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Contemporary African Art Collection by Jean Pigozzi

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Abu Bakarr Mansaray

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Born 1970, Tongo, Sierra Leone
Lives and works Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in western Africa; in choosing a career as an artist Mansaray has laboured to stem the collapse of a nation drained by civil war. After leaving school in 1987, he settled in Freetown, where he became a voracious autodidact, studying all aspects of practical science and engineering. He revived a technique especially popular in central Africa of manufacturing decorative objects or toys out of wire and iron. But he applied an extreme form of this technique to build futuristic machines for extravagant purposes, creating contraptions that could produce fire, light, air, water, cold, motion, and sound. “I am an artist making creations without limitation. I do drawings, paintings, sculptures . . . I also invent machines for my own use at home and sometimes for other people,” he has proclaimed.

Mansaray’s preparatory drawings also stand as independent artworks. These studies consist of detailed calculations, sketches, diagrams, and commentaries executed in pencil, ballpoint pen, and crayons. “I like doing strange, complicated drawings and designing intricate machines inspired by scientific ideas that are at times beyond the human imagination (for example, the machines I designed called Hell Extinguisher and Nuclear Telephone Discovered in Hell). . . . I want people to feel the power of creation.” No doubt the economic, political and social situation in Sierra Leone, a country where war has left behind nothing but ruins and charred bodies, has shaped Mansaray’s imagination and the inspiration. In 1998 he managed to escape his country under extremely difficult circumstances, and spent several years in the Netherlands; however, his work continues to bear witness to the horrors of war.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
Magic and Power Of Magic Carpets and Drones, Marta Herford Museum, Germany

Independent Brussels, Brussels

2015
L’art et la machine, Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France

2015
Unorthodox, The Jewish Museum, NY, USA

2015
Biennale di Venezia, 56th Exhibition

2014/2015
Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

2014/2015
9th Taïpei Biennale

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
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London

Fiac Officielle, Magnin-A , Paris, France

Art Genève, Switerland

2013
1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, London

Art Paris Art Fair, Paris

2011
Art Paris, Just Art! Grand Palais, Paris, France

2010
African Stories
Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech

2010
ACM, Mansaray, Rigo 23 & Volyazlovsky,
Andrew Edlin Gallery,
New York, NY

ARTPARIS+GUESTS. André Magnin & Leridon Collection, Grand Palais, Paris, France

2009/2010
Insiders, CAPC de Bordeaux, France

2009 - 2010
Africa? Una nuova storia
Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

2007
Why Africa?
Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Turin, Italy

2006
100% Africa
Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Spain

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

2004 – 2006 (travelling exhibition)
Africa Screams – Das Böse in Kino, Kunst und Kult
The Evil and the Uncanny in Cinema and Art

* 29/04/04 – 12/09/04
Iwalewa-Haus
Afrikazentrum der Universität Bayreuth
Bayreuth – Germany
* 05/11/04 – 05/02/05
Kunsthalle Wien
Vienna – Austria
* 03/04/05 – 12/06/05
Kunstverein Aalen
Aalen - Germany
* 08/07/05 – 15/01/06
Museum der Weltkulturen Frankfurt
Frankfurt - Germany

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

2000
Lyon Biennal for Contemporary Art
Lyon, France.

2000
Die ver-rückten Stücke
Stiftung für Eisenplastik
Zurich, Switzerland.

1998
7. Triennale der Kleinplastik
Stuttgart, Germany.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2015
L’art et la machine, Musée des Confluences, Exhibition catalogue, Lienart publishers, Paris

Mana tukukuq Illapa, Universidad Ricardo Palma, Lima, Peru, 2015

2007
Why Africa?
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Electa & Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli.

2006
100% Africa
Exhibition catalogue. Published by TF Editores & FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

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 Screams: Das Böse, in Kino, Kunst und Kult
Exhibition catalogue by Tobias Wendl. Published by Peter Hammer.

2004
Africa Remix
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Hatje Cantz.

2000
Exhibition catalogue.
Lyon Biennal for Contemporary Art, France.

1998
7. Triennale der Kleinplastik
Exhibition catalogue. Abu bakarr Mansaray by J. Soulillou.
Text in German p.176-177.
Stuttgart, Germany.

1996
Contemporary Art of Africa, p.164-167.
Text by Jacques Soulillou.
Edited by André Magnin and Jacques Soulillou.
Publisher Harry N. Abraams.


Abu Bakarr Mansaray Biography - © 2010-2017 The Contemporary African Art Collection - Contact Caacart - Seydou Keita Photographer, the official website, new, click here