Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List

Western Africa : Mali


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Bogolan et arts graphiques du Mali; [exhibition held at the Musée national des arts africains et océaniene, Paris, June 6-September 3, 1990]. Paris: ADEIAO, Musée national des arts africains et oceaniens, 1990. 64pp. illus. (pt. color). (Cahiers de l'ADEIAO, 9). N7399.M3B67 1990 AFA. OCLC 22192310.

The Groupe Bogolan based in Bamako have adapted Malian mud cloth (bogolanfini) to explore a modern artistic expression. Faithfully utilizing the traditional techniques and materials that village women have developed for dyeing mud cloth, these academically trained artists are evolving their own mud cloth idiom. Whereas the women's cloth is patterned with overall geometric designs, the urban artists paint figurative cloths, though they often retain the geometric borders that distinguish traditional bogolanfini. The six artists of the Groupe Bogolan featured in this 1990 exhibition in Paris were Kandioura Coulibaly, Fallo Baba Keita, Boubacar Doumbia, Souleymane Gora, Néné Thiam and Kélétigui Dembélé. Other Malian graphic artists featured were Salah Hidayat Diallo, Mamadou Habib Ballo, Ismael Diabaté, Nafogo Coulibaly, and Abdoulaye Konate.

Exhibition reviewed by Marie-Hélène de Toffol, "Arts africains contemporains," Afrique contemporain (Paris) no. 157: 63-69, 1er trimestre 1991.

Guide des artistes plasticiens du Mali Tome 1. Bamako, Mali: Acte Sept, 2004. 111pp. illus. (color), portraits, bibliog. (p 105). N7399.M3G95 2004 AFA. OCLC 82119981.

This biographical guide to 30 Malian artists begins with an essay on the art scene in Bamako, which traces its evolution since the 1960s. For each of the 30 artists, there is a photograph of the artist and illustrations of a work, very brief biodata, principal exhibitions, and contact information. Most are younger artists who came of age along with Mali's independence and are not known internationally. A list of galleries, museums and art spaces is appended.