Lot 36
  • 36

Meschac Gaba

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
22,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Meschac Gaba
  • Le Pavé dans la Mère
  • Textile and coins


Private Collection of Marcella Stefanoni, Milan


Besançon, Salle de Jeux - Museum of Contemporary African Art, Le Pavé Dans La Mare, 1999

Catalogue Note

Le Pavé Dans La Mère is a stitched flag by Beninese artist Meschac Gaba made after his 1996–7 residency in Amsterdam, during which he created his seminal work Le Musée d'Art Africain. Made from a re-used jute sack, which is often used for exporting goods, Le Pavé Dans La Mère references the economic factors involved in African trade and manufacturing. The obsolete coins attached to the end of the flag are further reinforcement of the passage of the relationship between time and economics.

Flags are a primary theme in the work of Gaba, who began producing them in the later 1990s, using them to explore the concepts of cultural identity, political boundaries, and African unity. Meschac Gaba rose in notoriety after creating Le Musée d'Art Africain (1997-2001), which was later concluded at Documenta XI, Kassel. Gaba was included in the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2003) and has had solo exhibitions at numerous international museums including Tate Modern in 2013.

Meschac Gaba has also been part of numerous group shows which include those at Vitra Design Museum, Foundation De 11 Lijnen, Museo Tamayo, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, the Benin Biennale (2012); La Triennale at Palais de Tokyo, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, the 2010 Liverpool Biennale; Greenland Street Gallery, and, in 2006, the São Paolo, Gwangju, Sydney and Havana biennales.