Abdoulaye Konaté – Art

Abdoulaye Konaté, Composition 5, textile, 146x230cm, 2012
Abdoulaye Konaté, Composition 5, textile, 146x230cm, 2012



born in 1953 in Diré, Mali



lives et works in Bamako, Mali

Director of the ’Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers Multimédia Balla Fasséké Kouyaté’ in Bamako 



The Abdoulaye Konaté textile sculptures are inexhaustible matter in which he listed the signs and symbols of secret societies in Mali (’Hommage aux chasseurs du Mandé” - 1994) or an interpretation of the world and events (“Bosnie, Rwanda, Angola” - 1995). 


With this material, he dyes, cuts, sews to have a structure for operating the at surface of the fabric. This can become the support of growths that create optical effects. Gradually the assembly of these items obliterates the presence of the figure and plays with volumes, infinity of folds, rebounds, hollows, crevices (’Symphonie Bleue’ - 2007). The density of the material allows him to dance forms in a setting designed to abstraction (’La danse d’une nuit’ - 2009).


[run the slideshow below]

  • Abdoulaye Konaté, 'Croix de lumière', bazin teint, 242x179cm, 2012

At first, he was influenced by Bocar Keita paintings, the only painter in his hometown, then joined the National Institute of Arts of Mali, Bamako. Mali, in this time a ’non-aligned’ country of communist influence, allows him to continue his training in Cuba, at the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana and to be influenced by Wifredo Lam paintings and other great surrealists painters. They strongly mark his drawing and painting, including his serie ’Ciwara’ and many others until today, often characterized by the representation of African stereotypes (masks, antelope, zebu horns ...).


In the 90, with large tapestries of traditional malian cotton,he worked a new creative process by looking at space and volume. Materials founding of his work, these textile sculptures reveal a deeply conscious world of economic and social challenges. It takes commitment and policy positions dealing with social, political and economic problems such as AIDS (patchwork of 6000 m2 covering the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Can 2002 in Bamako) or global crises (’Gris-gris blancs pour Israël et la Palestine’- 2006) ... in contemporary approach. But textile support is also to evoke the essence of Manding culture, with or without literal quotes to tradition with the famous serie ’Hommage aux chasseurs du Mandé’ in 1994.


Artist of the matter, Abdoulaye Konaté combines hanging, assembly, dyeing and sculpture to achieve high recall and strong presence in space. With textiles, gris-gris, bullets, used clothing or sand, he comes in the theater and the world of contemporary art through the door or spiritual or political. Reflecting a Malian, African and universal collective consciousness.


In 1996, he received the ’Grand Prix Léopold Senghor’ in Dakar Biennale. He participated in exhibitions in Belgium, France, Spain, Usa, Japan... He lives and works in Mali. Currently director of the ’Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers Multimedia’ in Bamako, Mali, he experiments new unprecedented pedagogies in Africa.



by Mariane Buchet and Jean Loup Pivin, 2012









'La toile d’Abdoulaye Konaté', Galerie Nationale d’Art de Dakar


Retrospective, Biennale de Dakar


Galerie Saro, Las Palmas, Spain

Espace forum von Kunst, Heidelberg, Germany


Chapelle Jeanne d’Arc - Thouars, France


Tuchbilder + Installation - Dany Keller Galerie, Munich


Le plateau - Galerie GO - Abidjan, Ivory Coast


Maison de la Culture - Amiens, France


Musée de l’Ifan - Dakar, Senegal


Galerie L - Habana, Cuba


Le Petit Salon National - Habana, Cuba



Group EXhibitions





Mixités-Les chantiers de la Lune, La Seyne-sur-Mer, France


Africa assume art position, Primo marella Gallery, Milan

Art Basel, Switzerland


Bienal de La Habana, Cuba

Africa ? Una nuova storia, Rome, Italia


Input - Colecção Sindika Dokolo, Luanda, Angola
Travesía, CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canaries Island, Spain

7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea
Artes mundi, Musée national de Cardiff, U.K.
Angaza afrika - African art now - October Gallery, London, U.K.

Biennale de Dakar, Senegal

Grey art Gallery, New York University, Usa

1st Biennale de Bruxelles, Belgium

Brocken Memory, Ghana National Art Museum, Accra, Ghana

Contact Zone, Musée National du Mali - Bamako, Mali
Three Questions for Art and Its Audience, Documenta 12, Kassel

Angola Pop, Triennale de Luanda, Luanda, Angola
Unhomely : Phantom Scenes in Global Society - 2e Biennale de Sevilla, Spain


Africa Remix, Hayward Gallery, U.K. - Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf - Mori art Museum, Tokyo - Centre Pompidou Paris - Johannesburg art Gallery, South Africa

Musée du Design et des Arts Appliqués Contemporains de Lausanne, Suisse

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Belgium

Biennale de Johannesbourg, South Africa

Triennale de Kleinplastik, Stuttgart, Germany

24th Biennale of São Paulo, Brazil

Suites Africaines, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris

Biennale de Venise, Italia


The Other Journey, Kunst halle, Krems, Austria


Setagaya Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Otro Pais, Palma de Majorque, Barcelone - Las Palmas Spain


Rencontres Africaines, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris


Tsurumoto room co, Shibuyo Ku-tokyo, Japan


Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris


2ème Biennale de La Havane, La Havane, Cuba


Jeunes peintres du Mali, Institut National des Arts, Bamako




- Biennale de Dakar : Pour une esthétique de la création contemporaine africaine. Tête à tête avec Yacouba Konaté et Valentin Yves Mudimbé, Paris, l’Harmattan 2009
- Martinez Nadine. Art contemporain/Art traditionnel : Aller-retour Mali-Mali. Paris, l’Harmattan 2009
- Spring Chris. Angaza Afrika: African art now. Lawrence King, 2008
- Documenta XII. Kassel : Taschen, 2007
- 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Séville: The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society. Actar, 2006
- Africa Remix. Paris : Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 2005
- Fall N’Goné and Pivin Jean Loup. Anthology of African Art, the Twentyth Century. Paris, Revue Noire editions and New York: DAP, 2002
- Mali au-delà des clichés, Beaux-arts Magazine, n°212, janvier 2002
- Abdoulaye Konaté plasticien (les carnets de la création). Paris : Éditions de l’Œil, 2000
- Estaçào Oriente. Metropolitano de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1999
- Suites africaines. Couvent des Cordeliers. Revue Noire, Paris,1997
- Alain David, Abdoulaye Konaté, Jean-Sébastien Leblond-Duniach: Fondation France-Libertés et Urbis. Paris : 1996
- African art of our time : an inside story. Tokyo : the Japan Association of Museums, 1995
- Revue Noire 17 : Mali, Burkina Faso, Revue Noire,1995
- Revue Noire 19 : Les artistes africains et le Sida, Revue Noire, 1995
- Rencontres africaines. Paris: Institut du Monde Arabe, 1994
- Revue Noire 12 : Afrique méditérranéenne-Afrique Noire, Revue Noire, 1994



Revue Noire publishing


Magazine Revue Noire RN17 Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso
Magazine Revue Noire RN17 Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso


Suites Africaines, in RN24
Suites Africaines, in RN24


Anthology of African Art, The XXth Century
Anthology of African Art, The XXth Century