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Frédéric Bruly Bouabré:
World Unbound

March 13 – August 13, 2022

The Museum of Modern Art

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, the first in-depth study in the United States of the Ivorian artist who used drawing as a critical tool to invent a writing system. The exhibition explores the breadth of Bouabré’s decades-long career, featuring 11 series of drawings totaling more than 1,000 individual works, including his two best-known bodies of work, Alphabet Bété (1990–91) and Connaissance du monde (1987–2008). World Unbound is organized into two sections and connected with a chronology of the artist’s life and career that will include photographic images and archival materials. Although his work has been featured in major international exhibitions, World Unbound will be the first substantial monographic museum presentation in the US to celebrate Bouabré’s commitment to collecting, preserving, and sharing knowledge as a way of understanding the world around us.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound is organized by Smooth Nzewi, The Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator with Erica DiBenedetto, Curatorial Assistant, and with the support of Damasia Lacroze, Department Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art and by Jack Shear through The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional funding is provided by Martha H. Hale in honor of Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, the Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Eva and Glenn Dubin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi Haas, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund, the Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

Special thanks to Jean Pigozzi and The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art.

Images

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Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. Mythologie Bété « Génie guié guié guié » « Génie couvert d’yeux ». c. 1980. Ballpoint pen on laminated paper on cardboard, 16 ½ × 9 ⅝” (41.9 × 24.4 cm). Private collection, Paris. Courtesy André Magnin. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. « GBRÉ=GBLÉ » N° 118 from Alphabet Bété. 1991. Colored pencil, pencil, and ballpoint pen on board, 3 ⅞ × 5 ⅞” (9.8 × 14.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. Le Dieu Solaire APIS (Égyptien) me présente, ici, l’aspect d’un message pictographique que j’essaie d’interpréter à ma façon, au verso du tableau from Connaissance du monde. 1991. Colored pencil and ballpoint pen on board, 6 ⅜ × 12 ⅜” (16.2 × 31.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. « Ô, Dear black power, if you sit on “world‑trone”, let “God” to lead peacefully your heart, in love of human‑kind of all colour: Aie l’amour de toute humaine couleur!!!! » from Connaissance du monde. 1993. Colored pencil, pencil, and ballpoint pen on board, 11 ⅞ × 9 ½” (30.1 × 24.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. « L’endeuillé » from Musée du visage africain. 1996. Ballpoint pen and colored pencil on cardboard, 5 7/8 × 3 15/16″ (15 × 10 cm). The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. « Les pleurs de l’endeuillé se rendant aux funérailles d’un parent » from Musée du visage africain. 1996. Ballpoint pen and colored pencil on cardboard, 5 7/8 × 3 15/16″ (15 × 10 cm). The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art. © 2022 Family of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Philippe Bordas. Frédéric Bruly Bouabré at the Musée de l’Homme, Paris. 1993.

Installation view of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

Installation view of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

Installation view of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

Installation view of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

Installation view of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

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