b. 1953, Mali

Abdoulaye Konaté Biography

Abdoulaye Konate's work, rooted in the context of Mali, combines abstraction and figuration, the real and the fantastic, tradition and modernity. Trained in Bamako (1972-1976) and Havana (1978-1985), where he met Wifredo Lam, Konate started with paintings and installations in the early nineties. His first works already carried his long-lasting interest in political and spiritual topics. His imagery conveyed an engaged type of surrealism inherited from Lam, which still fuels his visual world. The life-long quest of the artist is colour he endlessly experiments. Within his works, colour also operates as a tool for mapping, as each dye comes from a different region of the country and waves its own symbols. Beyond the regional colour map, colour is also an art of memory, weaving time and space together.

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In the mid-nineties, Konate started using fabric, one of the most accessible materials in Mali, which enabled him to involve both male textile workers and female dyers. Technically, fabric forces the artist to work on the ground and to experiment with scale, allowing an open dialogue with the wall. The stripes used as a constant motif in his fabrics refer to the traditional costumes of Senufo musicians. Konate's works are also particularly close to the Koredugaw, a secret society based on satire and laughter. Grotesque behaviours such as gluttony and wit are a way for them to purify society. Like them, the artist tries to challenge traditions and social conventions, being sometimes overtly critical in order to ultimately reconcile society. The etymology of Koredugaw also stresses their purification role, as 'kore' means grand and 'kori' refers to white cotton. The Koredugaw therefore relates to a colour-and-material match which is crucial to read Konate's works. In his art, local traditions are therefore often swallowed and reformulated in an abstract-dominated space.

(in Viva Arte Viva, Venice Biennial 2017)

Text courtesy La Galerie 38.

Abdoulaye Konaté Featured Artworks

Zaïane N°1 by Abdoulaye Konaté contemporary artwork sculpture
Abdoulaye KonatéZaïane N°1, 2020Textile
234 x 262 cm
La Galerie 38 Contact Gallery
Zaïane N°2 by Abdoulaye Konaté contemporary artwork sculpture
Abdoulaye KonatéZaïane N°2, 2020Textile
230 x 402 cm
La Galerie 38 Contact Gallery
Le vent (fié) by Abdoulaye Konaté contemporary artwork sculpture
Abdoulaye KonatéLe vent (fié), 2020Textile
228 x 404 cm
La Galerie 38 Contact Gallery

Abdoulaye Konaté Recent Exhibitions

Abdoulaye Konaté Represented By

La Galerie 38 contemporary art gallery in Casablanca, Morocco La Galerie 38 Casablanca

Abdoulaye Konaté In Ocula Magazine

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