Watch and Listen


To memorize, experiment and discover, these are the goals of MemoArt, a card game created to mark the 10th anniversary of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art. To play, you just have to turn over the matching pairs, but be careful, though some associations are easy to spot, you’ll have to explore right across our five collections to find others. Enjoy learning through sharing in this game full of fun and culture for players of all ages!


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Bust of Ramses II

Jar with cartouches of Ramses II


Egypt, IVth quarter IInd Millennium BC
Red granite
72 x 58 x 32 cm

This bust was uncovered by Swiss archaeologist Edouart Naville in the ancient town of Heracleopolis Magna (the Greek name of the Egyptian Hut-Nen-Nesu), the royal capital during the 10th and 11th dynasties. This is the upper part of the statue of a king that wears the nemes headdress, the same that can be seen on king Tutankhamun’s famous funerary mask. Despite the lack of inscription, he can be identified as a ramesside king who ruled either during the 19th or 20th dynasty, probably Ramses II.

Egypt, IVth quarter IInd Millennium BC
Calcite-alabaster with encaustic paint
40.5 x 26.1 x 20.7 cm

The tall neck of this vessel is decorated with floral motifs and, on one side, with two cartouches bearing the names of Ramses II. Since the end of the prehistoric period, Egyptian kings took on a “Horus name”; rapidly, four additional names were added: the name of the “Two ladies”, the “Golden Horus” name, the “Son of Ra” name, and the name of the “King of Upper and Lower Egypt”. Only the latter two were written in a cartouche, the oval shapes that you can see on the jar. To the right is the name of the “Son of Ra, Ramses beloved of Amun” and to the left, the name of the “King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Strong is the Justice of Ra, the one chosen by Ra”.

Links between these artworks

Eight pharaohs belong to the 19th dynasty, established by the grand-father of Ramses II, to whose reign both artefacts are attributed. Ramses II enjoyed an unusually long and prosperous reign so that he is also known as Ramses the Great.

Amphora attributed to the Castellani Painter

Amphora attributed to the Leagros Group


Etruria (?), ca. 560 BC
Terracotta, black figure style, with white and red touches
34 x 22 cm

This vessel pertains to the “Tyrrhenian Group” amphorae, a class of vases which were mainly found inside Etruscan tombs. Depicted on it is a duel of hoplites framed by two riders, above two friezes of real or mythical beasts. The Castellani Painter tends to represent scenes from the Iliad: in the present case, we could be dealing with the fight between Achilles and Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, an episode which very much inspired ancient artists.

Greece (Attic), c. 510-500 BC
Terracotta, black-figure style
40 x 18 x 26 cm

Adorned with scenes giving pride of place to warriors, this amphora was attributed to one of the anonymous painters of the “Leagros Group”, a group of artists who decorated amphorae and hydriai with scenes related to Dionysus, or inspired by epic literature. The front of the vase shows a chariot drawn by four horses, at a standstill, with four persons around it. Perhaps this shows the departure of Achilles, hero of the Iliad, for Troy.

Links between these artworks

These amphorae were both meant for wine; the Iliad, which played the role of national history for the Greeks, is an important source of inspiration for artists. Banquet vases were the favoured medium for this imagery glorifying the Greek past. On the death of their owner, they were buried with him.

Statuette of a divine bull

Statuette of a goose


Egypt, IVth – Ist cent. BC (Ptolemaic period)
Black diorite
42 x 19.7 x 59.6 cm

Several Egyptian gods are closely associated with the bull, of which Apis and Mnevis are the most prominent ones. Apis was venerated at Memphis, Mnevis at Heliopolis, both places in the vicinity of modern-day Cairo. Apis was first considered as a herald or as a son of Ptah, before becoming the living image of that god. Mnevis was considered as the ba-soul of the god Ra. On this statuette, we can see the remains of a broken off sun-disc set between the horns that indicates de divine status of the animal.

