The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023

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26 January 2023 – 28 February 2023

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or of the African diaspora Born and raised in Kita, a village located 180 kilometres from Bamako, the capital of Mali, Famakan Magassa’s upbringing mirrored the experiences of countless postcolonial Africans, shaped by adversity and the constant pursuit for mere survival. From a young age, Famakan worked doing silk-screen printing and calligraphy; worked as a mason’s assistant, and even sold goods at the local market to earn enough money to meet his basic needs.

Famakan went to Bamako to complete his studies, attaining a baccalaureate in the Terminal Arts Lettres course of studies which the Malian government had extended to include the study of drawing and painting to cater to individuals interested in pursuing art as a course of study. Following this, Magassa pursued further studies at the Conservatory of Multimedia Arts and Crafts (Balla Fasseke Kouyate), where he earned a degree in visual arts.

Famakan Magassa was the second recipient of the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize in 2023. Norval Foundation hosted his first solo institutional exhibition titled Witness of My Time. Magassa has also participated in international exhibitions in Paris, London, Miami, Ghana and Vienna. Publications including Artsy, Hyperallergic, Artnet, The Observer, L’Oeuil, and ArtsMagazine have all featured or mentioned his work.by increasing their international exposure. A collaboration between The Sovereign Art Foundation and Norval Foundation, the Prize will celebrate the practice of some of the most significant contemporary artists working today. Click here to view the Terms and Conditions.