The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Born in 1923, Zéprégüé, Ivory Coast

Died in 2014 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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 then on 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. Searching for a way to preserve and transmit the knowledge of the Bété people, as well as the knowledge of the entire world, he invented an alphabet of 448 monosyllabic pictograms to represent phonetic syllables. This endeavor earned Bouabré the legendary reputation of being another Champollion, in reference to the great scholar and linguist Jean-Paul Champollion (1790-1832), who discovered the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs. Bouabré’s alphabet, which can transcribe all human sounds, reflects the essence of his thought: to achieve universality and to unite mankind.

In the 1970s, he started to transfer his thoughts to hundreds of small drawings in postcard format, using a ballpoint pen and colour crayons. These drawings, gathered under the title of Connaissance du Monde (Knowledge of the World), form an encyclopedia of universal knowledge and experience. Other projects, such as Readings from Signs Observed in Oranges (1988), serve as visionary records of divination. For Bouabré, his drawings are representation of everything that is revealed or concealed—signs, divine thoughts, dreams, myths, the sciences, traditions—and he views his role as an artist as a redemptive calling. He has stated: “Now that we are recognized as artists, our duty is to organize into a society, and in such a way to create a framework for discussion and exchange among those who acquire and those who create. From that could arise a felicitous world civilisation.”

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2011

The world of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and his Object teaching, Kimmel Center Window Gallery, New York, Etats-Unis

2010-2011

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London, UK

2010

Bon Séjour, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Galerie du jour

agnès b., Paris, France

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland

African Stories, Ancienne Banque du Maroc, Marrakech, Morocco

2009

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Galerie aliceday, Brussels, Belgium

2007

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, La Haute Diplomatie, Ikon Gallery

Birmingham, U.K.

2006

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Musée des Civilisations de Côtes d’Ivoire, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2003

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Musée Champollion

Figeac – France

2002

Dany Keller Galerie

Munich - Germany

2001

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré – Acharya Vyakul, Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris, France

1997

Musée du visage africain, Galerie Jule Kewenig, Cologne, Germany

1996

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Galeria DV, San Sebastian, Spain

1995

Mondes - Frédéric Bruly Bouabré & Alighiero e Boetti

American Center, Paris.

1995-1994

World Envisionned -Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE & Alighiero e BOETTI

Dia Center for the Arts.

New-York, United States

1993

Portikus. Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE

Kunsthalle Francfort, Germany.

Bern, Switzerland. Traveled to:

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany.

Ludwig Museum.

Aachen, Germany.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

Scrivere disegnando, quand la langue cherche son autre, Centre d’art contemporain Genève, in collaboration with la Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland (curated by Andrea Bellini et Sarah Lombardi)

2018-2019

Cahiers écrits, dessinés, inimprimés, Fondation Bodmer, Genève, Suisse (curated by Thierry Davila and Jacques Berchtold)

Talisman in the age of difference, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Londres, Angleterre (curated by Yinka Shonibare)

2018

The Quarries of Imagination, Stones between Art and Artifact, Grey Cube, Intermédiatèque, Université de Tokyo, Japan

La Tempête, Centre régional d'art contemporain de Sète, France (curated by Hugues Reip)

African Passions, Palais Cadaval, Evora, Portugal (curated by André Magnin and Philippe Boutté)

Cote d'Ivoire: Identité et vitalité de l'art contemporain, Mattatoio, Rome, Italy (curated by Massimo Scaringella)

2017

Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier. Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (04/26/17 to 04/09/17)

2016

Xu Bing Worlds of Words / Goods of Gods, Triennale de Milan, Italy

2015

ROC, La galerie du jour agnès b, Paris

La fabrique à fantasmes, Regard sur la collection du musée de Ouidah, Fondation Zinsou, Benin

Rituels, répétitions, contraintes, tentations - Plateforme Roven, Musée régional d'art contemporain du Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan, France

Un regard sur la collection Agnès B., le LaM de Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

Chinese Utopias Revisited: The Elephants, Bozar, Bruxelles, Belgium

1:54, Contemporary African Art fair, New-York, USA

The Untold Want, Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Dublin, Irland

Le monde entier jusqu'à aujourd'hui, Villa du parc, Centre d'art contemporain, Annemasse, Switzerland

Pino Pascali, l’africano. Sirens Virginia Ryan e Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Museo Civico di Castelbuono

