In Memorium: Laureate Ousmane Sow (1935-2016)

Sculptor extraordinaire Ousmane Sow passed away on 1 December 2016 in Dakar. His impressive sculptures of the human figure were lauded around the world. Sow was a recipient of the Prince Claus Award in 2008 - we are proud to have known him. The Prince Claus Fund extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends. 

Starting his artistic career later in life, Sow was trained in business and worked as a physical therapist before his professional career as an artist took off in the 1980s. By the 1990s he had earned an international reputation for his sculptures of the Nuba, Masai and other African peoples. The 2008 Prince Claus Awards Committee acknowledged his accomplishments in these words: 

"...Ousmane Sow infuses his creations with potent life force and raw energy. Inspired by Riefenstahl’s photos of the Nuba, he abandoned his career as a physiotherapist, invented new techniques and materials, and created The Nuba, a group of muscular, virile, larger-than-life wrestlers (1984-87). Monumental representations of The Masai (1989) and The Zulus (1990) followed, and in 1992 his work was selected for Documenta IX. Turning to global narrative, he produced a massive tableau ofThe Battle of Little Big Horn (1998). Audacious in size, Sow’s figures are modelled with proportional volume and anatomical detail, creating energy in frozen movement and strong human presence. The powerful physicality of 68 of his figures exhibited on the Pont des Arts in Paris (1999), astonished the world and led to commissions from the International Olympic Committee and the Medecins du Monde. Coming from a vacuum of representation of the African body and raising anxious ghosts of racism, Sow’s sculptures boldly confront stereotypes, representing the body without qualms. They carry a message of tolerance and humanity. Ousmane Sow is awarded for his powerful sculptures of the human body, for his inspirational celebration of the African body, and for challenging the international art world and influencing young generations of artists." 

He will be greatly missed.

In Memorium: Laureate Ousmane Sow (1935-2016)

"Sow’s sculptures carry a message of tolerance and humanity"

- 2008 Prince Claus Awards Committee

pdf

Awards Book 2008 - Culture and the Human Body pdf - 6.29 MB

Awards Book 2008

In Memorium: Laureate Ousmane Sow (1935-2016)

Sculptor extraordinaire Ousmane Sow passed away on 1 December 2016 in Dakar. His impressive sculptures of the human figure were lauded around the world. Sow was a recipient of the Prince Claus Award in 2008 - we are proud to have known him. The Prince Claus Fund extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.  Starting his artistic career later in life, Sow was...

 
 
 
 

In Memorium: Laureate Ousmane Sow (1935-2016)

Sculptor extraordinaire Ousmane Sow passed away on 1 December 2016 in Dakar. His impressive sculptures of the human figure were lauded around the world. Sow was a recipient of the Prince Claus Award in 2008 - we are proud to have known him. The Prince Claus Fund extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.  Starting his artistic career later in life, Sow was...