokumenta in 2002.


For Georges Adéagbo everything always begins when an invitation arrives for one of his site-specific installations. The city, the history of the place (in this case Florence Palazzo Vecchio) become the starting point from which the whole plan of the show derives. This pre-selected place then begins to become familiar and is analysed and studied, excavated and explored as though by an archeologist delving both into high knowledge and the most common behaviour. His art consists of gathering and organising the infinite possibilities for stories connected to the most common behaviour. 

His art consists of gathering and organising the infinite possibilities for stories connected to the most varied objects. Like a collector of the cultural "things" and "symbols" of the world, Adéagbo works by weaving a critical dialogue between his African background and that of the West.

He has done this in many museum and in other officially recognised art situations. He has done so right from the very beginning when he was discovered, by chance, by a French curator who had gone to visit other artists in Benin and who saw an incredible installation by Georges in the courtyard of this studio. This was in 1993 and from then on, despite the fact that a new life and possibilities in art had begun for him, his studio has remained in Cotonou where he spends the greater part of his time and where he opened a residence for artists.  



Solo Exhibitions

'Death and Resurrection' (La mort et la résurrection), Galerie Natalie Obadia, Paris
'Redemption, the Redeemer' (la rédemption, le rédempteur), le Quartier, centre d'art contemporain, Quimper, France
‘La rencontre de l’Afrique et du Japon’ , Toyota Municipal Museum of Art
'Abraham, l'ami de Dieu', P.S.1, New York, Long Island City
‘L’Epoque Pythagoreenne’, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck
‘"L’explorateur et les explorateurs devant l’histoire de l’exploration"..! Le théâtre du monde..!’, Museum Ludwig, Köln
‘Le Socialisme Africain’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
‘Le Dieu créateur dans la création’ und ‘ACDC Archiv des Museum Ludwig’ Galerie Elisabeth Kaufmann Zürich
Abraham, l’ami de Dieu, Philadelphia version’, Philadelphia Museum of Art
« Tout de Moi à Tous », daadgallery Berlin
« La rencontre»...! Venise – Florence..!, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venezia
«La rencontre»..! Venise – Florence..!, Frittelli arte contemporanea, Firenze; Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze
Georges Adéagbo. "La Belgique au Congo", Sint-Lukas Galerie, Brussels
Ephemeral fringes, Art Brussels, stand Sint-Lukas Galerie, Brussels
Georges Adéagbo. The Colonization and the History of the Colonized, Mak Gallery, Wien
La Culture et les Cultures – La Chine a Hambourg“ Galerie Holzhauer, Hamburg

Group Exhibitions
'Archaeology' (L’archeologie), in ‘La Route de l’art sur la Route de l’esclave’, Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans, France; traveling in 1997 to : Centre culturel du SESC Pompeia, Sâo Paolo, Brazil, 1998: Musée d'art moderne, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Centre culturel de Fond SaintJacques, SainteMarie, Martinique, 1999 Artchipel, scène nationale de la Guadeloupe
'Peace in the World' (La paix dans le monde) "Dialog des Friedens", Palais of the United Nations, Geneva
'Art and Evolution', (L’art et l’evolution) "Big City", The Serpentine Gallery, London
'Archaeology' (L’archeologie) "African Artists and Aids", Centre Culturel Français, Cotonou, Benin
The Dakar Biennial, Senegal
'Images of Africa' (Les images de l’afrique) "African Art towards the Year 2000", Round Tower, Kopenhagen
'The Rennaissance' (La renaissance), Galerie du jour Agnès B., Paris
'Contemporary Art and Modern Art' (L’art contemporain et l’art moderne) "Georges Adéagbo and Honoré d’O", Kunsthalle FRIART, Fribourg, Switzerland
'Creativity' (la créativité) "Die anderen Modernen", Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
'The Guardians of the World’ 1997/98 (Les veilleurs du monde), studio session and exhibition at the Centre Culturel Français, Cotonou, Benin and Musée national d'arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris
'The First Year of Democracy' 1997-1998  (L’An 01 de la democratie) "Alternating Currents”, 2a Johannesburg Biennial, South Africa
'Cannibalism' (le canibalisme) "Roteiros, Roteiros, ...Roteiros", 24a Biennale de Sao Paolo
'The Philosophical Schools' (Les Écoles philosophiques), Afrika Europa, 7a Triennale der Klein Plastik, Stuttgart