Drawing Now, Paris, France

Art Genève, galerie Magnin-A, Switerland

2014

Ici l’Afrique/Here Africa - L’Afrique contemporaine à travers le regard de ses artistes, Musée des Suisses dans le Monde,Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, Switzerland

2014

Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions, Museu Picasso, Barcelona

2014

African way, Chapelle de la Visitation, Thonon-les-bains

Hommage à Frédéric Bruly Bouabré et Okhai Ojeikere, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

Une histoire, Art, Architecture et design des années 1980 à nos jours, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Fiac Officielle, Paris, France

1:54 Foire d'art contemporain africain, London

Art Genève, Switzerland

2013

The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

2013

Dessins et oeuvres sur papier, Galerie Jean Brolly, Paris

2013

Four corners of the world, Hite Foundation, Séoul, South Korea

2013

Focus sur la collection, Musée de la Fondation Zinsou, Ouidah, Benin

2013

Mes Amours…, Bandjoun Station, Bandjoun, Cameroon

The Solo Project Art Fair – Basel, galerie Magnin-A, St Jakobshalle, Basel, Switerland

Art Paris Art Fair 2013, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Yia Art Fair, Paris, France

1:54 Foire d'art contemporain africain, London

2012/2013

Biennale Benin, Inventing the World : The Artist as Citizen

2012

Drawing Now Paris, Magnin-A, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France

2012

Aujourd’hui je travaille avec mon petit fils, Aboudia, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan

2012

The Imminence of Poetics, Sao Paulo Bienal, 30th edition, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Art Brussels, 31th Contemporary Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium

2011

Prism – Drawings from 1990 - 2011, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

Le Monde vous appartient, Palazzo Grassi, François Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy

ArtParis, Just art!, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Riad Al Maaden, Marrakech, Morocco

La petite revue de l’art moderne et contemporain en Côte d’Ivoire, Rotonde des Arts, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2010

Artparis+guests. André Magnin & Leridon Collection, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Oct 8 - Oct 25

African Stories

Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech, Morocco

Mar 5 - Aug 22

La Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland

2009

Africa Arte Contemporanea, JZ Art Gallery, Milan, Italy

Against Exclusion, 3rd Biennale d’Art Contemporain, The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia

Animal, Anima, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France

Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

2007

Oct 07 – Feb 03 2008

Why Africa?

Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Turin, Italy

Musée d’art contemporain de Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2006

12 Oct -18 feb 2007

100% Africa

Guggenheim Museum

Bilbao, Spain

2006

31 March – 11 June

Aller / retour. L’Afrique

La Casa Encendida

Madrid - Spain

Dak’art 2006, Biennale de l‘art Africain contemporain, Dakar, Senegal

Musée des Civilisations de Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2005

30 Nov – 20 Jan

Attirare l’attenzione

Centre d’art contemporain

Besançon, France

2005

Arts of Africa

Grimaldi Forum

Monaco - France

2005

African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection

Museum of Fine Art Houston

Houston - USA

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, United States

2004 (travelling exhibition)

Africa Remix

Art contemporain d’un continent

* 24 July 2004 – 7 Nov 2004

Museum Kunst Palast

Düsseldorf - Germany

* 10 Feb 2005 – 17 April 2005

Hayward Gallery

London – England

* 15 May 2005 – 20 Aug 2005

Centre Georges Pompidou

Paris – France

* Feb – May 2006

Mori Art Museum

Tokyo

2004

Les Afriques, Tri Postal, Lille, France

2004

Je m’installeaux abattoirs !

La collection d’art contemporain d’agnès b.

Les Abattoirs

Toulouse - France

2003 – 2004

L’Invention du Monde

Centre Pompidou

Paris, France

2003

Transferts

Palais des Beaux Arts

Brussels – Belgium

2003

Correspondances Afriques

Iwalewa-Haus

Afrikanzentrum der Universität Bayreuth

Bayreuth - Germany

2002

Documenta 11: Platform 5

Kassel, Germany

2002

Inauguration du Plateau

Le plateau

Paris, France

2001

Egofugal

Istanbul 7th Biennal, Turkey.

2000-2001

Voici - 100 Years of Contemporary Art

Bruxelles Fine Art Palace

Bruxelles, Belgium.

1999-2000

Zeitwenden

Kunstmuseum Bonn

Bonn, Germany.