Egypt, 2nd half IInd Millennium – 1st half Ist Millennium BC (New Kingdom – Third Intermediate Period)
Gessoed wood and bronze
33.5 x 13.2 x 38.8 cm

This goose most likely represents Amun, who is more usually shown in human form, wearing a crown of two tall feathers. In animal form, this god appears often in the guise of a ram, more rarely of a goose. These latter representations symbolize the primeval aspect of the god who, according to some texts, awoke his creation by honking.

Links between these artworks

This goose and bull are evidence of some of the complex principles of ancient Egypt’s religion that allowed the association of deities and animals. There were however crucial differences: the goose is only one of the many aspects of the god Amun, and other creator gods were represented by the goose, originally named gengen wer, ‘the great honker’. For example, the god Geb could take the form of a goose; in that particular theology, he was seen as the creator god who laid the first egg, from which arose the sun.
In contrast, the divine bulls were considered as gods on earth, so that a single bull was venerated at any given time for each deity such as Apis or Mnevis. After their death, these bulls were mummified and buried during grand funerals.

Statuette of Hermaphroditus

Mosaic depicting Hermaphrodite


Greece, 2nd – 1st century BC
Bronze, hollow cast
25.5 x 9.5 x 7.5 cm

A face with charming features, long hair, and a gracefully lopsided posture: everything in this statuette is reminiscent of Aphrodite. However, we are dealing with her child Hermaphroditus, a deity both female and male, who exhibits his female breast and male sex. 

Roman Orient, 2nd – 3rd century AD
Mosaic depicting Hermaphrodite
94.8 x 78.5 x 3.5 cm

This mosaic panel depicts a half-male, half-female deity unveiling his charms. Like Aphrodite, this divine being is admiring himself in a mirror. Son of Hermes and Aphrodite, Hermaphroditus is an intersex character associated with fertility. As his name suggests, his body incorporates the marks of both his parents.

Links between these artworks

Son of Hermes and Aphrodite, Hermaphroditus is an intersex divine character related to fertility. Since the 4th century BC, Hermaphroditus was a deity liked by the ancients, and depictions of him are found on many media: mosaics decorating baths, decorations of theatres or gymnasiums, or household furniture.

Fine Arts

Exodus n° 1

Deux têtes de bêtes – Big Bird [Two creatures’ heads – Big Bird]


Oil, gouache, colored pencils and cut-out paper mounted on canvas
100.1 x 65.3 cm

With its paper cut-outs and colored pencil drawings, everything here evokes the wonderful world of childhood. However, the illusion of that first glance is short-lived. The title brutally shatters this false sense of innocence by revealing the backdrop to the work. With Exodus, Karel Appel delivers his poignant testimony to the massive exodus of civilian populations fleeing the advance of the German troops in May-June 1940. Millions of Belgians, Dutch and Luxembourgers poured onto French roads, adding to the droves of French refugees, who like their European counterparts, had hastily taken everything they could. On this cart, wobbling under the weight of its load, stands a child hugging a doll. From his fragile perch, he single-handedly embodies the universal tragedy of exile.

Oil on canvas
130 x 100 cm

In 1953, a year before the execution of Big Bird, Karel Appel sold a large batch of paintings at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. With the money earned, he treated himself, for the first time, to a number of expensive colours that he was able to use without moderation. Our painting is the fruit of that sudden opulence. Everything here is excessive: the thickness of the material, worked in high relief; the vividness of the colours, projected in clumps onto the canvas; and above all, the insolent freedom of execution that borrows its magical spontaneity from a child’s drawing. In this spirit, Karel Appel traced the black outline of his “two creatures’ heads” directly from the tube onto the canvas—two carnivalesque creatures, half-man, half-animal, populating the dreamlike universe of the Dutch painter.

Links between these artworks

Karel Appel was born in Amsterdam in 1921, and is the author of these two works that subvert the naivety of a child’s drawing to translate the violence of his epoch. Using this form of elementary and instinctive expression, Appel sought to achieve a kind of universal primitiveness, which the artist and his CoBrA counterparts were keen to revive in the aftermath of the horrors of the Second World War.

