Galerie Templon is kicking off the new season with Omar Ba. The Senegalese artist will be exhibiting for the first time on the gallery’s walls in Paris, in its second recently opened space on Rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare. With Autopsy of our Consciences, Omar Ba is adopting a critical posture. The paintings and installations seek to unearth the “annals of forgetfulness”. Reflecting upon recent history, ecological issues and his own past, Omar Ba unravels the complexities of the world in an attempt to better understand them.
The artist examines the Second World War and the way it is recounted via the theme of official awards, medals and recognition. He explores maternal love and its sacrificial dimension through the figure of a missing mother. With an apparently simple colour range – icy blues and vivid reds on black and white backgrounds – the artist creates a harmonious compendium of portraits, fantastical creatures, abstract motifs, symbols and lush vegetation. Each piece plays out like a dream or a cartoon. His favourite subjects are visible: the problem of power, interdependence, tolerance and the need for dialogue.
Born in Senegal in 1977, Omar Ba studied fine arts in Dakar then Geneva, where he still works. With one foot on each continent, Omar Ba has developed an approach rooted in permanent hybridization. He combines personal metaphors with ancestral references, manifestations of the unconscious and a symbolic perception of reality. Abandoning his early abstract style, Omar Ba has created an enigmatic figurative form with a blend of oil paint, gouache, India ink and crayon, often on cardboard and sometimes on canvas. The seeming gentleness of his work contrasts with the suppressed violence of the subject matter.
Over the last 10 years Omar Ba has participated in numerous international group exhibitions, most recently Quel Amour ?! (MAC Marseille, 2018), Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier (Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, 2017), the festival Afropolitan (Bozar, Brussels, 2017), Afrique-Raconter le Monde (Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 2017), Le Havre – Dakar, Partager la mémoire (Le Havre natural history museum, 2017), and, notably, the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts (London) and the Biennale of Dakar in 2014. His works have been included in various public collections including at the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP) in France and Collection Nationale Suisse (Basel). He also features in the Abu Dhabi Louvre collections, where his work has been exhibited since its inauguration in 2017.