As part of the Classique ! group show - From July 16th to September 17th, 2022 - we are glad to introduce La famille by Ousmane Niang.

LEFT. GUSTAV KLIMT, THE FAMILY, 1910, Oil on Canvas,  90x90 cm
RIGHT. OUSMANE NIANG, LA FAMILLE, 2022. Acrylic on canvas. 215x170 cm

As a part of the symbolism movement, Gustav Klimt, an Austrian artist between the XIXth and XXth centuries, deviates from storytelling to focus on the fundamental issues of humans;. exploring their desires and fears at the edge of their unconscious, he rejects academism and materialism linked to the new industrial era. Art is no longer a reproduction, but rather the translation of one’s feelings. His work aspires to change the world by challenging a type of consciousness that relies on creation and imagination. La Famille (1920) is part of this symbolism movement where sinuous outlines, simplified shapes and flat colours - neglecting perspective - predominate. Klimt draws inspiration from Japanese art with asymmetrical compositions and mediaeval art through the décor of the painting. By implementing these themes into his work, Klimt’s art is symbolised through decorative elements. 

Ousmane Niang, a Senegalese artist, reinterprets this major artwork by translating his feelings toward the notion of family and its pictorial representation. He remains committed to the contemporary African spirit. His art is writing and conveys a message. By using the pointillist technique, inherited from the symbolism movement, he provides it with an additional meaning: “Each dot represents a solution to a social issue.” And like Klimt, Niang uses his art to push viewers to think and release their passive behaviour as consumers, through artistic creation. In this work, Niang depicts united figures in an embrace. He focuses on topics of family, echoing his recent paternity, and wants to reflect on the weight of the responsibility underlying his new role as a father. This social subject is left up to the interpretation of spectators. In that way, they project themselves into the work and remain in a constant state of surprise through universal language constantly speaking to the mind.


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