5 African Art Books To Add To Your Collection Today

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Africa Supernova

“Africa Supernova – Contemporary African Painting Collection” by Carla and Pieter Schulting unveils a vibrant narrative of diverse African art. The catalogue showcases 170 artworks by 154 artists from 33 countries and the diaspora. Curators and collectors Carla and Pieter Schulting have curated an accompanying exhibition, currently on view at Kunsthal KAdE in the Netherlands until January 7th. Titled “Africa Supernova,” both the exhibition and the published catalogue delve into the treatment of the black body, offering unique perspectives from South, East, and North Africa. The ongoing showcase illuminates the evolution of young artists within the global art scene. Moreover, it emphasizes the intersection of tradition and modernity in contemporary African art.

Africa Supernova -Contemporary African Painting Collection by Carla and Pieter Schulting. Image courtesy of Schulting Art Collection.

African Art now

African Art Now, curated by Osei Bonsu, is a definitive guide to the burgeoning landscape of contemporary African Art. The book showcases profiles of 50 rising artists, shedding light on their innovative work that resonates with cultural significance. As African artists gain global recognition, the book underscores the undeniable impact of contemporary African art. It also features luminaries like Amoako Boafo and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, whose works capture their work’s personal, political, universal, and specific facets. ‘African Art Now’ shines a spotlight on these artists, drawing attention to the evolving dynamics and boundless possibilities within the realm of African Art today.

When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting

Published by Thames and Hudson Ltd and Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, and edited by Koyo Kouoh, this hardcover extravaganza celebrates Black bodies and their representation in the past decade. Exploring the rise of black artists in contemporary figurative painting critically engages with notions of blackness. ‘When We See Us‘ contributes highly to the discourse on pan-africanism, civil rights, African liberation, anti-apartheid, decoloniality, and black lives matter. Focused on figurative painting, the book delves into how Black artists have envisioned, memorialized, and asserted African and diasporic experiences. With over 200 artworks and contributions from esteemed writers like Ken Bugul and Maaza Mengiste, this book significantly explores Black art and cultural history.

When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, edited by Koyo Kouoh.Image courtesy of Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi.

Soul of the Black Folks

Soul of the Black Folks” celebrates the artistry of Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo following his premier solo exhibition. It explores Boafo’s diverse strategies that capture the essence of Black figures, focusing on subjectivity, joy, and gaze. Employing calculated brushwork and finger-painted strokes, his portraits create a visual dichotomy exploring inward and outward perspectives. These paintings serve as a reminder of beauty, empowering individuals, especially people of colour, in challenging spaces of marginalization. The book, edited by Larry Ossei-Mensah, delves into Boafo’s ability to capture spirits. It further positions him as a prominent voice in contemporary art. ” Soul of the Black Folks” communicates a shared experience for those marginalized in society.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: No Twilight Too Mighty

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: No Twilight Too Mighty showcases an immersive exploration into the realm of her artistry. The book features around 60 of her captivating works that have earned international acclaim. Celebrated for her ability to craft compelling character studies, Yiadom-Boakye effortlessly merges her roles as a writer and painter. The paintings captured in this volume showcase timeless subjects experiencing moments of happiness, camaraderie, and introspection. La Fabrica in Spain published the hardcover version on October 2nd, with notable contributions from the artist herself,  Kodwo Eshun, and Lekha Hileman Waitoller.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: No Twilight Too Mighty. Image courtesy of Instagram.

All these books are available on Amazon, and shipping is available worldwide.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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