Press Release (05 April 2019)
(For Immediate Release)
Solo Exhibition – Soly Cissé
Men and Lives
6 June – 1 August 2019
Soly Cissé I Untitled (Triptych) I 2018 I Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas I 210 x 420 cm
Sulger-Buel Gallery cordially invites you to attend the opening reception of Men and Lives, a solo exhibition by Soly Cissé. The exhibition will be opened on Thursday 6 June 2019 at 18:30 and concludes on Thursday 1 August 2019.
About the Artist:
Born 1969 in Senegal
Lives and works in Dakar, Senegal
Soly Cissé is a mixed media painter and sculptor from Dakar, and is one of Senegal’s most celebrated artists.
Cissé’s artworks are profoundly inspired by and contextualized through his upbringing. He grew up during an epoch of transition, following Senegal’s period of social and political unrest, where art served as mode of social activism and self-expression for the disenfranchised persons. His work, like a portal where the imagined and physical realms convene, intuitively explores notions of duality and repetition; tradition and modernity, the spiritual and the secular.
“I think and reflect a lot about humans and their relationships. Relationships between humans, the confrontation between humans and nature, humans and religion and then I challenge myself and experiment.”
Cissé’s spontaneous painterly movements, textured accents and neo-expressionistic techniques form depictions reflective of the dissolution of society’s moral thresholds, shifts attributable to globalization and modernization. Shapeless human characters distort into anthropomorphic shadows of the other self; identities lost in translation from the past to the contemporary and abstract lines and bold strokes of contrasting hues intersect, creating a layered configuration of Cissé’s mythical visions.
Cissé graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dakar, in 1996. He has had numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums in Europe, the Americas and throughout Africa. Cissé’s recent exhibitions include Les Mutants, Musée Dapper, Paris; Lumières d’Afriques, African Artists for Development, Palais de Chaillot, Paris (2015); and Solycolor, Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris (2009). His work also featured in the seminal exhibition Africa Remix (2004-2007), Dak’Art – Biennale de l’Art African Contemporain (2006), the Havana Biennial (2000) and Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (1998). He is listed by Forbes as among the top 100 contemporary African Artists based on monetary value alone.
About the Exhibition:
Men and Lives
The latest exhibition by Senegalese painter and sculptor Soly Cissé presents a selection of his recent work unified by the representation of bodily forms and aligned to questions about what is it that makes us human, after all.
“Men and Lives” sees this contemporary master interrogating some of the darker reaches of the psyche, though, as ever with Cissé’s work, imbued with humour and irony. His paintings sometimes show groupings of two or three figures who seem to be refraining from conversation or interaction, as though consumed by their own thoughts or search for some hoped-for “inner identity” not accessible to others. At other times he reveals a seeming procession of human forms, some overlapping and some set apart; again, each element stands apart even as they enter each other’s space. In some paintings, the canvas is divided into two registers or segment, at once seeming to be in conflict but nonetheless harmonised aesthetically, as if the artist is seeking for an impossible unity between fraught human relations.
Cissé’s incomparable understanding of the relation of line to the fulfilment of form (as well as a subtle use of detail in the form of pattern and crosshatch) can be seen in the works on “Men and Lives”. At over four metres wide, the astonishing canvas Untitled (Triptych) of 2018 shows the artist developing this subtle message of the relationship between the human and the lived at a magisterial level and forms a central axis for the exhibition as a whole.
Complemented by figurative sculpture, Soly Cissé’s latest exhibition at Sulger-Buel Gallery allows viewers to experience deeply philosophical, engaging yet accessible work by an outstanding contemporary painter of international repute.
Details of Venue:
Address: 51 Surrey Row, Unit 2 La Gare, London SE1 0BZ
Telephone: +44 203 268 2101
Duration: Thursday 06 June 2019 at 18:30 – Thursday 01 August 2019
Gallery hours during exhibitions: Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 18:00
Weekends or other times by appointment only.
About Sulger-Buel Gallery:
With over three decades experience in collecting and studying African Art, Christian Sulger-Buel became the remaining partner of Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery which had been in operation since 2014. Specialising in the contemporary art of Africa and its Diaspora, the team at Sulger-Buel Gallery builds on half a decade's commercial experience in presenting dynamic, challenging and exciting art exhibitions, publications and consultancy services. The gallery provides a focus for those in London to acquaint themselves with choice work from one of the fastest developing, ground-breaking and important areas in the field today - African art. Visitors and collectors can look forward to cutting-edge and influential exhibitions at its London space as well as at international art fairs by an international team of gallerists, consultants and curators.