Peinture 195 x 130 cm, 1er septembre 1957

Peinture 130 x 89 cm, 24 août 1958


1 September 1957
Oil on canvas
195 x 130 cm

By increasing the size of his paintings from the 1950s onwards, Pierre Soulages did more than simply lengthen his brush strokes. He gave the colour black an increasingly important place in his work. It now filled the entire pictorial space to saturation point. Black had always fascinated the centenarian painter. “As a child, I used to paint large strokes of black ink on white paper and call it a snowy landscape.” However, the budding artist was far from achromatic! His painting is definitely not monochrome. In this piece dating from 1957, a few creamy white passages pierce the thick curtain of the composition like rays of light. They stand out on the canvas. Proof that one can be a star of the black colour, yet still give the starring role to the light! 

24 August 1958
Oil on canvas
130 x 89 cm

Pierre Soulages makes black a colour enhancer. In contact with it, the blue and the white emerge from the shadows. They rise to the surface thanks to the scraping technique with which the painter experimented in 1958. On the white preparation of the canvas, laid flat on the ground, Pierre Soulages first applied the blue, using a brush to stretch it widthwise. This allowed him to obtain a striated effect, blurring the image like a mirage. He then applied the black, which he scraped over the canvas with rubber blades, imprinting the broad oblique or vertical bands onto the thickness of the material. Their smooth, yet matt appearance introduces a violent contrast of textures on which the calligraphic rhythm of the composition is based.

Links between these artworks

Pierre Soulages, born in Rodez in 1919, is the author of these two abstract paintings, named solely in relation to their technique, size and date of creation. The artist therefore distances us from any interpretative reading so as to fully focus our gaze on the materiality of his painting.

Tyrannosaurus Rex (Study for King Kong)



Spring 1963
Various objects, plastic, plaster and paint on wooden panel
198 x 122 x 25 cm

This iconic work by Niki de Saint Phalle, Tyrannosaurus Rex, is a monster in every sense of the word. It is part of the Tirs series, a performance work initiated two years ealier, and an expression of the artist’s sense of rebellion and revolt. By shooting at her paintings and making the paint bleed, she seeks to symbolically kill her father, her family, and the shackles of a society and church that she defied. This imposing work is a study for King Kong, a monumental production (276 x 611 cm) on display at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Like for the other works in the Tirs series, the press fired back at her, either condemning or applauding her radical way of artistically confronting the word.

September 1965
Wire mesh, wool, fabric, gauze, glue and paint on a cast metal base
92 x 79 x 50 cm

In a completely different register, Jackie inaugurates a new period in the life and artistic work of Niki de Saint Phalle. Made in 1965, it was exhibited the same year at the highly popular Galerie Alexandre Iolas in Paris, along with other female figures who contributed to the artist’s renown. This piece is one of the first Nanas, representations of curvaceous women that the artist would develop over many years. Lively and colourful, with her chest and bottom exposed, Jackie, like the other sculptures in this same series, is small in size. However, Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nanas would soon become giants, like the one that hangs in the hall of Zurich railway station. Exuberant, free, radiant and joyful, Jackie and the Nanas are a true embodiment of femininity.

Links between these artworks

Close to the Nouveaux Réalistes group, whose 1961 manifesto she signed, Niki de Saint Phalle enjoyed an exceptional career. A self-taught, engagé artist and committed feminist, she developed a highly personal universe. Freed from the rage and violence that characterized her Tirs series, and far from representations of sacrificial brides and all-consuming mothers, her Nanas express her vision of the world that opposed the prevailing chauvinistic paternalism.

On est mieux ici qu'au bureau



Oil and sand on canvas
194 x 128.9 cm

Created in 1965, Gérard Schlosser’s work is part of one of the artist’s early series. Here, two bodies are depicted lying on a beach, materialized by actual sand, thereby exploring as much the question of representation as the relationship to reality. As is often the case, the imaginative title suggests a story or the beginning of a narrative. On est mieux ici qu’au bureau [We are better off here than at the office] evokes the joys of rest and idleness, far from the constraints associated with work. The pink-skinned sunbathing couple, whom we can easily imagine to be a little paunchy, can be found in a number of paintings from the same period. However, this beach scene is the first in which a handbag appears, a recurring motif throughout Schlosser’s later work.

