First solo exhibition of Amadou Sanogo at Magnin-A Gallery

Amadou Sanogo first solo show at the MAGNIN-A’s gallery in Paris from January 26 -March 30

The painter Amadou Sanogo pays a lot of attention to the nature of the support, from simple fabric to very thick artisanal cotton canvases from the suppliers of Bogolan. The canvas, its irregularities, its defaults .. are an essential element in his work.

The canvas is laid on the floor without a frame in the middle of the studio. Standing in front of the canvas, Amadou Sanogo uses a pencil, his fingers, or directly a tube of acrylic to draw some figures and shapes that are always located in the center of the canvas. Everything is built and balanced around these figures according to his experimentations with colours. The colour of the background, specially prepared for each painting is very often monochrome. It is applied at last and eliminates all the elements that are not essential to him anymore. 

Beyond an apparent simplicity, the artworks of Amadou Sanogo have an undeniable graphic strength accentuated by the presence of objects, signs, circles, dots, lines … all these elements have a meaning and add to the narrative. 

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Amadou Sanogo, Elle me regarde, 2019. Acrylic on canvas 208 x 180 cm – 81,9 x 70,9 in. © MAGNIN-A and Amadou Sanogo

With his education, traditional and family values, Amadou Sanogo draws his inspiration from a cultural, political and social context that continuously makes him wonder and that he views with a critical eye. He is an artist of the world deeply invested and engaged in the Malian society between tradition and modernity. 

Amadou Sanogo was born in 1977 in Segou. His ancestors were Sénoufo, noble and farmers. They founded the commune of Zangorola in the area of Sikasso in the south of Mali that belonged to the Kingdom of Kénédougou (Country of light). Its kings Tiéba and Babemba Traoré are acknowledged and respected for being the last opponents to the colonial army lead by the French in Mali. Amadou Sanogo is happy to talk about his origins: “to know where we go we need to know where we are from”. He is the heir of this land full of history, symbol of resistance and endowed of a rich artistic patrimony. 

Obstinate, Amadou Sanogo did not follow the path he was supposed to. Instead of becoming an engineer, he chose to study at the Institut National des Arts in Bamako while “a noble should not indulge in the activities of a griot”.

He learns the traditional technique of Bogolan, iconic fabric of the Malian culture, before turning to painting. Annoyed by the academic training, Amadou Sanogo decides to pursue his own plastic research and develop his own language. His singularity leads him to collaborate with Simon Njami and Pascale Marthine Tayou in 2006. Abdoulaye Konaté, artist and director of the INA supports him. 

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Amadou Sanogo, L’observateur perdu, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 190 x 190 cm – 74,8 x 74,8 in, © MAGNIN-A and Amadou Sanogo

Humanist and freethinker, he is also fed by tradition, which constitutes a source of knowledge, wisdom and inspiration to him. He takes a great interest into Bambara proverbs that are for him essential to the understanding of the Malian culture in its whole diversity. Since his youngest age, he is respected by his relatives for his ability to listen and his objectivity.

Committed and federating, he opens in 2014 the Atelier Badialan in the heart of the wahhabite area where he welcomes young artists. For the first time in Bamako, artists are able to independently finance their own studio, living and working together, creating in emulation, in freedom and sharing their knowledge to the public. 

→ MAGNIN-A Gallery
Amadou SANOGO at MAGNIN-A Gallery
26th January – 30th March 2019

118, Boulevard Richard Lenoir 75011 Paris +33 (0)1.43.38.13.00
Tuesday – Saturday 2-7pm
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