“Ivory Coast”

Sadikou Oukpedjo,  Animal awareness

Since 2012, the Cécile Fakhoury gallery, based in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, has worked towards promoting contemporary art on the African continent. It hosts solo and collective exhibitions that aim to boost creativity and diversity on the African scene. Until 11 June 2016, the gallery is presenting, for the first time, the work of Togolese artist Sadikou Oukpedjo. Art Media Agency went to meet the artist at his “Anima” exhibition in Abidjan. What’s your background? I started sculpting with my art teacher in high school — he was a sculptor. He was the first to notice my drawings, and he asked me to help him in his sculpture workshop. I stopped school in Year 10, but continued sculpture. In 1998, I joined the workshop of Paul Ahyi, a sculpture master and one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Togo. He trained me for four years in painting, sculpture and ceramics. In 2002, my first exhibition was held at the Centre Culturel Français in Cotonou (Benin). After that, my works were presented in other countries, at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2014 in London and the Art Twenty One space in Lagos (Nigeria). How did Paul Ahyi influence you? It may seem strange but he didn’t have any influence on my work. I fled what he did. Everyone trained by Paul Ahyi has had trouble pulling away from his work; many still sculpt and draw like him. I think that this is why I was noticed elsewhere. I do the opposite of what he did. It’s your first exhibition at the Cécile Fakhoury gallery. Cécile Fakhoury discovered my work at the Dakar Biennial a few years ago. At first, it was Koyo Kouoh, a Cameroonian curator living in Dakar, who noticed me. She put us in contact. Your...

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Vincent Michéa: Seen through an Image’s Lens

Despite training as a graphic designer, Vincent Michéa knew from the age of six that he wanted to be a painter. Having grown up in the countryside of the south of France, he spent a lot of time drawing and copying his father’s books of art. Today, he is represented by several galleries in Europe and Africa and his work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions. Until 12 December 2015, his works will be on show in the exhibition “De punta a punta” at the Galerie Cécile Fakhoury in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast. Art Media Agency went to meet Vincent Michéa in Abidjan. You’ve lived between Paris and Dakar for 30 years. Why these two towns? 30 years ago, I was brought to work by accident. I was happy there. It’s a very friendly, peaceful town. The light there is beautiful and the climate is not quite as harsh as on the Ivory Coast. Then, I returned to France for a few years to work with a great master of graphic design, Roman Cieslewicz, but I had forged strong ties of friendship, relationship and work with Dakar. When you’re working with a master, you must eventually leave at some point. I returned to Dakar because two of my friends had a graphic art and design workshop there. I wanted to be a part of that adventure. I lived for a very long time in Dakar but for professional reasons, I can’t stay there all year long, I have to travel. As well as your work as a painter, you also give art classes in Africa. I went twice to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasha to encourage some photomontage workshops there and for nine years I’ve been going regularly to the Ecole de Marrakech-a prestigious...

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Virginia Ryan’s Available Space

Cécile Fakhoury presents an exhibition dedicated to Virginia Ryan. Entitled “Espace à louer” (“Available Space”), it is to continue until 21 June in the gallery space in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). On display at the exhibition are paintings, collages, photographs, and installations by the artist. The visitor is invited to wander amongst large works which seem to float in the gallery space. Virginia Ryan principally uses materials from Abidjan’s urban landscape, such as advertising billboards and posters from 1960-1990 films, taken from a former cinema space in Grand-Bassam. Virginia Ryan, born in Australia in 1956, works between Trevi (Italy) and Bassam (Ivory Coast). She is the co-founder of the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Ghana, of which she was also the director between 2003 and...

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Death of artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Abidjan, 29 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Frédéric Bruly Bouabré died on 28 January 2014 in Abidjan, at the age of 91. The news was announced by Parisian gallerist André Magning, who had closely followed the artist’s career. Bouabré was predominantly known for his graphic and pictorial images. The artist first began to receive international recognition following his participation in the 1989 exhibition “Magiciens de la terre”, which was held at Paris’s Pompidou Centre and the city’s Grande Halle de la Villette. His work became increasingly visible after this event, with Bouabré featuring in shows such as: “World Envisioned: Alighieroe Boetti and Frédéric Bruly Bouabré” at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994-95); Cassel’s Documenta 11 (2002); and the 55th Venice Biennale. Frédéric Bruly Bouabré was born around 1923 in Zéprégühé, the Ivory Coast. A multi-faceted artist, he was at the same time a philosopher, poet and storyteller. Driven by an encyclopaedic ambition, he sought to catalogue and explain everything, engaging in a variety of schools of thought. He notably created his own unique alphabet – the “alphabet bété”, designed as a means of communicating knowledge to his people – an endeavour which would later capture the attention of celebrated scientist Théodore...

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Cécile Fakhoury gallery to celebrate first anniversary

Abidjan, 29 July 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, is to celebrate its first anniversary in September 2013. Though the space is to be closed in August, it will re-open in September with “Mécaniques des fluides (naviguer, transporter, filmer)” (Fluid Mechanics – navigation, transportation, filming). Past exhibitions to have featured at the gallery include Aboudia’s “Aujourd’hui je travaille avec mon petit fils, Aboudia” (Today, I am working with my grandson Aboudia), “Collection II: L’appel de Lilian” (Collection II: Lilian’s Call) by Paul Sika, Cheikh Ndiaye’s “(l)n(f)ormal visitation” and Nestor Da’s “Ondes de Perturbation” (Tumultuous...

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