Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary African Art


Abdoulaye Aboudia Diarrassouba
signed (centre left)
acrylic and mixed media on canvas 
129 by 138cm., 50¾ by 54¼in.
Painted in 2014
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Jack Bell Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner 


Martigny, La Manoir De La Ville De Martigny, Dakar-Martigny: Hommage à la Biennale d'art Contemporain, 2016

Catalogue Note

Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, known as Aboudia, was born in 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and graduated from the Centre Technique des Arts Appliqués in the Ivorian town of Bingerville in 2003. Aboudia has come to be one of the Ivory Coast's most recognized artists, achieving international acclaim for attempting to chronicle the devastation suffered by the Ivorian people during the country's violent civil war, particularly the 2011 Battle of Abidjan. As forces began to pour into the capital city, Aboudia found safety in an underground studio beneath the streets of Abidjan. It was there that he began work on a series of large-scale canvases, documenting the chaos unfolding directly above him. These works would come to be the focus of the artist's 2011 solo exhibition, War Series, at Jack Bell Gallery in London.

Aboudia claims that his work is deeply tied to the street art of the Ivorian youths or 'Nouchi', with whom he feels a kinship. Street art produced by Nouchi are often physical expressions of resilience, defiance as well as representations of the hopes and dreams of a people struggling on the sidelines of society. 

Often compared to the bright and gestural works of Basquiat in style and the revealing and sombre works of Goya in theme, Aboudia masterfully combines ominous, dark and usually skull-like imagery with energetic and vibrantly coloured brushstrokes.

Executed in 2014, this present work is a continuation of Aboudia's exploration of life in post-civil war Abidjan and the daily hardships endured by the Ivorian people, especially the youth. Aboudia continues to create large multi-layered works in an attempt to bring to light both the immense struggles endured by the Ivorian people but also their relentless desire to overcome.

Modern and Contemporary African Art