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For its first participation, Senegal has selected the artist Alioune Diagne to represent his country at the 60th International Art Exhibition – Biennale di Venezia from 20 April to 24 November 2024.

Portrait of Alioune Diagne, 2022.

Born in 1985 in Kaffrine, Senegal, Alioune Diagne lives and works between Senegal and France. After studying at the Dakar Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Alioune Diagne has been developing an artistic language since 2013, describing it as “figuro-abstro”: a complex, meticulous style of painting depicting figurative scenes using abstract elements inspired by calligraphy. Using imaginary and mysterious script-like motifs, he creates ambiguous and dynamic paintings that depict daily life in Senegal as well as the everyday experience of the African diaspora around the world.

A socially engaged artist, his work is rooted in an exploration of the major challenges facing the continent: ecology, the place of women in society, discrimination, and the notions of transmission and heritage.

The exhibition in the Senegalese pavilion, held at the Arsenale, will be the fruit of a collaboration between Alioune Diagne, the Senegalese Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage, and Massamba Mbaye, an art critic, curator and historian specialising in communication theories.

Alioune Diagne’s work has been featured in a wide range of solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Africa and Asia since 2011, and was included in the collection of Senegal’s Domaine Privé Artistique de l’Etat (DPAE) in 2019.

Represented by Galerie Templon, Alioune Diagne’s work was selected and shown at the fourteenth edition of the Dakar Biennale in 2022. From September 16th, 2023, to March 5th, 2024, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen is holding a solo exhibition of his work, ‘Ndox – Glint (The Glint of Water)’, featuring around ten canvases created between 2022 and 2023.

Centering on the theme of the river, the exhibition creates an encounter between Diagne’s previously unseen canvases and pieces from the museum’s collection by Impressionist masters and leading figures from the Rouen School.

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