Ousmane Sow

1935 (Dakar) / 2016 (Dakar)
Artist's webSite
Artist's gallery

" How would I say ? was Ousmane's favorite phrase. Disappeared on December 1, 2016 in Dakar, at the age of 81, the sculptor of the place of great men will say nothing more. But all his work is in this series of questions: How to say what we feel, what we want, what we are? How to say sculpture? How to say Africa, Senegal, negritude? How, how? First African elected – at the age of 78! – at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, thirty years after Léopold Sédar Senghor at the Académie française, Ousmane Sow in no way claimed negritude as his illustrious compatriot conceived it, that is to say as “all the cultural values ??of black Africa”. No. Beneath his appearance as a debonair giant advocating postcolonial reconciliation, this convinced Africanist harbored Miles Davis under Louis Armstrong. Hiding the anguish of an uncrowned king, he rejected, like Aimé Césaire, “the image of the peaceful Black, incapable of building a civilization”. Despite a late, brief and rare work – made up of around 80 large sculptures, around ten small ones and around fifty bronzes – Ousmane Sow, by his quiet strength, succeeded in reinvigorating the idea of an African civilization on the move.
Photo © Béatrice Soulé / Roger-Viollet / ADAGP

Artist's issues

Issue 76
Issue 88

 Go back     |      Back on the top