Frédéric Bruly Bouabrè | Ivory Coast
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, also known as Cheik Nadro was born in 1923 in Ivory Coast.
Frédéric is now considered one of the most singular figures in the history of African contemporary art. The origin of all of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré’s work stems from a revelatory experience: on March 11, 1948, “the heavens opened up before my eyes and seven colorful suns described a circle of beauty around their Mother-Sun, I became Cheik Nadro: ‘He who does not forget.’” From that very moment he tackled every field of knowledge and collected his research in manuscripts about arts and traditions, poetry, tales, religion, esthetics, and philosophy, revealing himself to be an astonishing thinker, poet, encyclopedist, creator.
He created hundreds of small drawings that depict many different subjects, mostly drawn from local folklore or describing his visions. The drawings are part of a larger body of work, World Knowledge.
Bouabré also created a 448-letter, universal Bété syllabary, which he used to transcribe the oral tradition of his people, the Bétés. His visual language is portrayed on some 1,000 small cards using ballpoint pens and crayons, with symbolic imagery surrounded by text, each carrying a unique divinatory message and comments on life and history.
Frédéric unfortunatly died in 2014
I have a dream, AKKA Project Venezia, Venezia, Italy
The Doors of Perception, Curated by Javier Téllez in collaboration with the Outsider Art Fair, Frieze New York, New York, Usa
The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen, Biennale Bénin, Cotonou, Benin
The World of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and His Object Teaching, Kimmel Center Window Gallery, New York, New York, Usa
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Tate Modern, London, UK
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, France
African Stories, Ancienne Banque du Maroc, Marrakech, Morocco
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK
Why Africa?, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy
100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Musée des Civilisations de Côtes d’Ivoire, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
Africa Remix, traveling exhibition, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Musée Champollion, Figeac, France
Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany
World Envisioned: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré & Alighiero e Boetti, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, New York, Usa
Galerie des Cinq Continents, Musée des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, France
Trésor de Voyage, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Africa Now, Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Las Palmas (Canary Islands)
Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, France
National Museum, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Pigozzi Collection, Geneva, Switzerland
Tate, London, UK