Writing Art History Since 2002

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Omar Ba’s work (1977, Senegal) is characterised by his enigmatic nature and his great poetic intensity.

Omar Ba, Genesis I:26-27, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Templon, Paris/Brussels.
Omar Ba, Genesis I:26-27, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Templon, Paris/Brussels.

He seeks to express his subconscious and his symbolic interpretation of reality, therefor contrasting with the common didactic narrative. The artist deals with themes of chaos, destruction and dictatorship, draping his political discourse in a veil of poetry thanks to a pictorial language that is entirely his own, both fierce and delicate.

Omar Ba lives and works between Dakar, Geneva, Brussels, Paris and New York. Divided between several continents, he develops a mindset resulting from a permanent hybridisation, far from the stereotypes attached to his African roots. This hybridity is also found in his paintings where organic touches and flamboyant colours mix, using various forms, techniques and textures (acrylic, gouache, pencil and even typex). Ba paints on a black background (on corrugated cardboard or canvas), thus asking the viewer to literally and metaphorically adapt to the darkness.

Twenty large-format canvases, created especially for the exhibition, will be presented to the public at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. His iconography, which is both politically and socially engaged, but also imbued with personal mythology, raises historical and timeless questions, while radiating a resolutely contemporary artistic message, which can be found in artists close to surrealism and symbolism. Omar Ba denounces the chaos of the world with his brush.

The exhibition will be on view from the 1st of April until the 7th of August 2022. For more information, please visit the Royal Museums of Belgium.

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