When did African art become contemporary? And what does contemporaneity actually mean in African art? In this lecture, we look back at the very first exhibition of contemporary African art in Belgium, the solo exhibition of Albert Lubaki at the Palace of Fine Arts in 1929, and the efforts of its curator, Gaston-Denys Périer, to redefine African art as an art of and for the present.

Yasmine Chtchourova-Van Pee is a doctoral student in art history (University of California, Berkeley), where she focuses on modern and contemporary art, with a specific interest in colonial and post-colonial issues. She is currently working on a thesis on Belgian-Congolese cultural politics during the interwar period and contributes regularly to catalogues and journals such as Modern Painters, Manifesta Journal, and Afterall.