1999-2000

Art-Worlds in Dialogue

Ludwig Museum

Cologne, Germany.

1999-2000

Art Visionnaire/Visionary Art

Halle Saint Pierre

Paris, France.

1999-2000

Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA

1998

Sydney Biennial (11): Everyday, Sydney, Australia

Dak’art 1998, Biennale de l‘Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar, Senegal

1997-1998

Johannesburg 2nd Biennal

Johannesburg, South Africa.

1997

Kwangju Biennal.

Kwangju, Korea.

1996

Sydney Biennal

The Gunnery

Sydney, Australia.

Neue Kunst aus Afrika., Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

São Paulo Biennial (23): Universalis, São Paulo, Brazil

By Night, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France

1995-1996

Féminin/Masculin. Le sexe de l'art.

Modern Art National Museum, Georges Pompidou Center.

Paris, France.

1995

Big City

Serpentine Gallery,

London, UK.

1995

Gallery of 5th Continents

Oceanian and African Art Museum.

Paris, France.

1995

Dialogues de Paix/ Dialogues of Peace

Palace of United Nations

Geneva, Switzerland.

Baz’art du jour, Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris, France

1994

Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE

Ginza Art Space

Shiseido Co Ltd.

Tokyo, Japan.

1994

Rencontres Africaines

Arabic World Institute.

Paris, France.

1994

Worlds Envisioned: Alighiero e Boetti and Fréderic Bruly Bouabré. Dia Center for the Arts, New York, USA

1993

Grapholies

Abidjan Biennal.

Ivory Coast.

1993

La Grande Vérité, les Astres Africains

Contemporary African Art Collection

Fine Art Museum -Nantes, France.

1993

Art Against AIDS

Venice Biennal.

Guggenheim Museum. Venice, Italy.

1993

Trésors de voyage/ Travel Treasures

Venice Biennal.

Venice, Italy.

1992

Resistances

The Watari-Um Foundation for Contemporary Art,

Tokyo, Japan.

1992

Out of Africa

Saatchi Collection,

London, UK.

1992

A visage découvert, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Jouy en Josas, France

Oh! Cet écho !, Centre culturel Suisse, Paris, France

1991-1992

Africa Hoy - Africa Now

Atlantic Center of Modern Art

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherland.

Contemporary Art Cultural Center.

Mexico City, Mexico.

1989

Magiciens de la Terre

National Museum of Modern Arts -M.N.A.M.

Georges Pompidou Center, Grande Halle de la Villette.

Paris, France.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2020

"Paris la Consciencieuse : Paris la Guideuse du monde" by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. Fac simile, Les Presses du réel, Dijon, France, in collaboration with Faro.

2020

Contemporary African Art

Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

Collection World of Art (2nd Edition), Thames&Hudson, London

2017

Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Editions Dilecta, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France. Catalogue d’exposition.

2013

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, André Magnin, Yaya Savané, Denis Escudier. 4 bound volumes in a box set, 210 × 265 mm, 1436 pages, 611 colour drawings and app. 30 photographs. Éditions Xavier Barral, in association with the agnès b grant scheme

2014

Une histoire, art, architecture et design, des années 80 à aujourd’hui, Christine Macel, texts by Claire Bishop, Okwui Enwezor and Dieter Roelstraete, Editions du Centre Pompidou, Flammarion, July 2014

2014

Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions, Exhibition catalogue, Museu Picasso, Barcelona, pgs 72,74,135,137-38.

2013

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, André Magnin, Yaya Savané, Denis Escudier.  4 volume set. 1436 pages. 21,1 cm x 26,5 cm. Éditions Xavier Barral, Avec le soutien du fonds de dotation agnès b. May 2013.

2011

Gradhiva n°13 Pièges à voir, pièges à penser, présences cachées dans l’image

Revue d’anthropologie et d’histoire des arts du musée du quai Branly, page 146

2010

AFRICA. OBJETOS Y SUJETOS

Exhibition catalogue, published by cajAstur

2010

ATAA OKO – FREDERIC BRULY BOUABRE

Documentaire DVD « FREDERIC BRULY BOUABRE, L’UNIVERSALISTE » , Collection de l’Art Brut/Lokomotiv films Lausanne/Le Tourne, 2010

2010

L'invention de l'écriture, Philippe Bordas, éditions Fayard

2009

Africa? una nuova storia

Exhibition catalogue, published by Gangemi Editore

2007

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, La Haute Diplomatie, Ikon Gallery, 2007

2007

Why Africa?