Acrylic on sanded canvas
113,5 x 145,8 cm

Following the beach scene, Gérard Schlosser paints his characters in popular cafes, always depicting their bodies in fragments or sections. This new series tends towards a greater realism, undoubtedly due to the more frequent use of photography that allows the artist to render more realistically the motifs used. A table, often red, sometimes featuring an ashtray or a cup, serves as the backdrop for scenes that express an essential dimension of his painting: waiting. The artist can be said to capture a moment, which the viewer’s imagination can invent and complete. The half-open black handbag, resting on a woman’s legs, reveals a crumpled handkerchief and a ripped envelope that hint at heartache. The title of the piece 11h35 [11.35 am] evokes as much a fleeting moment as an hour called to inexorably repeat itself.

Links between these artworks

Produced four years apart, these two works allow us to glimpse the evolution of Schlosser’s painting, which became increasingly realistic over time. Switching from oil to acrylic to emphasize realism, he nevertheless retains a central element: the black leather handbag, an essential accessory for the women painted by the artist.

Decorative Arts

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child


Ile-de-France (France), 4th quarter 14th century (circa 1380 - 1400)
Limestone, later polychromy and gilding
51 x 18 x 11.5 cm

Carrying the Child Jesus on her left arm, Mary gazes tenderly at him, her head slightly tilted as he undoes her garment in search of her breast. She is dressed in a long robe, covered with a loose veil, similar to an apron at the front of the body and falling in long, supple pleats along the legs, in accordance with a style and iconography typical of Parisian production in the late 14th century.

Attributed to Matthias Bernhard Braun
Prague (Bohemia), 1st quarter 18th century (ca. 1710 - 1720)
30.5 x 9.5 x 7 cm

Supporting the Child with both hands, the Virgin leans her face into his while he looks at her and raises his two small hands with chubby fingers towards her. The smooth roundness of the baby’s flesh contrasts with the impressive curves of the folds on Mary’s cloak, gathered in at her hips, revealing a baroque virtuosity that reached its apogee amongst sculptors active in Prague in the early 18th century.

Links between these artworks

Both sculptures are made in a half-round: the frontal view is privileged, as these statuettes were intended to adorn small altars for private devotion. Executed over three centuries apart and with a choice of materials with very distinct qualities, these two works show the permanence of a fundamental theme of Western art, as well as the evolution in its treatment. At once an exercise in style and an expression of the artist’s sensibility, the latter varies also, and above all, in relation to the cultural, emotional and religious context.

Dish: Gideon Defeats the Midianites

Amphora: Triumph of Galatea


Attributed to the workshop of Guido Durantino-Fontana
Urbino, Italy, 3rd quarter 16th century (circa 1550 - 1565)
5.7 x 46 cm

This dish, with its dense but balanced composition, represents a battle scene, which can be identified thanks to the painted inscription on the reverse side, as Gideon’s victory over the Midianites. According to the biblical account, following God’s injunction, the Israelite leader and his three hundred soldiers achieved victory without a fight, simply by sowing terror, with the sound of trumpets, amongst the enemy troops, who instead turned on each other. Combat is visible in the foreground, while near the expanse of water in the background, Gideon’s soldiers raise their trumpets and contemplate the scene.

Attributed to the workshop of Orazio Fontana
Urbino, Italy, 3rd quarter 16th century (circa 1560 - 1570)
53 x 31.5 x 28 cm

Adopting the shape of an antique amphora, this vase endowed with two snake-shaped handles bears a representation of the Triumph of Galatea on its belly, based on Raphael’s fresco at the Villa Farnesina (Rome), executed between 1511 and 1514. On one side, the sea nymph is kidnapped by a triton, a fantastical creature that is half-man, half-fish; and on the other side, not visible here, she is depicted riding on two dolphins, turning her gaze to the heavens. The passionate sensuality of earthly love, evoked on one side of the vase, thereby opposes the ideal of divine love on the other, in accordance with the principles of neo-Platonic philosophy.

