Omar Ba

Omar Ba was born in 1977 in a Serer village located 150 km from Dakar in the Fatick region of Senegal. He was trained at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Dakar and the École des Beaux-Arts de Genève. The artist lives and works between Dakar, Senegal, and Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Ba’s work engages with some of the most urgent issues of our time: the growing inequality of wealth and power globally, questions around immigration, and our changing relationship with the natural world. Ba regularly draws from and intertwines a range of elements from African and European cultures, as well as the techniques and tools he employs, including corrugated cardboard and canvas, paintbrushes and his hands. He prepares his surfaces – whether cardboard, canvas or wall – with a black ground, upon which he layers a vivid palette dominated by primary colours. The paintings teem with details as micro-worlds exist within larger constellations, oscillating between bold planes of colour and intricate outlines. Largely symbolic, the figures and forms portrayed refer not to specific individuals, but are open to universal narratives.

 

The artist’s latest paintings depict dictators and authority figures who lead corrupt and violent regimes across the African continent. Represented as beasts – part human, part animal – these despotic warlords are typically enveloped in an abundance of lush flora and fauna. The world of Ba’s painting is a hybrid one, ultimately evoking a shared cosmogony between humans, plants, and animals. 

 

Recent institutional exhibitions with Ba’s work include solo shows at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels, Belgium), Contemporary Calgary (Canada), The Power Plant (Toronto, Canada), and  MBAM (Montréal, Canada). Recent group exhibitions feature ones at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Musée d’Art Contemporain (Marseille, France), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, France), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels, Belgium), and Royal Academy of Arts (London, UK). His works have been included in several public collections, including those of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (Paris, France), Swiss National Collection (Basel, Switzerland), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, France), Louvre (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Collection du Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Collection Mirabaud (Switzerland) and Ville de Genève (Switzerland).


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Selected Works

Alliés fidèles, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on canvas

250 x 150 cm

Alliés encombrants, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on canvas

250 x 150 cm

This man is not Lumumba, 2019-2023

Pencil, acrylic, gouache, oil on cardboard

206 x 133 cm

Engrenages 7, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on craft paper and polyester

67,7 x 57,7 cm

Engrenages 3, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on craft paper and polyester

67,7 x 57,7 cm

Engrenages 5, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on craft paper and polyester

67,7 x 57,7 cm

Engrenages de la terreur 1, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on canvas

100 x 80 cm

Engrenages de la manipulation 1, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on craft paper

127,5 x 109,5 cm

Devant le miroir, 2024

Oil, ink, acrylic, pencil, pigment on craft paper 127,5 x 109,5 cm

Shadow 1, 2021

Oil, acrylic, Chinese ink on cardboard

241 x 160 cm

Shadow 2, 2021

Oil, acrylic, Chinese ink on cardboard

241 x 160 cm

Human Move for Justice, 2021

Oil, acrylic, Chinese ink on cardboard

241 x 160 cm

The crazy world is behind us, 2021

Oil, acrylic, Chinese ink on canvas

133,5 x 89 cm

Sans titre, 2014

Gouache on cardboard

69,5 x 49,8 cm

A qui la faute, 2021

Acrylic, ink and pencil on canvas

120 x 82 cm

Océan Atlantique 1, 2021

Mixed media on canvas

91,5 x 89 cm

ONU – House of Exile, 2021

Oil, pencil, acrylic, Chinese ink, gouache on cardboard boxes

316 x 557 x 40 cm

Quatre faces d’un même problème 1, 2021

Oil, acrylic, Chinese ink on canvas

123 x 113 cm

Exhibitions



Books