While the MoMa in New York is currently devoting a monographic exhibition to « Frédéric Bruly Bouabré : World Unbound », it is in this same spirit that the MAGNIN-A gallery is presenting « On ne compte pas les étoiles » (We don’t count the stars) in its spaces in Paris until July 30, 2022.
« On ne compte pas les étoiles », an exhibition whose title alludes to the eponymous book by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and which offers an uncommon and remarkable assortment of drawings little or never shown, made by the artist between 1983 and the mid-2000s.
On the occasion of the exhibition « On ne compte pas les étoiles », the gallery owner André Magnin opens his archives to offer the French public the possibility to discover the drawings made by the Ivorian artist. Thus, alongside large sets, such as the main edition of the Alphabet Bété or the Museum of the African Face, the gallery MAGNIN-A brings to light unpublished works, letters and objects, but also videos of Bruly Bouabré.
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré has devoted his life to knowledge, starting with his perception of the world and nature. Since his vision in 1948, he delivers everything that is on the outer layer of things: organic products, mists, bark, kola nuts, footprints on the ground, but also his representations of characters that he probably found in magazines, newspapers and photos. The structures through which information seems to come to him. To become aware, to obtain apparent and sometimes imperceptible knowledge through a single eye, is essential to Bruly Bouabré‘s extraordinary work that reaches us, charms us and changes us.
His art is a world. It has its rules, its deities, its language, and even before being a draftsman, he never stopped trying to appease men, to consider and venerate the Earth, that is to say, to cherish it. Frédéric Bruly Bouabré needed to enter Victor Hugo’s Pantheon and to save his people’s way of life through writing. He kept repeating: Writing and art are the best ways to concretize thoughts and people.
Several works are presented at the MAGNIN-A gallery for the exhibition « On ne compte pas les étoiles », and testify to the uniqueness of the drawing and the letter, the letter and the soul. Thus, the first absolute adaptation of his Bété Alphabet, including his most memorable drawings, but also the African face museum and many other compositions. The famous Békora stones, which are the origin of his alphabet, are also prominently displayed.
All of Bruly Bouabré‘s strict origins, whose first creator is Nature, are found in his ability to worship and make people love, to see and make people see the sacred words that are articulated on stones, stains and skins.
The space of the Magnin-A gallery is thus thought as an excursion inside a world. Unique pieces, troupes, works, letters about the artist, photographs, and sound and video files mark out a path through which we infiltrate his creation.
The exhibition « On ne compte pas les étoiles », is also the story of a companionship, it is an entry into the thought of the artist who shows that the alphabet of Bruly Bouabré was made from 453 drawings and that each drawing is like a word in a reference book.