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El Hadji Sy

(b Agniam Thiodaye Matam, July 11, 1945).

Senegalese painter. Primarily an autodidact, he also learnt engraving at the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, Dakar, in 1975. His early work was often rendered in china ink, but he later worked mainly with oil or acrylic paint. In the 1980s and 1990s his canvases focused on the world of Fulani cow herders, as seen in Vache (1988; Frankfurt am Main, Friedrich Axt priv. col.). Ba employs a palette of subtle, earth-tone hues to suggest the arid Sahelian landscape, populating these scenes with stylized cows and herders. His painting is often appreciated by collectors for its visual affinity with ancient rock art. He was considered for membership of the Ecole de Dakar and participated in the government-sponsored exhibition Art contemporain du Senegal, which traveled internationally from 1974 to 1982.

Contemporary Art of Senegal/Art Contemporain du Senegal (exh.cat., Hamilton, Ont., A.G., 1979) F. Axt and El Hadji M. B. Sy...

Article

El Hadji Sy

(Zulu)

(b Thies, 1945).

Senegalese painter. Self-taught, he attended the studio of Pierre Lods (see Congo, Democratic Republic of) in the early 1970s. His abstract renditions in china ink were used as the design for several tapestries produced by the Manufacture Senegalaise des Arts Décoratifs in the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s he worked primarily with oil and acrylic paint. As with his tapestry designs, his later work is characterized by expansive, centralized compositions and the dominance of flat tracts of earth-tone colours. Untitled (1989; artist’s col.) exemplifies this repertoire of flat forms, geometric shapes and semi-decorative patterns. He often includes in his works graphic symbols referring to Egyptian hieroglyphs. He served as president of the Association Nationale des Artistes Plasticiens du Senegal from 1987 to 1989 and was co-founder of the gallery-residence Les Trois Baobabs. He was considered for membership of the Ecole de Dakar and participated in the state sponsored exhibition ...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....