Significant contemporary African artists exhibit

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Pelagie Gbaguidi 'Icon in Progress Exit' 2015 Acrylic and pigment on canvas 260x165cm.
Pelagie Gbaguidi ‘Icon in Progress Exit’ 2015 Acrylic and pigment on canvas 260x165cm.

Large-scale paintings, works on paper and books from two major new projects by Soly Cissé and Pélagie Gbaguidi will be exhibited in a curated booth. Sulger-Buel Lovell is honoured to present this two-person exhibition at 1:54 Artfair in London in October 2016.

Art lovers, investors and followers of Soly Cissé can expect to see new works of great passion and intensity. These have been created during a traumatic period in the artist’s life. The Senegalese artist who usually lives in Dakar contracted an infectious disease that affects the lower limbs. Numerous surgical operations and eventually an amputation left Cissé, by his own description, an “angry man”. During his lengthy recovery in Paris, Cissé says he rediscovered his passion and found his art a way to motivate himself for a fresh start. He explains this driving force as “the will to prove to myself that I am still here. I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable to face this problem before proving it to everyone else.”

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Sulger-Buel Lovell will present Soly Cissé’s newest paintings as well as books from his Black Box project. These he describes as being “like a treasure, a hidden secret”. Created when he was forced to work within the confines of his hospital bed, they are artist books containing 25 to 27 original collages in each.

Christian Sulger-Buel, the London based director of the gallery, who has visited Soly many times during his ordeal, says “it is a privilege to represent Soly, and to bring these works to London. I love them! They are significant in the artist’s life, and they are powerful.”

Exhibiting alongside him in the booth is Benin artist Pélagie Gbaguidi. The paintings on canvas, and drawings on paper from her new project El Mundo Sans le Corps, have a different kind of intensity, similar to that which you get from a great poem, or opera. That sense of layered meanings, of moment and eternity or fragility and force in one.

The work of Gbaguidi’s hand moves and mediates characters between acts of living and re-living present and past, and serves to suspend audiences in her vision of a ‘real’ mythology.

Commenting on the works in this project, Gbaguidi says … “The era of globalization was an attempt to raise awareness among citizens, of the affinity of the world they share. Today, it seems that the priority is to rebuild the conscious part of our individual belonging to the world. Art can help shape a more humane world and give us the strength to reinvent ourselves.”

The common thread woven through this exhibition is this strength to reinvent ourselves.

The exhibition is presented at the 1:54 Art fair at Somerset House in London from 6 to 9 October 2016.

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