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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Les Années 90 (The Nineties)

Les Années 90 (The Nineties)


Cheri Samba

Congolese, born 1956

Chéri Samba, who was a billboard painter and comic strip artist before becoming an easel painter, uses image and text to make bitterly humorous critiques of human folly and political expediency. In his version of the 1990s, a leader asks, "I gave them democracy and still they are hungry. What should I do?" His corruption is obvious as he lounges beside an empty chest for government funds, with cash bulging from his shirt pocket. Attracted by new opportunities, an investor carrying a briefcase has already turned his back on Africa, commenting "Patience, the sun is rising in the East."
Acrylic on canvas
59 x 77 x 1 1/2 in. (149.86 x 195.58 x 3.81 cm)
Margaret E. Fuller Purchase Fund
Provenance: [Annina Nosei Gallery, New York]; purchased from gallery by Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 1993
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Hero/Antihero, Dec. 21, 2002 - Aug. 17, 2003.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Emblems of Encounter: Europe and Africa over 500 Years, Jan. 23, 2016 - Jan. 29, 2023.
Published ReferencesIshikawa, Chiyo et al, Seattle Art Museum Downtown, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 2007, illus. p. 57

Harmon, Katherine. The Map As Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009, p. 60

Del, Puppo A. L'arte Contemporanea: Il Secondo Novecento. Torino: Einaudi, 2013, reproduced fig. 43.

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