Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Barthélémy Toguo

Every now and again I like to pick out a particular artist that I think is doing something exciting in drawing at the moment. Barthélémy Toguo is working in that gap between drawing and installation which seems to be an area of practice that is really taking off at the moment. He is also working within a global context, within that expanded field that we were made more aware of because of the 'Magicians of the Earth' exhibition. See posts Magicians of the Earth one and two 

Often making images of an architectural scale, he works on rolls of watercolour paper. 

Barthélémy Toguo is an artists from Mbalmayo, in Cameroon and as well as making drawings he is involved in performance, installation, sculpture, painting and printmaking. In particular his ink and watercolour drawings are often the starting point for explorations in the way the body can be mutated and developed as a narrative for the psychic exploration of global identity confusion and collision. He lives and works in both Europe and Africa, often exhibiting in the USA. Very aware of his own culture, he is also responsive to the cultures that he moves between and amongst as he makes and shows work within a global context.

By using watercolours and inks as wet stains, he is able to suggest the mutability of forms and their propensity for suggestion and deformation. He also likes to work directly onto the walls of galleries and often shows his framed drawings within specially constructed installations. This allows him to bring together several aspects of his practice into the same environment, layering imagery and being able to suggest a multiplicity of meanings.

He often works directly onto the gallery wall, constructing imagery that is designed to work against his 'framed' or exhibited work.

The relationship between thought forms and reality shifts and mutates, his stains flowing with images as they arrive within their own becoming. 

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