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Joanna Grabski

(b St Louis, February 6, 1953).

Senegalese glass painter, potter and teacher. She earned an MA in literature at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar (1980), then graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure d'Education Artistique (1983). Her early work in both literature and fine arts dealt with the social role of women in colonial Senegal. In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked primarily with glass painting or sous verre, a medium with a long history in Senegal. Her work advances well-known conventional glass paintings that depict colorful quotidian and religious scenes. She works with a palette of intense hues, applying them across the glass support so as to maximize the expressive potential of the medium. Although she created figural works in the 1980s, her work in the 1990s became increasingly abstract. Her glass paintings, such as Nature (1998; priv. col.), are characterized by their luminescence and large scale. In addition to exhibiting her work in Africa and Europe, she has been involved in a number of educational and humanitarian projects. Her achievements have been recognized by two prestigious awards from the government of Senegal, including the Chevalièr de l’Ordre du Mérite (...

Article

El Hadji Sy

(b Tivaouane, 1953).

Senegalese painter and teacher. He graduated in 1976 from the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, where he trained as an art educator. After building a collection of glass paintings, he began to explore this medium as a support for his art. He carefully studied the techniques of glass-painting masters, advancing the conventional subjects associated with the medium. Rather than representing traditional narrative and religious scenes, his paintings depict both human figures and organic forms resembling flora. The glass painting Aristot (1992, Dakar, Serigne Babacar Sy priv. col.) suggests his emphasis on the graphic potential of both line and colour. Closer examination reveals his use of tiny dots and thin lines to animate the composition. Ndiaye has exhibited in Senegal, Europe and the USA, and Senegalese television produced a short film about his work in the early 1990s. In addition to working in Switzerland and France, he has taught art in Dakar and St Louis, Senegal....