Exhibition catalogue. Published by Electa & Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli.

2006/2007

Africa Remix,

Catalogue d’exposition, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

2006

Africa Remix,

Catalogue d’exposition, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

2006

100% Africa

Exhibition catalogue. Published by TF Editores & FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

2006

L’art contemporain, histoire et géographie

by Catherine Millet Champ Flammarion, 2006

2005

L’art africain contemporain

Christophe Domino, André Magnin. Editions SCALA.

2005

Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi

Exhibition catalogue. Published by Skira Edition & Grimaldi Forum Monaco.

2005

African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection

Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.

2004

Africa Remix

Catalogue d’exposition. Published by Hatje Cantz.

2003

Gagarin, seventh edition

Livre exclusivement sur des textes originaux des artistes. Pour moi, « l’art », c’est de savoir faire des sublimes œuvres innocentes !, pg 4. Editions GAGAvzw pour le « Municipal Academy of Fine Arts of Waasmunster »

2003

Transferts

Exhibition catalogue. Edited by Africalia.

2003

FILM

« L’alphabet de Bruly Bouabré »

Un film de Nurith Aviv. Production Swan Productions, ZDF/ARTE

Durée : 17'.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. La Méthodologie de la nouvelle écriture africaine, Onestarpress, Paris, 2003

2002

Documenta 11

Exhibition catalogue

Text by André Magnin, in German.

Kassel, Germany.

2001

Cole, Herbert, M., Harris, Michael D., Poynor, Robin, Visonà, Monica Blackmun, A History of Art in Africa, Prentice Hall and Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 2001

2000

Zeitwenden

Exhibition catalogue, text by André Magnin, in German.

Global Art Rheinland Edition : Dumont. France.

1999

Global Conceptualism : Points of origin, 1950s-1980s

Signs and Systems : Frédéric Bruly Bouabre, text in English.

Exhibition catalogue Edited by The Queens Museum of Art, New York.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Knowledge of the world,

Nexus Press, Atlanta, USA

1998

1996

Contemporary Art of Africa

Text in English by Alighiero e Boetti.

Edited by André Magnin and Jacques Soulillou.

Published by Harry N. Abraams.

1996

Sao-Paulo 23rd Biennal

Interview by Etienne Féau. Text in English.

Exhibition catalogue.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Galería DV, San Sebastián 1996

1995

MAAO

ITW Frédéric Bruly Bouabre by Etienne Féau, text in French

The 5th Continents Gallery, Paris.

1995

Worlds Envisioned

Lynne COOKE, André MAGNIN.

Exhibition catalogue.

DIA Center for the Arts, New-York.

1994

Book›: La Légende de Domin et Zézê

Introduction by Denis Escudier, texts in French, 200 pages.

Ed. Hazan - Revue Noire, Paris.

1994

Revue Noire, March-April-May, 1994, pg 12

1993

Book›: Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE

Texts in German, 200 pages.

Curator: André MAGNIN, Kasper KONIG, Ulrich LOOCK, Wolfger POHLMANN

Editions BRAUS, Heidelberg, Germany.

1993

Retrospective of Frédéric Bruly Bouabre, exhibition catalogue.

Frankfurt, Bern, Berlin & Aachen, Germany.

1991

Der öffentliche Blick

" L'art ou l'Esthetique " by Frédéric Bruly Bouabre, text in French p.75-91.

Verlag Silke Schreiber, Munchen und die Autoren.

1989

Magiciens de la Terre

Curators: Jean-Hubert MARTIN, Mark FRANCIS, Aline LUQUE, André MAGNIN

Exhibition catalogue, text in French p. 108 & 109.

1989

On ne compte pas les étoiles

By Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE

Georges Pompidou Center

Exhibition catalogue.

1989

Frédéric Bruly BOUABRE

Auto-biographical book

Inroduction by Denis ESCUDIER

Editions Bordessoules.

Saint-Jean d'Angély, France.

1986

Africa and the Written word

The Strange case of the Bété script. Bilingual texte French-English.

French Cultural Center, Lagos.

Introduction by Jacques Soulillou. Editions Karthala, Paris.