Links between these artworks

These two objects offer a glimpse of the historiated maiolica of the Italian Renaissance, as developed by the Urbino workshops during the first half of the 16th century. Luxury tableware destined for a cultivated clientele, they often depicted subjects drawn from fables (mythology and literature) and history (ancient and biblical), in compositions inspired by painting and/or engravings.

Cup and cover

"Tour de force"


Nuremberg (Germany), 1st half 17th century (ca. 1600 - 1650)
54.3 x 10.5 x 9.4 cm

Based on the succession of full forms and sections with a remarkable finesse, this ivory cup, equipped with a lid, is an example of the virtuosity of the ivory turners of the baroque period established in Nuremberg, the artistic capital of southern Germany since the Renaissance. The florets at the base, the ajouré frieze surmounting the lid, and of course, the helical tip are the highlights here.

Southern Germany, late 17th century (ca. 1680 - 1700)
Ivory mounted on ebony
28.2 x 7.6 cm

Comprising an assembly of different sections, all made using the technique of turning, this object belongs to the “tours de force” typology. Not referring to any utilitarian form, it exists as a technical “marvel”. Four ajouré spheres, consisting of tiny rings, punctuate its spectacular vertical slenderness, while the realization of the ball containing another form within it, sculpted directly in the mass, is a veritable feat.

Links between these artworks

The fruit of a know-how shrouded in mystery, these two objects were intended to be placed in Wunderkammers, chambers of wonders or cabinets of curiosity of German princes between the 16th and 18th centuries. They belonged to the category of artificalia, as opposed to the wonders of nature, known as naturalia. While a few names of ivory turners are known, the monarchs themselves frequently learned this art, supposed to develop the qualities required for the exercise of power: rigour, precision, discipline, patience, and a combination of intellectual effort and manual skill.

Cartel "à la Minerve"

Portico clock


Jacques and Philippe Caffieri (bronzers) and Julien Le Roy (watchmaker)
Paris (France), 2nd quarter 18th century (circa 1730 - 1747)
Gilt and chased bronze, enamel, glass, steel and brass
77 x 43 x 13.5 cm

The decor of this wall clock stands out through its subtle asymmetry which preserves the verticality of the ensemble without any rigidity, thanks to an ornamental vocabulary that draws its inspiration from a rather stylized plant repertoire and the mythological world. To the left of the dial, oak branches and acorns accompany the figure of a winged child; to its right, motifs of a rooster’s crest, bay leaves, seeds, flowers and a stylized palm tree are intertwined together. At the top, sits Minerva, the goddess of war, recognizable by her feathered helmet and shield adorned with a gorgoneion (the head of Medusa).

France, 4th quarter 18th century (circa 1775 - 1790)
White marble, black marble, gilt bronze, enamel, glass, steel and brass
71 x 58 x 17 cm

This mantel clock boasts the architectural form of a portico, consisting of two quadrangular pillars connected by the circular dial. It is organized according to a rigorous symmetrical principle, accentuated by the use of an ornamental vocabulary inspired by classical antiquity: friezes of pearls and foliage, palmettes and gilt bronze ribbons all emphasizing the regularity of the lines. In front of each of the pillars, the figures of Minerva, helmeted and equipped with her shield, and, more than likely that of Venus, looking at herself in a mirror, elegantly combed and dressed, bring life to the decor.

Links between these artworks

Executed almost fifty years apart, these two clocks highlight the diversity of ornamental styles: the so-called “rococo” or “Louis XV” style for the wall clock, and the “Louis XVI” for the portico clock. Beyond these stylistic peculiarities, the choice of a figurative decor featuring, in both cases, the figure of Minerva and a deity symbolic of love (Cupid or Venus), evokes the presence of a similar message in connection with the measurement of time: the longevity of the sentiment of love is attributed to Minerva, who is also the goddess of the arts, sciences and wisdom, and whose happy intercession was believed to temper passions.


Teotihuacan mask

Lambayeque Mask


Mexico, 5th – 8th century AD
16 x 15 x 6.5 cm

This mask, with features enhanced by geometric scarifications and eyes originally inlaid with coloured stones, is a depiction of the Maize god of Teotihuacan, in Mexico. Similar pieces were uncovered within the sacred enclosure of the cult complex of Teotihuacan, and can be considered as offerings to the deity in order to stimulate a good harvest.

