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Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and Serge Attukwei Clottey

2 May - 17 June, 2017

Press Release

Burning in Water is pleased to present Frédéric Bruly Bouabré & Serge Attukwei Clottey. The exhibition pairs drawings by the late Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923 —2014) with recent sculptures by the Ghanian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey (b.1985).

Although separated in age by over 60 years, both artists employ prosaic materials to develop distinct visual languages. In the works on view, traditional and regionally-specific West African motifs are harmoniously juxtaposed with symbols and texts that represent both the global and the universal.

The unique lexicons developed by both Bouabré and Clottey reveal dually systemic methodologies of materiality and language to investigate a broad array of subjects including the historical, spiritual and political. 

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (b. circa 1923, Zépréguhé, West Africa; d. 28 January 2014, Abidjan, Ivory Coast). A pioneering West African artist, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré created a series of drawings reflecting over a half century. Bouabré’s work first gained widespread international attention in the seminal Magiciens de la Terre exhibition staged at the Centre Georges Pompidou and Grande halle de la Villette in Paris in 1989. In 1992, his work was featured in the Out of Africa show exhibition by the Saatchi Gallery in London, and subsequently presented at the 1993 Venice Biennale. A two-artist show featuring Bourabré’s work alongside that of Italian artist Alighiero Boetti was featured at the DIA Center for the Arts in New York and the American Center in Paris in 1993. Major solo exhibitions of Bouabré’s work have been mounted by the Ikon Gallery in the UK and the Musée Champollion in France. The artist’s Museum of African Faces series is in the permanent collection of the Tate Modern. Bouabré was again featured in the Venice Biennale in 2013.

Serge Attukwei Clottey (b. 1985, Accra, Ghana) lives and works in Accra, Ghana. Clottey earned a diploma in fine arts from the Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Ghana and has completed multiple fellowships abroad. He currently works in a variety of media including performance, photography and sculpture. For the past 15 years, he has produced his Afrogallonism series. His performance piece My Mother’s Wardrobe was the inaugural show at Ghana’s first contemporary art space, Gallery 1957. His work has been exhibited at Kampnagel Hamburg (Hamburg); The Mistake Room (Los Angeles); University of Museum of Contemporary Art (Amherst, MA) and the Goethe Institute and Alliance Francais (Accra).

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