Barthélémy Toguo

'Urban Requiem'

Working across painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, performance, and installation, Barthélémy Toguo addresses enduring and urgently relevant issues of exile, displacement, migration, colonialism, race, and the relationship between the Global North and South. At the core of Toguo’s practice is the notion of belonging, which stems from his dual French-Cameroonian nationality.

Signature image for Barthelemy Toguo
Barthélémy Toguo, "Urban Requiem," 2015. Installation view, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.

Using poetic, hopeful, and often figurative gestures to connect nature with the human body, Toguo foregrounds concerns that have both ecological and societal implications. The artist’s recent works are informed by global experiences of political and social movements like Black Lives Matter and the humanitarian tragedies of contemporary refugee crises.

The centerpiece installation of Toguo’s SCAD MOA exhibition, Urban Requiem, was created in 2015 specifically for the Venice Biennale. In response to curator Okwui Enwezor’s request for artists to address the theme of “all the world’s futures,” Toguo gave form to our common human heartaches and joys. With this exhibition, Toguo extends the work’s act of remembrance in an homage to all those who encounter and endure injustice.

About the artist

Barthélémy Toguo (b. 1967, Mbalmayo, Cameroon) lives and works between Paris and Bandjoun, Cameroon. In 2008, he founded Bandjoun Station in his native Cameroon to foster contemporary art and culture within the local community. The center includes an exhibition space, a library, and an organic farm and hosts an artist residency. Solo exhibitions of Toguo’s work have been presented at institutions including Parrish Art Museum, New York; Uppsala Art Museum, Sweden; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Etienne, France; La Verrière by Hermès, Brussels; Fundaçao Gulbenkian, Lisbon; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2011, Toguo was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature in France. His works are held in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, France; Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Install Views


Urban Requiem is organized by SCAD MOA curator DJ Hellerman. It is presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2022.

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