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Tribute to N'Dary Lo

The Senegalese plastic artist and sculptor, N’Dary Lo, was born in 1961 at Tivaouane. He died in 2017. A retrospective with all of his outstanding works was dedicated to him at the Dakar Biennale of Contemporary Art from May 3 to June 2, 2018.

His recognizable works (his works in general) mostly represented living beings :

men, women, or trees, mostly long, immense and imposing.

He had talent for handling iron and has used his incredible dexterity to say all he wanted to say with the material : he had humanist, spiritual and environmental messages.

In fact, he said : "I like to give a 3rd life to things that I recover"


His inspirations, his ideas :


He drew them from everywhere : «a flying bird, a sound, objects picked up from the sea, in life...»


His materials :


Wrought iron, recycled objects, sheet metal, sandals and fishing nets picked up on the beach, which he transforms into masterpieces: that's the talent of an artist!


His debut :


Young, he was related to a local blacksmith, who inspired his love of working with iron, twisting and transforming it to suit his inspirations.


A few years later, after taking his baccalaureate, he decided to enroll at "Les Beaux-Arts", first as a visual artist, then as a sculptor.

Hurried and perfectionist, he said : «24 hours is not enough in a day, but I put up with it !»

Bulimic, does his creative madness predicted his short life and the necessity that he had, to leave an inheritance for the next generation ?


Inspired, he was...


He describes his works as humanity screams from the heart in a world of brutes.


To command respect, he likes to lengthen the features of his works. A simple bird he sees flying by, a word, a sound, a fleeting image : the idea imposes itself on him...


Tree dimensions revealed his works : the humanist dimension, the spiritual one but also the one of a man committed to denounce derives and injustices of the world.


His elongated works represented women, men or trees who tend their arms or their branches who seemed like hands pointing skywards in search of spirituality and prayers.

The men that he represented, were sometimes standing, mostly walkers, sometimes sitting, pensives, or even flying away!


N’Dary represent women, her, as fecund, like a foster and a protective mother who gives life ( for example with his dolls in the belly of a woman, like an ecography,1999).


He also likes to represent her as a strong person, engaged,courageous, free, as a source of hope, or as a person who search to live a better life such as Rosa Parks, hence the title of the exhibition and works: «Rosa Parks' refusal» (2009), «Standing woman» (2006)…


With children born and raised to become great men and women, we can have faith and hope in humanity!


A small selection from his exhibitions


His personal exhibitions :


· 1996 : Under the banner of peace, African Art Museum, Dakar ; French Cultural Center, Saint-Louis

· 1998 : Under the banner of walking, French Cultural Center , Saint-Louis

· 2000 : Under the banner of adaptation , Lille Young Workers' Home ; Independance Square, Dakar

· 2002 : Art in motion, Dapper Museum, Paris ; Éberis Studio, Dakar Biennale

· 2003 : Mawazine Festival, Rabat

· 2004 : Ndary Lo, postures, stations and other sculptures, Guigon Gallery, Paris ; Recourse, House of Slaves, Gorée Island ; Dakar Biennale ; Verticals, Maison folie of Villeneuve-d'Ascq

· 2006 : Celestial ties, Le Manège, Dakar

· 2009 : Rosa Parks' refusal, Blachère Foundation, Apt France

· 2011 : Ndary Lo's 50th birthda,retrospective, French Institut of Dakar

· 2011 : Sculptures, Guigon Gallery, Paris


His distinctions :


Two time winner of the grand prize Léopold Sédar Senghor of Dakar Biennale. Decorated by the president Chirac as the "Chevalier des Arts et Lettres" of the French Republic.


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