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Abu Bakarr Mansaray

Born 1970, Tongo, Sierra Leone
Lives and works in Freetown, Sierra Leone



Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in western Africa; in choosing a career as an artist Mansaray has laboured to stem the collapse of a nation drained by civil war. After leaving school in 1987, he settled in Freetown, where he became a voracious autodidact, studying all aspects of practical science and engineering.  He revived a technique especially popular in central Africa of manufacturing decorative objects or toys out of wire and iron. But he applied an extreme form of this technique to build futuristic machines for extravagant purposes, creating contraptions that could produce fire, light, air, water, cold, motion, and sound.  "I am an artist making creations without limitation. I do drawings, paintings, sculptures . . . I also invent machines for my own use at home and sometimes for other people," he has proclaimed.

Mansaray's preparatory drawings also stand as independent artworks.  These studies consist of detailed calculations, sketches, diagrams, and commentaries executed in pencil, ballpoint pen, and crayons.  "I like doing strange, complicated drawings and designing intricate machines inspired by scientific ideas that are at times beyond the human imagination (for example, the machines I designed called Hell Extinguisher and Nuclear Telephone Discovered in Hell). . . . I want people to feel the power of creation." No doubt the economic, political and social situation in Sierra Leone, a country where war has left behind nothing but ruins and charred bodies, has shaped Mansaray's imagination and the inspiration.  In 1998 he managed to escape his country under extremely difficult circumstances; however, his work continues to bear witness to the horrors of war.

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PUBLICATIONS

Les Initiés, un choix d'oeuvres (1989-2009) de la collection d'art contemporain africain de J. Pigozzi

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray

Moke,

Rigobert Nimi Mayuba,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé,

Les Initiés, un choix d'oeuvres (1989-2009) de la collection d'art contemporain africain de J. Pigozzi

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Author : Suzanne Pagé, André Magnin, Angeline Scherf, Ludovic Delalande
Editor : Fondation Louis Vuitton, Dilecta
2017

PRESS


Chéri Samba,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere


Jean Pigozzi : "Quand les gens auront vu la puissance de l'art africain..."

Le Point Afrique

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By Pascal Jouary

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23.06.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Moke,

Rigobert Nimi Mayuba,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


Les 15 meilleurs catalogues d'expositions de Paris

Evous

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By André Balbo

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05.06.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Moke,

Rigobert Nimi Mayuba,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


Les Initiés vous attendent à la Fondation Vuitton

Syma News

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By Florence Yeremian

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26.05.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Moke,

Rigobert Nimi Mayuba,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


Exposition Art Afrique. Le nouvel atelier, à la Fondation Vuitton

Evous

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By André Balbo

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20.05.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Moke,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


L'incontournable collection Pigozzi, Portfolio

Le Monde Hors-série. Le printemps africain. Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier à la Fondation LV

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By Suzanne Pagé

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01.05.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Malick Sidibé


Singularité et universalité de l'art africain

Le Monde

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By Philippe Dagen

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28.04.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Esther Mahlangu ,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Malick Sidibé,

Cyprien Tokoudagba


A la recherche de l'art contemporain

Le Monde Afrique

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By Philippe Dagen

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26.04.2017
Download: PDF

Calixte Dakpogan,

Seydou Keïta,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere


Focus sur la vibrante scène sud-africaine à la Fondation Vuitton

Le Parisien
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26.04.2017
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Seyni Awa Camara,

Chéri Samba,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

George Lilanga,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

Moke,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


Avril 2017. Exposition Art Afrique. Le nouvel atelier

Evous

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By André Balbo

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03.01.2017
Download: PDF

Amani Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Calixte Dakpogan,

John Goba,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Gonçalo Mabunda,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray


La cité ocre se dote d'un Musée d'art contemporain africain

Le Matin Maroc

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By Mokhtar Grioute

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22.11.2016
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Omar Victor Diop,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

André Magnin,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

JP Mika,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Marché de l'art : voici l'Afrique contemporaine

Le Huffington Post

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By Jérôme Stern

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09.08.2016
Download: PDF

Romuald Hazoumè,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray


Contemporary African art to take centre stage at Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Art Newspaper

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By Gareth Harris

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04.08.2016
Download: PDF

Omar Victor Diop,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

JP Mika


Art africain : les valeurs sûres

RFI

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By Norbert Navarro

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06.03.2016
Download: PDF

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Chéri Samba,

Omar Victor Diop,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

JP Mika,

Malick Sidibé


La folie des artistes africains. De New-York à Paris.

Beaux-Arts Magazine

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By Emmanuelle Lequeux

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01.03.2016
Download: PDF

Gonçalo Mabunda,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray


Seize artistes africains à la Biennale de Venise

Le Monde

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By Roxana Azimi

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17.03.2015
Download: PDF