Out of Africa, a Collection and a Dedication to Giving Back

Show Us Your Walls
By Ted Loos
Mercedes Vilardell, at her home in London, with her art. She specializes in African pieces and supports young African artists. Kader Attia/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Tom Jamieson for The New York Times
LONDON — As a philanthropist and as a collector, Mercedes Vilardell has distinguished herself by her focus. In the former arena, there is a consistent mission; in the latter, a tight aesthetic. To carry out that mission, Ms. Vilardell travels several times a year — to places including Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa — working to boost the fortunes of artists there by underwriting biennials and other projects. She also sponsors a residency for midcareer African artists at Gasworks, a London nonprofit. “Wherever I go, I try to support young artists,” she said, sitting in the cozy living room of her rowhouse, in the southwest corner of London. [More]
One of the hairstyle photographs by the Nigerian artist J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere.
Works on cardboard (framed) by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré in colored pencil and ball point, 1992-1993, with artifacts

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