This February, Zeitz MOCAA
unveils a new monumental work by internationally renowned Malian artist, Abdoulaye Konaté.
Titled Idéogrammes, signes, symboles et logos (Hommage à Youssouf Tata Cissé et Germaine Dieterlen), the installation was conceived as a site-specific work for Zeitz MOCAA and honours two thinkers distinguished for their contribution to culture and history: Malian historian and ethnologist Youssouf Tata Cissé (1935-2013), who specialised in canonising oral history from various parts of West Africa, and Germaine Dieterlen (1903-1999), a French anthropologist who pioneered research on Dogon astronomy and the Bamana cultures of Mali.
Abdoulaye Konaté is one of the most eminent West African artists of his generation. He is known for his monumental figurative and abstract textile compositions that balance political and social reflections with an exploration of formal colour composition. The woven and dyed cotton that he uses, draws from the countrys rich historical tradition whilst his adaptation of the materials roots his work firmly in the contemporary. Inspired by capes worn by Senufo musicians, Konaté has developed a system of using layers of coloured ribbons to explore painterly ideas of composition and colour.
Born in 1953 in Diré, Mali, Konaté lives and works in Bamako, Mali. He studied painting at the Institut National des Arts in Bamako and then at the Institut Supérieur des Arts in Havana, Cuba, where he lived for seven years before returning to Mali. In 2008, Konaté was nominated for the Artes Mundi prize, Cardiff. He has received several awards, including the prestigious Leopold Sedar Senghor Prize at the DakArt Biennale in Dakar (1996); the Officier de lOrdre National du Mali (2009) as well as the Chevalier de lOrdre des Arts et des Lettres de France (2002). He was the founding General Director of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers Multimédia Balla Basseké Kouyaté in Bamako.