Combining the aesthetics of the local with global subject matter, Abdoulaye Konaté
merges political commentary and traditional craftsmanship.
Abdoulaye Konaté creates large-scale textile-based installations using woven and dyed clothes, materials native to his homeland Mali. Konaté’s abstract and figurative tableaux explore both aesthetic language and diverse socio-political and environmental issues. Referring to the West-African tradition of using textiles as a means of communication, the artist balances the global issues with an intimate reference to his own life and country.
His work often questions the ways in which societies and individuals have been affected by factors such as war, the struggle for power, religion, globalization, ecological shifts and the AIDS epidemic.
His works look like wall tapestries: most of the time they are composed of layered, hand-embroidered cotton ribbons. Colors play a big role and the choice depends not only on the composition he has in mind but also on the symbolic meaning: if he uses red it is possible that he refers to violence, white has a more positive connotation, black refers to death, yellow is both the land underneath and the sky above.
Abdoulaye Konaté, first studied painting at the Institut National des Arts in Bamako and then at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, where he lived for several years before returning to Mali. Recent solo shows include Abdoulaye Konaté, Primae Noctis Art Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland, 2016; Abdoulaye Konaté, Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016; Abdoulaye Konaté, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy, 2015; Abdoulaye Konaté, The World in Textile, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands, 2013; Abdoulaye Konaté, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy, 2013. Konate’s works are present in many prestigious public and private collections including: Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishøj; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dak’Art, Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Museum, Washington; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Foundation Blachère, Apt; Musée National du Mali, Bamako; Fondation Guy & Myriam Ullens, Geneva; Fundação Sindika Dokolo or Gare do Oriente, Lisbon; The Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, among others.
In 2020 Abdoulaye Konaté presents his monumental and site-specific installation Idéogrammes, signes, symboles et logos (Hommage à Youssouf Tata Cissé et Germaine Dieterlen) at Zeitz MOCAA’s BMW Atrium. In 2020 Konaté is also one of the artists invited to participate in the exhibition “Global(e) Resistance” at Centre Pompidou, Paris, with one of his historical installations, dated 1995-1996. Abdoulaye Konaté will participate in the 14th Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary Art 2020. The Biennial was set to open its 14th edition on May 28 but it has been postponed due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in Senegal. On 6th March 2021, Standing Pine in Nagoya presents “The Diffusion ofInfinite Things”, the first solo exhibition by Abdoulaye Konaté in Japan (click here
for more information!).
Don't forget to visit Abdoulaye Konaté's virtual exhibition at Primo Marella Gallery, click here