Chéri Samba: Stupefaction

17 September - 23 October 2022

In 2004, the Fondation Cartier hosted his first major solo exhibition in France. Since then, Chéri Samba's work has travelled the world and been included in the collections of the most prestigious international cultural institutions. 18 years after J'aime Chéri Samba, André Magnin is devoting the first solo show ever organized in a gallery in Paris to this emblematic artist of the contemporary scene. From September 17th to October 23rd, 2022, Stupéfaction presents fifteen paintings never or rarely shown, made by Chéri Samba between 1983 and 2022. Among the works on display are Le Couple d'artiste, circa 1983, a historic work representing M'Pongo Love, the grande dame of modern Congolese music, J'aime la couleur de la vraie carte du monde, 2016, a very large format that takes up the painter's iconic repertoire, and a moving self-portrait from 2022 entitled La vieillesse d'un homme sans péché.

A bearer of messages and morals, putting himself on stage, Chéri Samba produces works in which he invites the viewer to enter into vital, charming, amusing, colorful stories, but also concerned with African and human issues. As André Magnin expresses it, his paintings are "precise, refined. He spends a lot of time on them and only paints twelve pictures a year. The organization of space, the sense of color ... He does not repeat himself. Each painting has its own reason for being."

For Chéri Samba, art has no boundaries. At the same time great master of the Congolese "popular painting" and artist recognized on the international scene, it approaches universal topics, as well morals, daily life, the great personalities of the world, as well as the history of art, sexuality, social inequalities or corruption. The truculent painter attracts and stops the eye by striking colors. The texts inscribed on his paintings, as comics, sometimes humorous and often philosophical, provoke reflections and questions while hoping to awaken consciences on the subject matter.