top of page

Buy Art by
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923-2014) was an Ivorian poet and artist.


Bruly Bouabré first worked as a clerk for various government offices in colonized Ivory Coast. While working, he completed hundreds of small sketches.

In 1948, a vision he received in a dream led him to cease his work as a civil servant. He decided to dedicate himself to giving Africa its own visual language. His aim was to preserve and transmit the knowledge of cultures that didn't have a writing system, including the Bété culture, which he originated from.
He developed a syllabary composed of more than 440 monosyllabic pictograms. This writing system is portrayed on some 1 000 small cardboard cards using ballpoint pens and crayons. Bruly Bouabré used it to transcribe tales and poems from the Bété culture.

Another remarkable work of the artist is his project retrospectively called "Connaissance du monde" (lit. Knowledge of the world). It is a complete cosmogony, consisting of several hundreds of small drawings that represent and inventory all that is revealed or hidden, such as signs, divine thoughts, dreams, myths, sciences, traditions. All these drawings feature a description in capital letters and are dated.

"Connaissance du monde" was exhibited for the first time in Europe in 1989 at "Magiciens de la Terre", in Centre Georges Pompidou and Grande halle de la Villette, Paris. However, the artist never ceased to develop his encyclopedic ideal until he passed away in 2014.

His work is now featured in large private and institutional collections and has been presented in most major museums and biennials.

"Now that we are recognized as artists, our duty is to organize ourselves into a society, and in such a way to create a structure for discussion and exchange between those who acquire and those who create. From there can arise a happy worldwide civilization." - Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

bottom of page