Peru, 13th – 15th century AD
Tumbaga, turquoise, cinnabar
17 x 28 x 3 cm

This mask made of gold sheet covered with cinnabar powder and turquoise inlays represents the god of Lambayeque. As a funerary mask, it was meant to be placed over the face of a deceased person. This kind of mask was reserved for members of the elite of the Lambayeque region who, from the 8th to the 14th century AD, were buried in huge adobe tombs with precious offerings.

Links between these artworks

Votive of funerary, pre-Columbian masks were made of gold, stone, or terracotta: they were meant to stand the test of time. They can be found in the entire Latin America, from Argentina to Mexico, from the 1st millennium BC to the Spanish conquest.

Ges Mask

Eharo Mask


Papua New Guinea (New Ireland), early 20th century
Wood, fibres, fabric, turbo shell opercula
86 x 50 x 42 cm

This Ges mask (also known as Kepong mask) displays a human head with hooked nose formed by the entanglement of a frigatebird and a snake. The eyes made of sea snail opercula, the hair of red fabric and vegetable fibre, as well as the two long lateral boards with a fish head at the tip, are common features of this mask type. According to the oral tradition, it embodies, during ritual dances, a fair-skinned, red-haired, uncivilized cannibal, a wild double of humans.

Papua New Guinea, early 20th century
Tapa, fibres
76 x 110 x 60 cm

With its black geometric patterns painted on a white background, as well as its long horns and imposive mane of brown fibre, this Eharo mask is both impressive and amusing. With their faces of supernatural beings depicted with funny features, these masks were used for entertainment during dances which served as a prelude to sacred rituals of the Elema people.

Links between these artworks

In Oceania, masks are a man’s affair: according to the original myth, women produced the first masks, but men stole the technique from them, and soon removed them from the process. These masks were made of perishable materials, and they had to be destroyed after rituals.

Vayola war shield

Kaidebu dance shield


Papua New Guinea (Trobriand Islands), early 20th century
Wood, red and black pigments
81 x 37.5 x 6 cm

This shield carved from a wooden board was used by warriors of the Massim people. Adorned with patterns reminding of supernatural beings, they were made invulnerable to enemy arrows by charms whispered by wizards just before the fight. Only the bravest warriors could possess a decorated shield of this kind.

Papua New Guinea (Trobriand Islands), early 20th century
Wood, red and black pigments
75 x 28 x 2 cm

This light shield, consisting of a double paddle decorated with stylized bird heads, were used during a pacific dance practised on the Trobriand Islands during the milamala celebrations, after the main yam harvest.

Links between these artworks

These two shields come from the Trobriand Islands. The animal world is an important inspiration for their decoration. Small and easy to handle, they would leave the legs uncovered, which enabled the warrior or dancer to jump.

African Contemporary Art

Sans titre

The Thrown of the Owner of the Stars


Circa 2016
Recycled and welded shells, casings, rifle butts and various metal parts

51 x 49,5 x 14,8 cm

Gonçalo Mabunda creates abstract faces whose features, at times melancholic, at times playful, create a link between formal African traditions and contemporary history. The artist appropriates materials from the armed conflicts in Mozambique. The work Untitled (2016), is part of a production that results from a programme aiming to ensure the disarmament and the recycling into useful tools of weapons used in the Mozambique War of Independence, as well as during the civil war that took place between 1975 and 1992. Beyond the violence of the materials used, the work is an expression of bewilderment, weaving a link between the history of a conflict and the emotions that it can arouse, with which the viewers are confronted.

Recycled and welded shells, casings, rifle butts, various metal parts and decommissioned weapons of war

118 x 87 x 54 cm

In The Throne of the Owner of the Stars, Gonçalo Mabunda uses decommissioned war weapons, notably rifle butts to make up the armrests of a throne. The title of the work evokes a form of greed, an obsessive and disproportionate relationship to property, and a certain poetry, as well as an intrinsic impossibility (surely it is impossible to own the stars). The title’s ambiguity is reflected in the work itself. This throne, a symbol of hierarchy and governance but also potentially of oppression, is evoked by the artist via its form. Anyone wanting to sit on it would have to deal with the crimes that these weapons carry in their memory, and at the risk of perhaps hurting themselves.

