“The Revealer,” presented by the 404 Art Collection from October 30th to December 10th, 2023, is a landmark exhibition in Miami, offering an in-depth look into the extraordinary artistic journey of Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, also known as Cheik Nadro. This exhibition, a collaboration with the artist’s family and The General Consulate of Ivory Coast in NYC, is a tribute to Bouabré’s profound impact on the art world and his dedication to preserving African heritage.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, born on March 11, 1923, in Zépréguhé, Ivory Coast, experienced a life-changing vision on March 11, 1948, which profoundly transformed his path. Following this epiphany, he devoted his life to art, adopting the name Cheik Nadro, “the Revealer.” He passed away on January 28, 2014, leaving behind a legacy as a self-taught artist whose talents extended beyond visual art to encompass poetry, philosophy, and essay writing. His philosophical inquiries into African reality and the meaning of life led him to create compact, postcard-sized drawings using ballpoint pens and colored pencils. These drawings, titled “Connaissance du Monde” (World Knowledge), form an encyclopedic body of universal knowledge and human experience. Bouabré also created “Alphabet Bété,” a unique writing system of 448 monosyllabic pictograms for his ethnic group, the Bété people, aiming to bridge European and African cultures. He viewed his art as a comprehensive expression of everything visible and concealed, and he felt a redemptive calling in his work, preserving and sharing the knowledge of the Bété people and the world.

Bouabré’s legacy includes becoming the second black African artist to hold a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA). His works have been featured in prestigious institutions worldwide, including The Centre Pompidou in Paris, France, The 55th Venice Biennale, and The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. His international recognition notably increased following his participation in the “Magiciens de la Terre” exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1989, a pivotal moment for African artists on the global stage.

The Miami exhibition showcases several of his iconic series, including “Alphabet Bété,” a groundbreaking writing system; “Museum of African Faces,” a study of body markings and scarifications; and parts of his extensive “Knowledge of the World” series. Each piece exemplifies Bouabré’s commitment to his cultural roots and his quest to preserve and share knowledge.

“The Revealer” in Miami, running from late October through early December, is more than an exhibition; it’s a celebration of African culture and heritage, a reflection of Bouabré’s visionary art, and a testament to his lasting influence on the world of art.

Selected Exhibitions

• 2022: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound, Museum of Modern Art, New York

• 2014 : Post – Picasso : Contemporary Reactions, Picasso Museum, Barcelona

• 2013: Venice Biennale, Italy • 2012: Inventing the world: the artist as citizen, Biennale Bénin, Cotonou, Bénin • 2010–2011: Tate Modern, London, UK

• 2010: African Stories, Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech

• 2007: Why Africa?, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy

• 2006: 100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

• 2005: Arts of Africa, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, France

• 2004–2007: Africa Remix, the touring show started on 24 July 2004 at the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf (Germany), and travelled to the Hayward Gallery in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.

• 2003: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Musée Champollion, Figeac, France

• 2002: Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany

• 2001–2002: The Short Century was an exhibition held in Munich, Berlin, Chicago and New York, organized by a team headed by Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor (Moma PS1)

• 1996: Neue Kunst aus Africa, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

• 1995: Galerie des Cinq Continents, Musée des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, France

• 1994: Rencontres Africaines, the touring exhibition was shown at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, Cidade do Cabo in Sud Africa, Museum Africa in Johannesburg and in Lisbon, Portugal

• 1994: World Envisioned, together with Alighiero Boetti, the exhibition was shown in DIA Center for the Arts in New York and American Center, Paris, France

• 1993: Trésor de Voyage, Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy

• 1993: Azur, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Jouy-en-Josas, France

• 1993: Grafolies, Biennale d’Abidjan in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

• 1992: A Visage Découvert, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Jouy-en-Josas, France

• 1992: Oh Cet Echo!, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France

• 1992: Out of Africa, Saatchi Collection, London

• 1992: Resistances, Watari-Um for Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

• 1991: Africa Hoy/Africa Now, the touring exhibition has shown in Centro de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), Gröninger Museum in Groningen (Netherlands), Centro de arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City

• 1989: Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou and Grande halle de la Villette, Paris, France • 1989: Waaah! Far African Art, Courtrai, Belgium

• 1986: L’Afrique e la Lettre, Centre Culturel Français, Lagos, Nigeri