Arts + Culture
From Ernest Dükü's 'Black Series.' Courtesy of Sitor Senghor.

Ernest Dükü's 'Black Series' Is an Exploration of African Spiritual Symbols

We caught up with the Ivorian veteran artist for an in-depth conversation around his new artworks.

Ernest Dükü walks gently into the courtyard of London's Somerset House. With his greying hair spiking from his head and wearing the uniform of the fashionably ragged scholar—black suit-jacket and a scarf—he could be confused for a visitor to the 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair. But Dükü, is an acclaimed Ivorian artist, here for the first UK showing of his new works titled "Black Series."

The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is the single largest exhibition of works from African artists from the continent and its diaspora in the UK. For this fifth edition, 130 artists and 42 galleries occupied all three wings at Somerset House in central London drawing in a reported 17,000 visitors. Dükü's works have been selected for many group exhibitions in his France and Ivory Coast, but less so in the US or UK. A major exhibition of his works in Abidjan is being planned for 2018.

Born in 1958 in Ivory Coast, Dükü attended Abidjan's Fine Arts School in the late 1970s before moving to France to study architecture and aesthetics and sciences of art. He now divides his time and practice between both countries though his work is known for transcending way beyond present geographical boundaries and time spans.

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