Author(s)/Editor(s): Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
Publisher: Museum of Modern Art
Dimensions: 236 x 276 mm
Published to accompany the first museum survey of Bouabré’s work in North America, this catalog offers a vivid account of the artist’s long and multifaceted career, including a detailed chronology of his life and reproductions of more than six hundred of his drawings. An essay by curator Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi introduces Bouabré to a new audience, illuminating his significance as both an important African creator and one of the most intriguing artists of the 20th century.
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923–2014) started his career as a bureaucrat in the French colonial administration but reinvented himself as a self-taught ethnologist and artist in Côte d’Ivoire, his home country. After developing a written syllabary for the oral culture of his Bété people, he turned to drawing as a way to unite Bété subjects with broader themes of human experience. His work attracted global interest, leading to major exhibitions and biennials since its art-world debut in 1989.