Exhibition "Revival"

Posted by Michaëla Hadji-Minaglou on


From June 17th to July 12th, Afikaris showcases “Revival” a solo show featuring works by multidisciplinary artist Hyacinthe Ouattara. The exhibition  takes place virtually and on appointment in Afikaris' Parisian showroom.

“ I pictured in my head a person who just escaped from death and who was dancing of joy. ”
- Hyacinthe Ouattara

The notion of “revival” came to Hyacinthe Ouattara’s mind during the coronavirus health crisis. It evokes a world on the verge of collapse in his eyes. Far from presenting an apocalyptic vision, he celebrates life whilst paying a tribute to those who have left us, alongside a reflective questioning of his inheritance in this world. 

Gestes et Spontanéités, a drawing by Hyacinthe Ouattara, 2016

Hyacinthe Ouattara, Gestes et Spontanéités #1, 2016
30x42 cm
Acrylic and felt pen on paper 

His works convey hope and challenge existence. While underlining their fragility, he sees his creations as messages, instilling in the viewer a desire to live. Through the exploration of matter, he studies social relations and questions man’s place in the universe. The experimental field of this prolific artist, energized with transformation, is not bound to limits. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations attract the viewer inside his explorative world between dream and reality. 

Started in 2015, the series of works on paper “Cartographies Humaines” is inspired by the choreography of bodies in an urban space. How can the human flow of individuals permeating through the thin corridors of the Parisian metro maintain physical distancing? Each person is so close and yet so far from one another. On paper, blurred and colorful shapes delicately entangle in an abstract pattern. Combining the precision offered by ballpoint pen with the tenderness and intensity of ink and pastel, Hyacinthe Ouattara analyzes the anatomy of cellular tissues. He specifies: “I wanted to represent these parts of cells like traces of my memory of the world I belong to. I wanted to link these lines in my drawings, to link people together, to ensure that none of the characters are alone.” Separate to this concept, he explores the concept of trace in a series of eponymous canvases. Made from ink, pastel, and ballpoint pen, these artworks delicately and subtly reveal the invisible, testifying the artist’s steps in the universe. Through his work, he proposes to write the time signature. He captures momentary emotion in his artworks, like an explorative cadence shared by a musician to its audience. 

Cartographies humaines a series by Burkinabé artist Hyacinthe Ouattara, 2019

Hyacinthe Ouattara, Cartographies humaines #4, 2018
110x148 cm
Gouache, acrylic and ink on canvas

While an underlying social link is consistent throughout Hyacinthe Ouattara’s work, his artworks around fabric envisage metaphors. His sculptures from the series “L’anatomie des tissus” are part of a scientific approach exploring the very notion of link, revisiting his inspiration of organic matter. From these assembled fabrics, familiar shapes dawn under the nimble fingers of the artist. Tying and crossing fibers together, he encapsulates the human relations at the base of society. This symbolism becomes more evident as the textile pieces crafted to create his sculptures and tapestries originate from clothing belonging to those close to him. He explains: “For me, there is no society without clothes. That’s why I choose them, then I tie them, entwine them, link them together to give an organic aspect as if we were finally all connected through pieces of fabric or clothes, like a common identity.” Thus, while the American artist Sheila Hicks chooses to work with fabric because it is part of our daily life, Hyacinthe Ouattara extends this reflection and embeds it in his study of human connection. 

Fragilités series of works on fabric by Burkinabé artist Hyacinthe Ouattara

Hyacinthe Ouattara, Fragilités #2, 2020
100x80 cm
Mixed media on fabric

Exploration and experimentation characterize the art of Hyacinthe Ouattara, who is not limited to one medium. He sees his practice as echoing the world: an infinite and undetermined space. Listening to his senses and his environment, his creations spontaneously arise from his feelings. He analyses: “It is for me like a call, a necessity to choose a specific medium depending on what I want to express.” His multifaceted artworks reflect the emergency he feels, compelling him to experiment everything, to explore everything, aware that his time is limited. Thus, through his works close to abstraction, Hyacinthe Ouattara materialises a thought as philosophical as sociological, expressing his sensibility. 


For additional information and to get the complete catalogue of the exhibition, send us an email at florian@afikaris.com.