The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

François Thango

François Thango

Born 1936,Brazzaville, Congo.

Died 1981, Brazzaville.

François Thango spent time in the studios of Pierre Lods's Poto-Poto school and Maurice Alhadeff's Pool-Malebo and Lubumbashi school.

He created his first narrative painting in the Poto-Poto school and in 1958, Pierre Lods sends him to Brussels to represent the Poto-Poto School at the Universal Exposition.

From 1959 - 1972 his art flourished under Alhadeff. Thanks to this collaboration, six of Thango's works were presented in New York in 1961.

Thango did not use an easel to paint. His technique involved using enormous narrow rolls of canvas, placed on a flat surface on which he would he would sketch in pencil. The visions, stories and questionings that appeared on the canvas undoubtedly came from his wanderings in the forest.

His huge frescos are painted in flat, monochrome colors and encircled with thick, black outlines. They lead us into a kind of imaginary and primitive forest where the worlds of animals, plants, monster figures and stylized masks come together.



Arts of Africa, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.


African Art Now, Tokyo


The Birth of Contemporary Painting in Central Africa, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Belgium



Contemporary Art of Africa

Territory : Zinsou p.34-36, text in English by Simon Agbe-Capko.

Edited by André Magnin & Jacques Soulillou

Publisher Harry N. Abraams.


Africa Hoy

Textes d’André Magnin. Exposition Africa Now. Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno,

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Ediciones El Viso.

Congo-Zaïre : Thango, de Brazza à Kin : 25 septembre 1991-14 janvier 1992

Lucette Albaret; Henri Marchal; Musée national des arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie. Paris : ADEIAO