'Venise d’hier-Venised’aujour d’hui’ (‘The Story of the Lion'), a one day  installation for the Campo dell'Arsenale, June 10, hosted by Joint Adventures Art Projects and the Venice Biennial, awarded with the ‘Premio della Giuria’ (Prize of the Jury)
‘Kunstwelten im Dialog’, Museum Ludwig Koeln, concept: Marc Scheps (Global Art Rheinland 2000). Against Georges Adéagbo’s will, the piece ‘Death and Resurrection’ (dedicated for a gallery exhibition in Paris 1997) was partially installed. His offer to create a site specific installation for the occasion and city of Cologne was refused
‘ForwArt’ a choice, six curators six  artists, Harald Szeemann invited Georges Adéagbo, who composed ‘La colonisation Belge en Afrique noir’ for this exhibition in Bruxelles hosted by the BBL (Banque Bruxelles Lambert)
‘La resurrection de Edith Piaf’ in ‘Voilà. Le monde dans la tête.’, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, ARC
‘Hommage à Napoléon le grand’ in ‘la ville, le jardin, la mémoire’, Rome, installation in the loggia and the garden of Villa Medici
‘Partage de l’exotisme’, at the fifth Biennale de Lyon, (the piece ‘La mort et la resurrection’ ‘Death and Resurrection’, created for the exhibition at Galerie Natalie Obadia, Paris 1997, was partially installed against the artists will)
'Le Socialisme Africain' (African Socialism) in 'The Short Century' by Okwui Enwezor, Villa Stuck, Munich; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MCA, Chicago; P.S.1, New York (2002)
’Un espace...! Monde (histoire de l'art)’ in Ein Raum ist eine Welt, Kunsthalle Zurich
"L’explorateur et les explorateurs devant l’histoire de l’exploration"..! Le théâtre du monde..! in Documenta 11, Kassel
‘In Bed’, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art
"L’explorateur et les explorateurs devant l’histoire de l’exploration"..! Le théâtre du monde..!, modified version, Museum Ludwig DC Space. Collection Museum Ludwig
‘Dieu créateur dans la création’, Art Cologne, Stand Galerie Elisabeth Kaufmann
‘ACDC Archiv des Museum Ludwig’, Rheinschau, Köln
‘Dieu créateur dans la création’ and ‘ACDC Archiv des Museum Ludwig’, both in modified versions at Galerie Kaufmann, Zürich
«La Colonisation Belge en Afrique Noir » modified version in Belgique Visionnaire, Bozar, Bruxelles, curated by Harald Szeemann
«Créer le monde en faisant des collections. Hommage a Christoph Weickmann» in Weickmann’s Wunderkammer, Ulmer Museum
«Une espace avec le Monde» in Beyond the Wall, Stiftung Brandenburger Tor, Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin

Intolerance, Ravello Festival, Ravello
Hypocrisy: the site specificity of morality, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and design, Oslo
Intramoenia/extra art. The Third Paradise, Castelli di Puglia, Barletta
Making Worlds, 53.a Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte, La Biennale di Venezia
Rien ne sert de courir, Republic of Benin

Collezioni Sammlungen Collections
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art 2000 and 2004
Museum Ludwig Cologne 2003
Blake Byrne, Los Angeles 1999 (donated to L.A. MoCA spring 2005)
Galerie Elisabeth Kaufmann, Zurich 2005
Philadelphia Museum of Art 2006
Ulmer Museum 2007

Premi Auszeichnungen
Venice Biennial 1999, Premio della Giuria

Stipendien Grants
2006/07 DAAD artists’ program Berlin


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