Born 1967, M’Balmayo, Cameroon
Lives and works in Paris, France; Düsseldorf, Germany; and Douala, Cameroon

In an era of global exchange, Barthélémy Toguo’s work reveals the absurdity of borders, whether psychological, familial, or territorial. He uses drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and video to reflect upon the places and people he encounters through his numerous travels. He is always both the subject and the narrator of these works, and considers them to be an interactive platform for information and communication.

A versatile artist, Toguo’s command of materials is exceptional. Since childhood he has tinkered with wood carving, and he has created wooden items—outsized custom and visa stamps, clothing, suitcases, even airplanes—for many of his projects, both to raise ecological issues and to reference African art’s traditional and popular uses of the material. He is also a master of watercolor, a technique more commonly associated with the West. In 1999, in response to a family crisis, he created the extraordinary Baptism watercolors: “At the age of 33, as I was still unmarried, my family suspected that I was impotent, and considered having me treated by traditional medicine. I wasn’t impotent at all, but my whole life was focused on my art.” Baptism celebrates the beauty of the human body even as it destroys it. The pages record the medical rituals to which he was due to be subjected, imaginary and actual ceremonies, as well as sexual encounters and erotic reveries. The work traces a ritual of passage, alternating between traditional family considerations and his private life in the West.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2004/2005
The Sick Opera
Palais de Tokyo
Paris - France

2004
La guerre des sexes n’aura pas lieu
Ecole régionale des Beaux-Arts
Valence - France

2004
Swallowing the World / Avalez le monde
Aliceday
Bruxelles - Belgium

2003
Pure and Clean
Institute of Visual Arts
Milwaukee - USA

2002 – 2003
Emergency Exit
Le lieu unique
Nantes, France

2002
Barthelemy Toguo
CCC Tours, France.

2002
Mamie water
Galerie Anne de Villepoix
Paris – France

2002
Puk, Puk, Puk
CCC
Tours – France

2002
Epidémies
Institut Goethe
Yaoundé - Cameroun

2001
Art Unlimited, Basel, Suisse

2000
" Barthélémy Toguo "
The Box Associati Gallery.
Turin, Italy.

2000
"Virgin Forest "
La Criée Contemporary Art Center.
Rennes, France.

1999
" Baptism "
Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf in der Tonhalle.
Düsserldorf, Germany.

1999
"Migrateurs", ARC.
Modern Art Museum Paris.
Paris, France.

1998
"Parasites"
Centre d'Arts Plastiques.
Saint-Fons, France.

1996
"Barthélémy Toguo"
Goethe Institut.
Yaoundé, Cameroun.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

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 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
Dessins et des autres – Part II
Galerie Catherine Bastide
Bruxelles - Belgique

2004
Je m’installe aux abattoirs
La collection d’art contemporain d’agnès b.
Les Abattoirs
Toulouse - France

2004
Les Afriques
Tri Postal
Lille - France

2004
Playgrounds & Toys
Manufacture des Œillets
Ivry sur Seine – France

2004
@rtscreen
Biennale de Dakar
Dakar - Sénégal

2003 - 2004
Vieille Charité
FNAC / MAC
Marseille - France

2003 – 2004
Outlook
Athens – Greece

2002
Biennale Busan
Corea Künsterhaus von Thurn und Taxis
Bregenz - Austria

2002
Postcards
Biennale de Dakar
Dakar - Senegal

2002
Ökonomien der Zeit
Museum Ludwig,
Cologne – Germany

2002
Tutto normale
Villa Medicis
Rome – Italy

2002
Biennale de Montréal
Montreal - Canada

2001
Intrinsecus/Extrinsecus
Studio Casoli
Milan – Italy

2001
ExitCongoMuseum. A century of art with / without documents
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Tervuren – France

2001
De quelques dessins contemporains
Fondation Guerlain
Les Mesnuls - France

2001
"Selections Fall 2001"
The Drawing Center (8/09-13/10)..
New York, United States.

2001
"Naturaleza, Utopias y Realidades"
International Contemporary Art Meeting.
Osorio " Mercancias " Espacio C.
Camargo, Spain (4/05-30/06).

2001
"Killing me softly"
Bild Museet, Umea, Sweden.

2001
"Political Ecology"
White Box.
New York, United States.

2000
"Heimat Kunst"
Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Berlin, Germany.

2000
"Partage d'exotismes"
Lyon 5th Biennal of Contemporary Art.
Lyon, France.

1999
"7ème triennale der Kleinplastik"
SW Forum Europa-Africa.
Stuttgart, Germany.

1999
"Managers de l'immaturité "
Le Magasin, National Contemporary Art Center.
Grenoble, France.

1999
"Fantasy Heckler"
Tracey
Liverpool, Great-Britain.

1996
"Das Bett"
Hohenstaufenring.
Cologne, Germany.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2005
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.

2004
The Sick Opera
Exhibition catalogue. Palais de Tokyo.

2004
Africa Remix
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.

2003
Outlook
Exhibition catalogue. Athènes.

2003
Solares
Exhibition catalogue. Biennale de valence. Espagne.

2003
Barthélémy Toguo " Virgin Forest ".
Exhibition Catalogue. Texts in French.
La Criée -Rennes, France.

2002
You don't know what you are missing
Emergency Exit de Barthelemy Toguo.
Exhibition Catalogue.
Edited by Filigranes, Nantes.

2000
Barthélémy Toguo : Labyrinth Process.
Exhibition Catalogue.
La Criée, Rennes.
Edition : Michel Baverey, Nantes, France.

1999
"Migrateurs".
Exhibition Catalogue.
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.1998
Barthélémy Toguo: " Parasites".
Exhibition Catalogue.
Centre d'Arts plastiques -Saint-Fons, France.