Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien is currently exhibiting her first solo show entitled “Corps Mêlés” at the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, until June 10, 2023. The artist presents polymorphic works that tell stories, both his own and those of the living, through contemporary paths of mystical and mythological ancestrality.
In this series of new works, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien uses traditional hand woven techniques using natural fibers such as silk and kita cotton. These dyed and embroidered works carry a knowledge and a strength symbolized by the elements that compose them such as shells, scales or drawings on paper.
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien now presents herself as a healer, using plants and stones, through woven and mural sculptures in a very figurative way. This approach to healing is inherited from her Ivorian, Guadeloupean and Amerindian ancestry, where the relationship to healing also passes through the living and the organic.
At the heart of this exhibition, we find familiar symbols from Akan mythology such as the Siamese crocodile, symbol of equality between beings. However, the artist also introduces new forms and dives deeper into an evocative imagery of a female body in symbiosis with nature and cosmic balance. The artist’s works refer to African mythologies such as that of Mami Watta, the Mother of Water in Guadeloupe, through elements of the marine worlds charged with delivering their powers and mysteries.
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien: a visionary artist exploring new poetic horizons
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien is a French contemporary artist of Ivorian and Guadeloupean origin who has established her unique style in the world of African contemporary art. Her multidimensional creativity allows her to infuse a personal and poetic touch to her works, which are a harmonious blend of sculpture, weaving and other creative methods.
Born in France, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien grew up in the Ivory Coast where she became familiar with the country’s Akan culture. This Caribbean, West African connotation can be felt in her works, which are a perfect blend of traditional African cultures and new concepts.
Trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Cergy, she has refined her technique through her discoveries and experiences, which have taken on a multidimensional hue over the years. Now based in France, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien has exhibited her work to the general public through numerous exhibitions around the world and mainly in France.
Her solo exhibitions include “Forces Field” at 50 Golborne Gallery in London in 2019 and “Weaving the World” at L’Orangerie du Jardin du Luxembourg in 2021. The artist has also participated in several other solo and group exhibitions, including “About Now #1″ at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury in Abidjan in 2021. That same year, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien was named winner of the 3rd edition of the 1% Art Market with her project ”Ofi Titi”.
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien excels in the art of sublimation, using natural and industrial materials to give her works a perspective other than the original. She uses mainly hair strands, organic material, raffia fiber, copper, aluminum, brass and many other materials to create her works. She also composes her creations using objects from various African cultures, which gives them a specific historicity.
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien uses a variety of artistic languages to express her art, including video, painting, installation, sculpture and weaving. She also uses other practices to design her unique works with multiple cultural identities. Her blend of creativity breaks the barrier of suspicion and takes us to new poetic horizons. The originality of her creations, combined with her cultural identity, places her at the forefront of contemporary African artists to follow closely.