Afropolitan: Contemporary African Arts at NOMA highlights some of the most pioneering African artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in NOMA’s collection. New mediums and expressions added to the African art collection are juxtaposed with significant artists of the pre- and post-independence period, and reflect important art schools or workshops on the continent. Together these works of art can be viewed through the lens of Afropolitanism, wherein artists are not simply cosmopolitan citizens, but also Africans of the world. As such, the works featured were made in or reflect the vibrancy, diverse influences, and contradictions of contemporary urban life in African cities.

To reflect this truly global nature, works by African artists are presented throughout the museum, in the third-floor African art gallery, the McDermott International, Inc. Elevator Lobby, and outside in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

His Breath Made Man


Tayo Adenaike

Watercolor on white wove paper

Gift of the Metropolitan Art Guild, 93.272

Market Lane II


Ablade Glover

Oil on canvas

Gift of Diane and Charles L. Frankel, 2022.33

Tightrope: Behind the Processor #2


Elias Sime

Wall piece made from woven electrical wires, circuit boards, and other components on panel

Incoming Museum Purchase, E-2023-6