Links between these artworks

In his work, artist Gonçalo Mabunda uses casings, shells, rifle butts and metals recovered from the various Mozambican conflicts that he decomposes, recomposes and welds together to make expressive masks, thrones symbolizing power totems and tableaus. He therefore subverts their murderous use, transforming them into objects of contemplation and memory, recalling the dark tales of the past.

Sans titre

Sans titre


Acrylic and tar on cardboard
95 x 84 cm

In Armand Boua’s work Untitled (2014), the silhouettes of two children who appear to be squatting are depicted. Their expressions are difficult to discern despite the quasi photographic effect of the composition. The blue background, painted in acrylic, adds a certain softness to the scene, while the silhouettes are made using tar. A cardboard found on the street is the support for the work. In this way, Armand Boua strives to create a harmony or coherence between the subjects represented and the materials used, remaining faithful to an urban but delicate vocabulary, which seemingly captures these scenes from the Abidjan streets on the spot.

Acrylic and tar on cardboard
211 x 210 cm

A white minibus with a few silhouettes glimpsed on-board or along the sides of a space devoid of concrete roads: in this work, Armand Boua skilfully creates a scene that evokes movement, rapidity of exchanges, and flows of people. The rear door of the minivan, still open and showing a figure, suggests that a passenger has just joined the vehicle, perhaps having just jumped on-board or alternatively ready to jump to the ground at their destination, while another figure on the left of the composition seems to be waiting. The imposing life-size dimensions of this work and its compositional materials project the viewer into the atmosphere of this moment, and the distance required to properly observe the work in turn sets them in motion.

Links between these artworks

In his paintings, Ivorian artist Armand Boua represents everyday scenes from the streets of Abidjan, and especially the people to whom the streets belong, thanks to whom they come to life. While his works most often depict city children, the means of transport, life and movement that emerge from these urban atmospheres punctuate his production.

Sans titre

Sans titre


Acrylic on canvas
152,8 x 122,2 cm

In Aboudia’s work Untitled (2017), a blue building bearing the word “formation” (training) is set in the centre of the composition, while two human figures face us in the foreground. We can also decipher other words: “études” (studies), “maths”, “école” (school) and “child”. Most of the words that inhabit this canvas, painted in both French and English, tell us that the main characters depicted are children. For the artist Aboudia, there is nothing more important than highlighting youth,—which for him represents the pillar of society and its future,—and their education. This youthful population expresses itself and can be seen in the streets, notably making their way on foot to school, as in the work presented here. Characters with expressive features and spaces saturated with colours, texts and urban forms: such are the signs that can be distinguished in Aboudia’s work.

Oil pastel and acrylic pencils on canvas
122 x 183 cm

In Untitled (2017), a character painted in red stands alone on a boat drifting out to sea. The black background suggests that this is a shipwreck that has occurred in the middle of the night. Around the figure, we can read “Spain”, “Berlin”, “France”, “Italy”, “New York”, evoking the possible destinations of the protagonist or the imaginary worlds linked to these spaces jostling in his mind. The idea of the composition and encounter between the materials on the canvas, and of a mixture of influences that gives rise to a style which the artist refers to as Noutchy, enters into resonance with the potential of diversity; human diversity as a result of the phenomenon of immigration. However, it is the sensitivity to the question of contemporary migration that is highlighted here through the representation of a shipwreck, evoking the tragedies that occur daily on these migratory routes.

Links between these artworks

Aboudia’s distinctively expressive and eclectic style of mixed materials, inspired by Abidjan graffiti and traditional West African woodcarving, is what the artist calls Noutchy, in reference to Nouchi, a form of slang used in the Ivory Coast. If dialects and languages are the results of composite cultural encounters, so too is life and by extension, art.