Sanou Oumar


Pre-Echo Press

“Sanou Oumar’s intricate drawings reveal his interest in the dynamic forms and structures of architecture borne out of a real yet imaginative desire for home: roots, order, and infinite calm. As a young person growing up in Burkina Faso, Oumar would contemplate the elaborate simplicity of the modern bank building in Ouagadougou: “There was nothing missing. I could see all the lines in the building: rectangles, circles, triangles, everything included, each one following its own order.” His serialized, daily drawing practice echoes this pursuit of visual order, a process that helps him reframe and come to terms with the chaos of his past and present experience: the trauma and constraints of his childhood, and the physical and emotional displacement he faces as an asylum seeker in the U.S.

Oumar’s highly inventive works elevate quotidian materials—a pen, marker, colored pencil, or paper—while employing his personal possessions as stencils: his ID card, disposable spoons, washers, compass. The deftly made drawings immediately call to mind Indian mandalas, complex circular designs that represent imaginary palaces to contemplate during meditation.” —Svetlana Kitto

Sanou Oumar was born in Burkina Faso, West Africa. He graduated from the University of Ouagadougou (2007) with a major in English literature, and received certification in English at the British Embassy in Dakar, Senegal (2007–2010). In 2015, Oumar came to the United States to seek asylum and pursue his dream of becoming an architect. In 2018, Oumar had his first two-person exhibition (with Matt Paweski) at Gordon Robichaux, NY. —Pre-Echo Press

Essay by Matt Paweski
230 pages, softcover
15 × 11 inches



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