Astou Diop

For three months in 2006, Albers Foundation in the USA hosted Astou Diop from Senegal.

 

From Albers Foundation 

From June – August of 2006, the Albers Foundation hosted Senegalese textile artist Astou Diop. Astou was a participant in the 2006 Biennale of Contemporary Art in Dakar and was selected based on the strength of her textile work and the idea that she would benefit greatly from prolonged exposure to the richness of Anni Albers’ textile work housed at the Foundation.

Astou exceeded all expectations. Not only is she a wonderful, warm-hearted individual with whom it was a pleasure to spend time, her artistic sensibilities blossomed in a way not possible in the office of the Dakar-based textile production house where she works. She was able to combine the strength and bold colors of traditional African designs with the clean modernism of Anni’s work, all within the bucolic setting of the Foundation.

One summer evening Astou, along with several Foundation staff, even partnered to cook the famous Senegalese dish, ‘Poulet Yassa’ for a large group at the Foundation. With Youssou N’Dour and Baaba Maal CD’s playing in the background, the group was transported to Senegal. At the end of her residency, the Albers Foundation purchased two of Astou’s superb works. Both are African-influenced interpretations of Anni’s work mixed with images of the natural surroundings of the Foundation.

 

About Albers Foundation

In 1971, Josef Albers established a not-for-profit organization to further “the revelation and evocation of vision through art.” Today, this organization—The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation—is devoted to preserving and promoting the enduring achievements of both Josef and Anni Albers, and the aesthetic and philosophical principles by which they lived. It serves as a unique center for the understanding and appreciation of the arts and of all visual experience—with the combined legacies of Josef and Anni Albers at its heart.

 

From Astou Diop

My time at the Albers Foundation was truly wonderful. I was able to concentrate on my work in a focused and uninterrupted way – which I don’t often have the chance to do with my work schedule in Dakar.

I found my artistic creativity being expanded as I closely studied the work of Anni Albers. I also found the setting of the Foundation to be quite an inspiration - mixing images from the Connecticut woods with the symbols of African rural village life I use most frequently in my work in Senegal. This was a career-altering experience, one that I will cherish and reflect upon for years to come.

 

About Astou Diop

Born in 1971 in Dakar, Senegal, Astou Diop graduated from the National School of Fine Arts of Dakar. She began her career working for a textile-making company in Senegal as an intern in the field of textile design. Initiator, among other things, of the fabric of the 2002 and 2005 editions of Women’s Fortnight, Astou Diop often has, in her pictorial and textile work, been prone to represent the story of the African Woman. Over the last years, her interest has specifically turned to representing designs on small-sized traditional African wrappers that she integrates into her work in various ways. In her workshop, Astou Diop trains some young women in traditional dyeing.