Frédéric Bruly Bouabré - March 5 through August 22, 2010

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré
In the words of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (born circa 1921), his copious oeuvre is the fruit of a celestial vision he ex-perienced in Dakar some sixty years ago, an event that illuminated his life. This native of the Ivory Coast—at once poet, draughtsman, storyteller and thinker—is the inventor of an ingenious alphabet built up from his language, Bété. It is a system that, encompassing 449 pictograms corres-ponding to separate syllables, enables him to record the languages of the entire world.
In pursuing this universalistic approach, Bruly Bouabré also carries out a philosophic and poetic quest. He has under-taken to classify a multitude of scarifications, recording countless marks from banana peels, orange skins, cola nuts or cloud shapes—all of which, to his mind, explain the world. These he still continues to transcribe today, in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), at the advanced age of eighty-eight.
The works that Frédéric Bruly Bouabré produces with a great economy of means go to the heart of the matter. Working with a ballpoint pen and coloured pencils, he applies his synthetic style to paperboard sheets that are mostly postcard-size. The resulting pieces combine writing and drawing, word and image, achieving an at once edifying and spiritual dimension.
The Collection de l’Art Brut is most grateful to Jean Pigozzi for his loans (CAAC – the Pigozzi Collection, Geneva), and to André Magnin and Marie-Odile Vaudou.

Practical Information


March 5 to August 22, 2010
Opening reception Thursday March 4, 2010, 18:30


Lucienne Peiry
Coordinators: Sarah Lombardi, Magali Junet

Documentary films

Ataa Oko et les esprits & L’alphabet de Frédéric Bruly Bouabré
By Philippe Lespinasse and Andress Alvarez, 2009, 30’ & 20’, French, Parti de l’Art Brut/LoKomotiv Films Lausanne/Le Tourne.


The exhibition Frédéric Bruly Bouabré is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.