Artes Mundi 2008: Abdoulaye Konaté

Detail from Les Musiciens Koroduga (2006)

Last updated: 11 December 2008

Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté's work is a powerful commentary on political and environmental affairs.

Abdoulaye Konaté studied painting in Bamako, Mali and then Havana, Cuba. He later combined his painting skills with installation work to make a powerful commentary on political and environmental affairs.

In the 1990s he took up one of the great issues for West Africa - the encroachment of the Sahel. Since the millennium, his work depicts another - the devastating effects of AIDS on society and on individuals.

His questioning of the political, social and economic scenes in contemporary Mali is evident in how AIDS, wars, ecological issues, human rights, globalisation affects all aspects of life and individuals within society. Much of his large scale work is textile-based, a medium which is more readily available than paints.

Abdoulaye Konaté has worked as a graphic designer at the Musee National in Bamako and in 1998, he was appointed Director of the Palais de la Culture. He is now Director of the Conservatoire for Arts & Media in Bamako. He has received several awards and in 2002, he received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mali and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.

Abdoulaye Konaté was born in Diré, Mali in 1953 and lives and works in Bamako, Mali. Recent exhibitions include Documenta 12, 2007 and Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent in 2005 at the Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf.

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