Published by The Museum of Modern Art. Edited with text by Sarah Suzuki. Text by David Adjaye, Chika Okeke-Agulu, et al.
Made from quotidian materials, Kingelez’s sculptures evoke visionary architectures
The sculptures of Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948–2015) are imagined architectural propositions and improbable structures for a fairytale urban landscape. Comprised of paper, commercial packaging and the stuff of everyday life, his “extreme maquettes” transform these materials into fantastic visions that encompass civic buildings, public monuments and private pavilions. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), Kingelez gained international renown following his participation in Centre Pompidou’s landmark 1989 exhibition Magiciens de la Terre, and since that time, his work has been included both in numerous global surveys and in several solo presentations. Published to accompany the first retrospective of his work, this volume traces the span of Kingelez’s four decade career, from never-before-exhibited early works to sculptures that launched his career in 1989 and the complex and multifaceted cities of later decades, bringing his rarely seen, distinctive oeuvre to international audiences. Featuring stunning new photography of his work, this serves as the most comprehensive volume on the artist to date.
Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. Edited by Yilmaz Dziewior. Essays by Okwui Enwezor, Bodys Isek Kingelez and Andre Magnin.
Bodys Isek Kingelez is a native of Congo who makes colorful postmodernist models of buildings and cities out of paper, cardboard, and wood. While they can easily be read as a reaction to Western attempts at domesticating African creativity, they also serve to comment on the so-called Afro-kitsch in contemporary African art that caters primarily to the expectations of Western tourists.