A new series of works by the Senegalese painter, in dialogue with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen's Impressionist masters.
Alioune Diagne's powerfully coloured canvases are inhabited by canoes, fishermen and the shores of Senegal. From his native country, he has always been drawn to the banks of the Senegal and Gambia rivers, capturing the liveliness and energy of the scenes of life he observes. "This allows me to illustrate, in an underlying way, the issues of migration, over-fishing and water pollution, but also the courage of anonymous men living in difficult conditions to supply the country with fish", emphasises Alioune Diagne, who has made a name for himself on the international scene from Dakar to Paris, and who represents Senegal at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024.
His canvases offer a striking echo of the works of the great Impressionist masters, in their movement and technique. In response to the splashes of colour by Monet or Sisley, the artist offers a set of abstract signs that form as many silhouettes and sensations.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen in 2023-2024.
Alioune Diagne was born in in Fatick, Senegal, in 1985. He is an artist whose work is anchored in his culture and that has a distinctive visual identity. His great creativity dates back to his childhood, but his admission to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Dakar in 2008 decisively guided him towards an artistic career. 2013 was a decisive year for Diagne who then created his own mode of expression: the "figuro-abstro" style. He started depicting figurative scenes using abstract signs painted in bright tones. These signs make up both the backdrop of the paintings and the inside of the figures. To Diagne, they are unconscious motifs that convey meaning and emotions. With this new kind of language, a unique relationship is established with the viewer. The latter must be physically involved in the process, move around or squeeze their eyes in order to reconstruct the image.
The Senegalese painter is interested in several themes that he gathers together in "collections". Women on Senegalese market squares, the modou-modou—African immigrant workers—the groups of children you come across in the street. These are all inspiring themes for him. His works of art convey a vibrant and aesthetic vision of Senegalese's daily life but also of the African diaspora. His social commitment is perceptible in his work that encourages us to question central issues such as ecology, the place of women in society and racism.