Abdoulaye Konaté, Composition vert émeraude et rouge, 2016 Photo: Todd White

Abdoulaye Konaté, Composition vert émeraude et rouge, 2016 Photo: Todd White

Symphonie en couleur is Abdoulaye Konaté’s first major solo UK exhibition. One of the most eminent West African artists of his generation, Konaté is known for his monumental figurative and abstract textile compositions, which balance political and social reflections with an exploration of formal colour composition. This presentation comprises entirely new works of abstract tableaux inspired by the hues found in rocks and minerals.

Konaté’s vivid, fabric-based installations have their roots in his Malian homeland. The woven and dyed cotton that he uses, draws from the country’s rich historical tradition whilst his adaptation of the materials roots his work firmly in the contemporary. Inspired by capes worn by Senufo musicians, Konaté has developed a system of using layers of coloured ribbons to explore painterly ideas of composition and colour. This sophisticated abstraction also alludes to the underlying relationship between colour gradations and musical tonalities, music being central to Malian culture.

The countless strips of cotton that make up each work are hand-embroidered and stitched together so that each artwork is deeply layered and laden with texture. Inspired by the region’s geology Konaté’s four metre wide Composition vert émeraude et rouge has a polychromatic patterning that recalls the colours found locally in amethyst, epidote, garnet and quartz. These jewelled tones also inform other works in the exhibition where subtle variations of colour and embroidered accents predominate.

Venue: Blain|Southern, 4 Hanover Square, London W1S 1BP

More information: Blain|Southern