Barthélémy Toguo, Swing of things, 2012 watercolor on paper, 28 x 38 cm


Barthélémy Toguo, who lives and works in Bandjoun, Cameroon, and Paris, has been one of the most significant artists on the African continent since the early 2000s. Toguo’s artistic practice encompasses painting, drawing, watercolour, sculpture, ceramics, performance and installation. His work explores themes of identity, post-colonialism, migration, displacement, diaspora and inequality. At the same time, his basic motif is the interrelationship between civilisation and nature, where the exploitation of people and the earth has political, ecological and spiritual dimensions. Intertwined, rhizomatic, mythical bodies in which people, plants and animals meet recur in his work. A central element is water, which in Toguo’s work can symbolise the flow of energy, but also displacement.

The exhibition ‘Endless Blossoms’, a collaboration between Galerie Lelong, the Miettinen Collection and Robert Grunenberg, brings together works from two decades, including wooden reliefs from the 2020 series ‘Bilongue’ – a tribute to the inhabitants of the sprawling shantytown of the same name on the outskirts of Douala, whom Toguo celebrates as the true heroes of Cameroon.